Why do we bother with faucet aerators (which simply get clogged)?
My faucets were almost totally clogged with hard water deposits (I'll call
that whitish greenish coating lime for lack of a better term).
So, at Safeway, I picked up LimeAway and put the satin-finish faucet tip in
a cup of that over night.
Unfortunately some of the faucet metal was etched away to pink copper (what
is in LimeAway anyway?) but the good news is that the holes unclogged in
the aerator screens.
Now, I can tell from the name that the aerator puts air bubbles in the
water at faucet, and I can see a difference with and without the aerator
... but I don't really see why it matters.
Please edify me.
What's in limeaway anyway (that etched away the satin coating)?
Why do we bother with aerators anyway (which simply get clogged)?
You need an aerator with a DOME SHAPED, STAINLESS STEEL (NOT PLASTIC)
screen that is easy to remove and rinse like this:
so you dont have to do this:
They reduce water flow to save water, in commercial buidings and
apartments where tenants dont care about the bill landlords can save
50% . Low flush toilets, shower heads and areators are law in my area.
Its not hard to clean them.
If it's mostly lime, you could soak it in vinegar and not do as much
damage (not that losing the chrome off an aerator that you can't see
anyway matters much).
It does at least two things that I know of:
1) It usually allows you to wash any given item (including hands) just
as effectively with less water (thus saving water). Not sure I can
adequately explain why, but it seems to be the case.
2) It makes the water splash less in the bottom of the sink.
1) When you really do need a lot of water to clean something (or have
low pressure), it slows the process.
2) Takes longer to fill a dog dish, pot or water bottle.
3) Eventually gets clogged (but 3 minutes of work every few years will
On Sat, 12 Jun 2010 16:11:50 -0700 (PDT), Larry Fishel wrote:
It's whitish greenish hard stuff. I have no idea what it's made up of.
Since it was on the outside of the faucet screw on tip, I put the entire
tip (screen and all) into the lime away.
The etched metal is actually visible since it shows up on the outside of
the faucet ... but its on the underside where the water comes out of the
tip, so it's not too bad. Anyway, what's done is done.
Well I'll be. The "aerator" (which presumably adds air bubbles) makes the
water splash less. OK. I guess. If that's what it's for.
Either way. I'd say the aerator doesn't do much then:
- less water (I have a well and, well, the amount I use in the sink isn't
my biggest problem as the pool uses vastly more water and so does the
irrigation - than a puny sink)
- splash less (I tried it with and without the aerator. Sure, it made more
noise and had more bubbles with the aerator, but, it seemed to splash about
the same. So, I'd conclude the aerator doesn't do all that much if it's to
If you cannot see major the difference, it is not working properly. My sink
faucet would splash some distance as opposed to barely a splash with the
aerator. If it clogs frequently, you should treat your water as those
deposits can harm your fixtures, water heat, etc. Your laundry also has
those deposits on the fabric. I have a whole house filter and can go years
with no clogging. Chances are you need a filter or softener, maybe both.
On Sat, 12 Jun 2010 16:01:15 -0700 (PDT), email@example.com wrote:
Muriatic acid? The pool stuff?
Googling, I see muriatic acid is hydrochloric acid. Sold in standard
concentrations of 31.45% acid and 68.55% inert ingredients, primarily water
I guess it would be cheaper to just grab a bottle of the acid stuff over by
the pool, and dilute and then soak the aerator screens in it.
I'm guessing a 5% or 10% acid solution would be equivalent to lime away
then. Do you think so?
Also comes in a 20% solution now at Lowes. Same price as the 31%-
but labeled 'green- less fumes'. And it doesn't say 20% anywhere I
could see on the label. The only reason I'm saying 20% is because the
directions for etching concrete with the 'green' stuff- says to use
50% more than the 31% solution calls for.
Couldn't say what the % is-- but Lime Away, Vinegar, lemon juice, lime
juice- all work about the same for me.
Yes, muriatic acid is "the pool stuff". No, it's not the active ingredient in
Lime-A-Way. According to the MSDS for the product, Lime-A-Way is phosphoric
Cheaper still, and safer, to just soak your aerator screen overnight in
vinegar. That's what has always worked for me.
No. Phosphoric acid is a much stronger acid than hydrochloric (muriatic) at
the same concentration. 32% phosphoric acid is about 10 times as strong as 10%
hydrochloric. Either one is overkill for cleaning a faucet aerator, though.
Vinegar works just fine.
By adding in air to the flow of water, when the water hits the sink it's
force is dampened and you do noit get splashing like you do when you have a
To see this for yourself, just take the aerator off and let the flow hit the
It is an acid.
If you are not part of the solution, you are not dissolved in the solvent.
On Sun, 13 Jun 2010 00:55:40 -0700, Roger Shoaf wrote:
Strangely enough, it doesn't say what it is on the bottle.
I called the Reckitt Benckiser consumer information line on the bottle
800-228-4722, but they're closed weekends.
This web site seems to give the facts:
Lime A Way Extra Lime Remover:
* Citric acid <3.0%
* Hydroxyacetic acid <10.0%
* Sulfamic acid <7.5%
Lime A Way Heavy Duty Hardwater Stain Cleaner:
* Sulfamic acid <11%
Lime A Way Tub and Tile Lime Remover:
* Citric acid <3.0%
* Hydroxyacetic acid <5%
* Sulfamic acid <1.5%
I never heard of "sulfamic" acid so I went to wikipedia:
"Sulfamic acid (H3NSO3) may be considered an intermediate compound between
sulfuric acid (H2SO4), and sulfamide (H4N2SO2), effectively" and that it
is used in sweeteners.
Hmmm... I wonder if a packet of artificial sweetener would work as well???
Don't think "aerator", think "filter". They catch the larger particles of
mineral and organic material that are present in all water. All that I have
ever seen are removeable - and replaceable - for cleaning and are generally
made of brass/bronze.
If you need that course of a filter, you should probably have a whole house
filter. Those deposits also help wear out seals and washers faster too.
When I first moved to this house, I had to replace them every 6 months. With
a filter, they've lasted over 20 years.
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