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Cleaning Sink Faucet Heads: A Quick and Easy Method

Your faucet is prone to showing signs of calcium buildup, lime, and hard water residue. When this happens, it can look unsightly, but it also poses several health risks. Water that passes through comes into contact with these substances, so it's best to keep your faucet clean. 

Understanding Your Sink Faucet

There are several different types of sink faucets, and it's best to know what you're working with before you start cleaning it. Some common types include: 

  • Single-handle faucets:  One-handle faucets offer one single handle used to control both the water flow and the temperature.
  • Double-handle faucets:  Also known as a two-handle faucet, this type of faucet has separate handles for hot and cold water.
  • Pullout faucets: These faucets have a detachable wand that users pull out from the faucet base to control the direction of the flow of water. 
  • Pulldown faucets: Pulldown faucets are similar to pullout faucets. With pulldown faucets, only the faucet head pulls down and away from the faucet body.

Once you know what type of faucet you have, you can create a plan for keeping it clean.

Signs Your Faucet Head Needs Cleaning

If you know what you're looking for, you can easily spot signs that it's time to clean your faucet. Look for:

  • Buildup
  • Reduced water flow
  • Uneven water distribution
  • Visible mineral deposits
  • Dripping and leaks
  • Bad smell or taste

A dirty faucet head can certainly look unattractive, but the problem goes beyond aesthetics. Buildup of chemicals, bacteria, and rust can all come into contact with the water you drink, leading to health problems for you and your family. Ignoring regular maintenance can also significantly reduce the lifespan of your faucet.

Preparing to Clean Your Faucet Head

Luckily, cleaning your faucet head isn't hard, and you probably have everything you need on hand. Before you begin, gather your supplies. You'll need:

  • Distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Rubber bands
  • Warm water
  • a plastic bag
  • a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush
  • a soft cloth

If needed, turn off the water supply so you can give your faucet spout a thorough clean.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Faucet Head

Begin by removing the faucet aerator. To find out, try unscrewing it. If your aerator comes off, clean it with vinegar or a mild soap and soft-bristled brush.

Next, soak the faucet head in a mixture of one part water, one part vinegar to dissolve mineral buildup. Simply fill a plastic bag with your solution, submerge the faucet head inside, and use a rubber band to attach the bag securely. 

For more stubborn buildup, simply scrub it away with a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild dish soap. When you're finished, rinse the faucet head, reassemble the aerator, and admire your work!

Another cleaning method to remove stubborn calcium build-up is to create a cleaning solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% baking soda. Soak the aerator in the vinegar solution for 30 minutes, scrub with a scrub brush, then rinse before reattaching to your bathroom faucet or kitchen sink faucet.

Preventing Future Buildup

To prevent future buildup, make sure you wash your faucet head regularly and wipe it down as needed. This will keep calcium deposits and other debris from collecting and causing problems. 

It's also wise to determine the hardness of your water. Hard water is extremely hard on your pipes, faucets, skin and hair. If your water is hard, you may want to invest in a water softener or water filter. 

When to Consider a Replacement

Sometimes all the elbow grease in the world can't fix a faulty faucet head. If yours is old and deteriorating, it may be time to have it replaced. Some signs that it's time for a replacement include:

  • A leaky faucet
  • Poor water pressure or flow of water
  • Stubborn rust
  • An old faucet head

Often, a new aerator will do the trick and a full replacement isn't necessary. Aerators are very affordable and easy to replace, so it's always best to start here.

Shop For Faucet Supplies at Aerator.com Today!

If you've got questions about cleaning your faucet head or you're on the hunt for a new one, we're here to help. Check out Aerator.com for high-quality OEM replacement aerators for bathroom faucets and kitchen faucets. Contact us with questions and our experts will happily help!

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