An aerator screws onto the end of a faucet. It mixes water and air for a smooth flow and minimizes splashing. Tiny particles caught in an aerator's screens reduce the water flow. The solution usually is simple: Unscrew and take apart the aerator, flush the particles out of the screens, reassemble and screw the aerator back on.
If aerators clog regularly your water system may be at fault. If your home has old galvanized steel pipes, particles are probably flaking off the inside of the pipes and may need to be flushed. If your home has copper supply pipes, the problem may be that the water delivered by the utility company is impure; try installing a water filter.
If water flows slowly into a washing machine, shut off the stop valves and unscrew the hoses. You'll find a screen at the end of the hose; if it is blocked with particles, clean it out.
Just a few minutes to clean out an aerator or showerhead. If mineral deposits are severe, soak the parts overnight.
Groove-joint pliers, adjustable wrench, screwdriver, old toothbrush, straight pin
No special skills needed
Cover the sink or shower drain so small parts can't slip down
Vinegar, lime-deposit cleaner
Disassemble the aerator with your fingers or use a small screwdriver. Note how the pieces go together. If the aerator is damaged, buy a replacement. Clean the screens with a toothbrush and pin, then rinse them off. If the minerals are caked on, soak them in vinegar overnight and clean again.