Friday, September 20, 2013

A Scary Finding In the Kitchen

Today's post is not pretty.  We are going to cover a topic that is most important and one that, until now, I had never really given much thought.  We are going to talk about the kitchen sink faucet.  Imagine my horror recently when I examined my kitchen faucet and found this.

And another shot.

None of us wants to think that we have been cooking with water that came through this.  Or filling up the kitty or doggy water bowl.  Or even just having what we expected to be a cool glass of refreshing water after working in the garden.  But that could be the case in your very own kitchen.  It was in mine.

Needless to say, I got to work cleaning this right away.

The first thing to do was to remove the aerator.  You will see above that it is missing and the spring in the center of the faucet is exposed.

I gave the aerator and the connecting ring a thorough cleaning using CLR.  While they were drying, I used the same CLR on the black rubber part of the faucet which is the sprayer.  I do not have a separate sprayer attachment on my kitchen sink.  The faucet on the sink serves double-duty.  You simply switch back and forth between a regular stream of water to a spray by pushing a choice of one of two grey, rubber covered buttons (you will see more about that later in this post.)  I am thinking of replacing the aerator, even though I cleaned it.  That is a quick trip to a hardware store or the hardware aisle of your local big box home improvement center.

Here you see I have secured the clean aerator back into the center of the faucet.  Additional scrubbing of the black rubber sprayer ring succeeded in removing all the slimy mold and built-up calcification.

Finally, I put it all back together.  You see here the grey buttons on top of the faucet I spoke of earlier which decide how the water will exit the faucet.  The button in the center of the faucet head directs the water as a spray which is very helpful when rinsing dishes to remove food before placing them in the dishwasher.  The smaller grey button further down the handle directs the water to exit as a stream.

After I finished cleaning the faucet I felt compelled to clean the entire kitchen sink.  I even cleaned the silver ring around the rubber insert in the garbage disposal.  I used bamboo skewers which you would ordinarily use for kabobs on the grill to clean all the intricate places on the garbage disposal connecting ring.  I use Brillo brand steel wool pads to clean this stainless steel sink.  It always brings back a beautiful shine.  Be sure to check in the paperwork that came with your sink or your contractor before using steel wood soap pads on your sink.  It may not be advisable to use them on your particular brand.

As we all know, there are many, many brands and types of kitchen faucets on the market.  And we do not all have the same type.  But I would encourage you, no matter what type of faucet you may have, to give it a look and see if some cleaning and maintenance is due.  I know I will be doing that more often.
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