How to Clean a Pull Down Kitchen Faucet Spray Head? (Easy Hacks)

Having enough knowledge on how to handle a few small repairs at your home is a great way to help you in saving a lot of money. It can also be a great means of adding a new skill to the list of skills that you already possess. One such simple skill that can be learned and find how to clean a pull-down kitchen faucet spray head. It is much easy, yet it needs a little more understanding.

Quick Answer

The best way to clean a clogged pull-down kitchen faucet spray head is to fill up a bag with equal parts of water and white vinegar, submerge the spray head and secure it with a zip tie or any other means. By the next morning, your spray head should be free from any gunk.

pull down kitchen faucet spray issue

Causes for Blockage in Faucet Spray Head

The most common cause of the blockage in the faucet spray head is due to the mineral deposits or calcium deposits inside the aerator. It may also have gunk in the inlet screen or the backflow preventer. Clogs can also occur if you live in an area that receives hard water. Hardness in the water is caused by the presence of minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the water, which cause the deposits such as limescale. 

If your home receives hard water, it may be necessary to check out the aerator and other accessories for any signs of clogging. If you have an overhead tank, you may also need to check if it needs cleaning. 

Why Do Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet Spray Heads Need to be Cleaned?

The pull-down kitchen faucet spray heads have been known to be the best choice among homeowners because of the unique facility and functionality that they offer you. It provides you access to the unique functionality of a regular faucet along with the best sprayer capability. The spray head can get quite dirty over a period of time and can get clogged. 

I was facing multiple occasions of these clogging issues and was annoyed a lot. That made me look for suggestions and tips on why it needs a proper cleaning. My research finally landed me into several resources that assisted me in understanding why spray heads need proper cleaning.

If you find the spray head is not able to spray out the water properly, it can be due to the hard water deposit, and calcium buildup inside the faucet or spray head. The deposits can take place in within your aerator, outflow preventer, or intake screen.

Why do faucet spray heads require cleaning? Here are a few reasons that we found practical:

  • Maintain the look of the spray head: The faucet is likely to go dirty over time. The collection of grease, gunk, and grime can make it look messy. Cleaning it with the best cleaning agents, such as vinegar, can be helpful in improving the looks of the faucet heads. 
  • Helps tighten the loose fittings: Yet another benefit of the cleaning of faucet heads is it lets you tighten the loose fittings and make them stay fit for longer 
  • Aids in disinfecting the kitchen tap: Cleaning the faucet can be useful in letting you disinfect the tap.

Things Required to Clean Faucet Spray Head

For cleaning the faucet spray head, you need to focus on the basic tools and equipment. Check your toolbox and make sure that you have the requisite tools available. 

Faucet Aerator removal
Photo Source: strongltd.com.

The tools needed for cleaning a pull-down kitchen faucet spray head would include 

  • Pliers d fix the 
  • An adjustable wrench 
  • White vinegar 
  • A sponge or brush 
  • Screwdriver with the flathead. 
  • A flashlight

How Do You Remove The Spray Head From the Pull Down Faucet?

As i stated before, my home plumbing faced the issue of clogging on the spray head on several occasions. I was very much annoyed as my family members kept asking me to get a good plumber and fix the issues once and for all. But, someone who know a little bit of water technology, I knew a plumber may not be able to fix this issue right away. I went into research mode and decided to try a few DIY techniques to fix the problem. Having tasted success with these fixes, I thought it apt to share these fixes with you so that it would be helpful for you as well.

Before removing the spray head or the aerators, you need to determine the blockage and its exact position inside the faucet. The accumulation of hard water can be observed in the outer walls of the aerator and in the spray head. 

Removing the spray head from the pull-down faucet can be quite simple and easy. It should be one of the simple and easy-to-use option and involves a few easy-to-pick DIY options. 

Follow the steps here to clean the pull-down kitchen faucet spray head: 

Clean the Aerator 

The aerator is the little screen that is used for pumping the air into water and converts the stream into small streamlets that you would witness in a traditional kitchen faucet. The exact placement of the aerator is largely based on the design of your faucet spray head. 

In most cases, the aerator is mounted on the hose of the spray nozzle, where the hose connects to the spray head. Some manufacturers may decide to include it outside the hose or spray head. 

Remove the aerator from the base of the spray head. Make sure that you have secured the host with a clothespin or a clamp. Once that is done, detach the spray head from the hand. Use a screwdriver to remove the aerator from the hose connector or the spray had, as the case may be. 

To clean the aerator, place the aerator under the stream of water. You can use a sponge to remove the dirt from the aerator. That should be enough for cleaning the spray head in most cases. 

Deep Clean the Spray Head 

The next step if required is, to deep clean the spray head. If the spray head has been in the use for a longer time, it might have developed the mineral deposits that might have collected themselves in the spray face and the internal parts. The backflow preventer can be one of the areas that would need urgent attention. 

The best option to use would be to use distilled white vinegar. Take enough vinegar in a bowl that needs to be able to submerge the spray head. It would be advisable to soak the entire spray head, including the aerator, for several hours together. It may be a good idea to check out the option for soaking it overnight. 

Once removed from the vinegar, rinse it under clean water. Once done, reattach it to the faucet, and you should be able to get a decent flow from your pull-down kitchen faucet spray head. 

Can You Clean the Spray Head Without Removing It?

A spray head may not come out until the faucet is completely removed. If you do not want to remove the faucet entirely, there are ways that you can employ to clean the aerator without the need to remove it. 

You will need a bag that can cover the spray head, a rubber band or zip tie, and vinegar. Add around a quarter to half cup of vinegar to the bag. Place the spray head in the vinegar until it is completely submerged in vinegar. Secure it with a rubber band or zip tie. Leave it overnight and remove the bag the next day. That should do it, and your aerator and spray head to be sparkling clean. 

The Best Cleaners to Use to Clean Pull Down Kitchen Faucet Spray Head

Having understood the basic steps and tools needed to clean the pull-down kitchen faucet spray head, let us check out the best options for the perfect cleaners that can be used for cleaning the pull-down faucets. 

White vinegar

White vinegar is one of the excellent options for helping you in how to deal with the dirty kitchen faucet spray head. It has been regarded as the best cleaning solution that can be helpful in removing hard water deposits, stains, and rust. White vinegar is also known to have antibacterial properties. 

You would need nothing else than water, white vinegar, a smooth brush or sponge, and a soft towel. 

Baking Soda and Dishwashing Soap

The combination of Baking Soda and Dishwashing Soap can be yet another excellent option to help you in cleaning up the spray head more easily. Baking soda is your one-stop pick for helping you clean stains and dirt. The cleaner is also known to help you in removing unwanted odors. The best options used for softening the hard water have been yet another plus point that you would find much more interesting. 

You would need baking soda, a brush, water, dishwashing liquid,  toothpicks, water, a bowl, and a soft cloth for cleaning the faucet spray head. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you soak a faucet head in vinegar?

As long as the material used in the manufacturing of the faucet head can withstand the vinegar and its acidic nature, you can definitely use it for cleaning the spray head. Submerge the faucet head in the vinegar overnight, and you should be able to get the best possible experience in cleaning your faucet. 

How do you remove calcium buildup from the faucet sprayer?

The best option to help you in removing the build-up of calcium from the faucet sprayer can is to use a combination of White Vinegar, Baking Soda & Lemon. You can even use a toothbrush to clean the hard-to-reach areas.

The Parting Thoughts

Cleaning the pull-down kitchen faucet spray head can be a tough task if you are not aware of how to handle the task comfortably. However, the tips outlined in the above discussion should help you arrive at the best picks and tricks in cleaning the pull-down kitchen faucet spray head.

About the author

Atish Ranjan

Atish Ranjan is the founder of WaterBrower. The water-related problems faced by him in his childhood led him to take this kind initiative to help many others who might be facing similar problems. He has been into research and water testing wherein he has found great water treatment solutions in different regions of the world. This blog is about everything that he has learnt during this study. Hope it helps many:)

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