How to Clean a Faucet Head: Easy Ways to Remove Buildup

Published March 29, 2021
person washing hands in kitchen

You turn on your tap, and all you are getting is a steady drip, drip, drip. If your water pressure is perfect, then there might be a problem with your faucet head. Learn how to clean your faucet head with ease with and without vinegar.

How to Clean a Faucet Head: Materials

Calcium build-up and gunk can clog your faucet head, meaning your water isn't running as good as it used to. Don't let a dripping faucet cramp your style. Instead, get in there and get all that gunk out. To start on the path to a clean and clear faucet head, you need:

  • Ziploc storage bag

  • Rubber band

  • White or cleaning vinegar

  • Baking soda

  • CLR

  • Lemon

  • Toothbrush

  • Dish soap

  • Pliers (optional)

  • Towel (optional)

How to Clean a Kitchen Faucet Head With Vinegar

Most of the time, all you need to do is to give your faucet a white vinegar bath to break up those calcium and mineral deposits. This is pretty simple and doesn't even require you to remove your faucet head.

  1. Pour about a cup or two of vinegar into the baggy. (Make sure to have enough to submerge the entire faucet head.)

  2. Pull the baggy over the head and rubber band it in place.

  3. Allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight.

  4. Remove the baggy and toss the vinegar.

  5. Put a bit of baking soda on a toothbrush and scrub away any remaining gunk.

  6. Rinse and voila! Running water.

Using Baking Soda to Clean a Faucet Head

If you are looking to give your soak a little extra kick, you can try the baking soda and vinegar soak. Grab your vinegar, baking soda, and get soaking.

  1. Create a 2:1 mixture of baking soda to white vinegar in the baggy.

  2. Allow it to fizz.

  3. Put the mixture over the faucet head and rubberband it in place.

  4. Allow the faucet to soak for 20-30 minutes.

  5. Create a paste of dish soap and baking soda.

  6. Put the paste on the toothbrush to remove loosened calcium and limescale.

  7. Rinse by running the water.

For a little added grime fighting power in your faucet head soak, you can add a few squirts of dish soap like Dawn to the baggy mix.

How to Clean a Faucet Head With Lemon

If the smell of vinegar turns you off, then you aren't the only one. Thankfully, white vinegar isn't the only natural acid out to eat through calcium and mineral deposits. Lemon juice is pretty good at this too!

  1. Cut a lemon in half.

  2. Use a butter knife or your thumb to create an indent for the faucet in the center.

  3. Twist the lemon wedge onto the faucet so it's snug into those lemon juices.

  4. Place a bag over the wedge.

  5. Use a rubber band to secure the bag.

  6. Leave the wedge on the faucet a few hours or overnight.

  7. Remove the wedge and throw it away.

  8. Add a little baking soda to a toothbrush and scrub any remaining gunk.

  9. Rinse away the lemon juice and baking soda by running the water.

Clean a Faucet Head With CLR

If you have very hard water and a lot of grime, you might be finding a vinegar soak just isn't cutting it. In this case, you need to break out the big guns. Any type of limescale remover can work, but one of the top ones is CLR.

  1. Fill a baggie with the recommended amount of the cleaner.

  2. Put it over the faucet and let it soak for 5-10 minutes.

  3. Remove the bag and use a toothbrush to scrub any remaining debris.

Be careful to use gloves to add the CLR to the baggie, and be careful when removing the bag to not get the chemical on your skin.

How to Remove a Faucet Head

Most of the time, a good bath in an acidic cleaner is enough to loosen up that calcium and limescale. However, if you have a blocked faucet, this might not be enough. Therefore, you might need to remove the aerator end and clean it out.

  1. Put a towel on the end of the faucet so as not to scratch the surface.

  2. Use pliers to loosen the end.

  3. When loosened, remove it the rest of the way with your fingers.

  4. Once removed, rinse out as much stuff as possible.

  5. Soak the end in white vinegar for about an hour.

  6. Use baking soda and a toothbrush to scrub the gunk away. (For holes, use a needle or toothpick to remove buildup.)

How Often to Clean a Faucet Head?

Most of the time, you don't think to clean the faucet's aerator until the water isn't running correctly. However, by doing routine cleaning, you can make sure everything is flowing smoothly all the time. Therefore, you should work to clean and sanitize your faucet head at least once every few months. Just think of it as part of your chrome cleaning maintenance routine.

The Importance of a Clean Faucet Head

Making sure you have running water is essential. Nothing is worse than turning on your tap and feeling let down by the flow of water. To make sure it's always clean and running smoothly, you'll want to consider adding cleaning your aerator to your chore list.

How to Clean a Faucet Head: Easy Ways to Remove Buildup