I had been taught that plumbing parts such as the aerator were to be hand-tightened only, but this one was on there so good I thought the skinflint* former owners had managed to buy a faucet where it wasn't removable. Then I noticed that there were flat sides on it indicating a place for a wrench to grab. Eureka!
|I also had a rag to protect the fixture from the wrench.|
I grabbed the channel lock wrench, a Pyrex dish, good old white vinegar, a toothbrush used for household cleaning. Later I added the probe; you'll see why.
|Oopsie! Apologies for the blurry shot, it's too late to take another. You can see the chunks of lime that fell out just from removing the aerator.|
How did water get through there at all?
And finally they were clean!
|I noticed those small bits on the edges of the gray piece as I was photographing, so picked them out with the probe real quick before reassembling.|
Finally, I put it all back together and gave it a test run.
Works like new!
*I know that wasn't a nice thing to write, but I'm getting more and more frustrated with having to live with, clean up, and/or fix their cheap shortcuts, some of them dangerous and/or illegal. Sigh.