How To Stop Water From Splashing In The Sink


We’ve all had this happen at one point in time or another, where we are washing our dishes one minute, and the next it looks like we have soiled ourselves.

This can be really a really annoying thing to deal with, especially if you can’t afford to have a dishwasher in your home, which is a lot of people! They can be pricey.

So how do you stop water from splashing in the sink? You can prevent water from splashing in the sink by installing an aerator to reduce flow or by changing the configuration of your faucet and sink as a faucet that’s too large for a sink can cause unnecessary splashing.

The aerator is one of the most common and simplistic ways of fixing this issue, however it is not the only way.

This post will go over some of the different ways this splashing can come to a stop, as well as the different ways splashing is caused. Be sure to keep reading to learn more!

How An Aerator Stops Sink Splashes

As previously discussed, an aerator can be a quick, cheap and convenient way of preventing splashing from occurring.

An aerator is a fitting that can screw onto the end of your faucet with relative ease. This device acts as somewhat of a barrier to your water stream as it will have a metal screen internally.

These fittings range in price anywhere from 4$ for basic kind all the way up to 16$ for a bit of a fancier style.

The main purpose of these devices is actually to help reduce the pressure of water coming out of your faucet. I have a whole other article on how faucets can save water and money and if you would like to check it out, you can do so by clicking here.

Water flowing in a direct stream with an aerator installed

When your water flows out in a direct stream (without an aerator) there is a more concentrated pressure. This concentration is what causes the splashing to occur, as the pressure will be greater for any area it comes in contact with.

When an aerator is installed, the concentration gets dispersed out into many different droplets hitting many different spots at once. These droplets each individually will have less impact on the surfaces they come in contact with.

*Tip – An aerator that twists to change water flow is better for your tap than one that you have to pull up and down. If you have one that pulls up and down, make sure that each time you change the setting to hold on to the faucet with one hand, and adjust the aerator with the other. Just pulling down on the aerator will apply force to the entire tap adding unnecessary wear and tear.

Aerator set to spray

Because they are also broken up into smaller droplets, the amount of water-to-contact ratio is reduced, leaving less water to bounce.

An aerator can be purchased online or at your local hardware store. A great way to get the right size for your faucet is by unscrewing the piece at the end of the faucet (yes there is a piece that can screw off) and then taking that with you to the store.

This will allow you to compare sizes and see what will effectively fit with your tap. If you are still unsure, there’s always friendly people working that can help answer any of your questions.

If there is still splashing

If you have an aerator installed, and find that your water is still splashing you may have high water pressure flowing into your home.

My sink has an aerator installed, and when set to the spray setting, it still tends to splash a little bit.

There are a couple of different options for you if high water pressure is the case:

  • Get a pressure reducing valve – This valve can be installed after the water meter in your home, and will control your homes overall water pressure
  • Don’t open the tap fully – When you’re doing dishes or washing your hands, only open the faucet 1/2 way or 3/4 of the way. This will leave you with a lower flow for less splashing. This may be easier with a dual handle faucet, as the single handle ones can be more sensitive
  • Adjust the shut off valves – Here is an article I wrote on shut off valves. Simply adjusting the shutoffs below your sink to stay 1/4 of the way closed or 1/2 way closed can lower your the volume of water coming through

Other Reasons A Sink May Splash

In order for a sink to splash, there has to be a configuration in place that will enable this.

In some cases I have seen splashing occur simply because the wrong faucet was installed, the wrong sink or a combination of the two.

Shallow sink

This is an example where the sink is just too shallow to handle the pressure of water. When I used this sink to wash my hands, it caused splashing to occur all over the counter and floor.

Some sinks are simply designed way too shallow to be used properly, these are normally found in your bathroom. This style may exist as more of a decorative piece to have in your home.

The simple answer for this is that if there is less distance for the water to travel after it bounces to exit the sink, then you will be left with a mess.

Solution: A faucet that has a short spout design will keep water in a more direct path with the sinks drain. This will mean that there is less area for water to splash off of, and more water will flow directly down the drain.

Bowl sink

Commonly found in the bathroom, the bowl shaped sink paired with a faucet that’s too large will cause the water to pour out on to the curvature of the bowl as opposed to it’s low point.

Solution: Again, grabbing a faucet with a shorter spout, will allow the water to directly pour down the drain.

Top mount or under mount sink

This is the most common style of sink you’re going to find in a kitchen. This tends to be made from stainless steel and will usually have two sections.

As far as a sink being the sole culprit of a splash to occur, this will be the least likely. However you can still have a faucet that’s too large for this style of sink.

My sink measures at 7″ depth and 30 1/2″ wide. This is a pretty typical measurement for most sinks, but can differ by a few inches.

Larger faucet

There are faucets that are specifically designed to be paired with a larger sinks like the “farmhouse” or “apron sink” styles. These typically are the most expensive style of faucet you can find on the market, but will also be the fanciest and are usually shaped with a high arc.

I can definitely see how one would want this in their kitchen as a center piece, or to have something to one up your neighbor with, but installing it on the wrong style of sink can mean it will extend too far out, causing the flow of water to bounce off the front/interior side of the sink.

The area in between faucet and sink is also greater. When washing your hands, or washing vegetables, there is more room above the rim of the sink for these things to take place.

A taller faucet or one that has a high arc could also mean the flow of water has a greater distance to travel before it comes in contact with anything. This may just be enough to cause some splashing.

Some Ways To Help With Splashing

If you are unable to afford a new faucet or change around the configuration of your sink, and your aerator isn’t doing the job, there are still some things that you can do.

The first thing you can do is purchase a sink grid. These come in all different sizes, so it’s as simple as measuring the inside width/length of your sink and then buying the appropriate size to match.

Although this is not the grids intended purpose, the grid can help reduce splashing by dispersing the water as it hits.

This works great, because as opposed to hitting a flat surface where water tends to want to bounce back at you, when it hits the grid it will cause it to separate and splash laterally to other parts of your sink.

If you still think that splashing is inevitable, than you can purchase what’s called a splash guard. This is a cloth made of a soft material that you can drape over the edge of your sink.

This material will catch water and prevent it from pooling on your counter or dripping down onto the floor. There is also a cloth that is designed to fit over your faucet and handles, that will catch water that may splash in that direction.

Tyler Takacs

My name is Tyler, I live in Ontario Canada and enjoy learning about common plumbing issues in the household. I have spent just over three years in the trades as a plumbers apprentice, but am now onto a less physical job. I still enjoy studying and learning about my own house's plumbing as well as finding ways to help others with their issues.

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