How To Remove A Stuck Faucet Handle

How to Remove a Stuck Faucet Handle?

Whenever someone tried to remove or change the faucet’s valve, it normally failed due to the faucet handle’s stuckness. To remove the stuck faucet handle, you need to understand the step by step method or procedure to follow to get the faucet handle off.

I researched and applied different methods to remove stuck faucet handle to make this process even easier for you for your ease and convenience. I select only the three best methods for you to remove the stuck faucet handle from many methods. So let’s get started with these three methods;

How To Remove A Stuck Faucet Handle( 3 Amazing Methods To Follow)

In this guide, I am going to give you a complete strategy to follow in order to get stuck faucet handle off. So here I will discuss three methods of removing stuck faucet handle, and you can follow any one of these three methods to get your stuck faucet handle off.

How To Remove A Stuck Faucet Handle

Tools or Materials required to remove stuck faucet handle:

  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Flat-head ScrewDriver
  • Hammer
  • Penetrating Oil
  • Dry Rag
  • Vinegar or Scale Dissolver
  • Small Stiff-bristle Brush

Shut off the sink water supply:

Before starting the procedure to remove the stuck faucet handle, you should have to shut off the sink water supply in case if you don’t shut off the supply, you may face a flood in the sink area, and after that, you can’t continue the method of removing stuck faucet handle.


  • Remove mineral deposits
  • Remove corrosion and rust
  • Use oil and apply force

Method 1

Remove Mineral deposits:

Before jumping into the practical guide, you need to understand what are actually mineral deposits? How they produce and affect the faucet handle.

What are mineral deposits?

Mineral deposits have some types like scale, lime deposits, which usually occur if your faucet is many years old or the water of your area is hard. You don’t use filters to make water pure and safe. The presence of such water can make the handle stuck.

But maybe it will be surprising for you that even those faucet handles which are made of rust and corrosion-free material like stainless steel faucets can also stick. Every type of deposit has a different color, like scale has a light brown color and lime has a bright green color.

The buildup of these mineral deposits can be removed easily and effortlessly, so you don’t need to buy a new faucet just because of this issue. Follow these simple steps to remove mineral deposits;

Step 1:

Use a flat-head screwdriver to pry off the handle cap so that you easily find the valve located within the handle.

Step 2:

Now it’s time to remove deposits using white vinegar. Take some white vinegar and mix it with water but make sure you don’t dilute white vinegar with water. Start pouring the mixture (white vinegar and water) on the valve and handle base. If it drips on the sink and other areas, you can use a towel to cover those areas if you want.

Because I don’t think it will be harmful or dangerous for those areas’ surface, but still, you can cover them to build your trust. You can also use a spray bottle to make this process less messy and apply vinegar on the handle and the faucet base.

Step 3:

After applying vinegar, wait for 30-minutes or 1-hour so that the acid in the vinegar breaks down the mineral deposits. Now start loosening the handle if not able to lose, give it some more hours and reply the same procedure if not successful, follow the next method.

Note: you can also use a scale dissolver with the vinegar or just a store-bought scale dissolver instead of vinegar.

Method 2:

Remove corrosion and rust:

The material of the handle can be the reason for corrosion if it is metal. And if the other parts or material of the faucet are made of low-grade stainless steel or aluminum, this is another reason for corrosion and rust. If the hard water is also not an issue and the water is filtered, then corrosion is definitely the reason.

Step 1:

Use a flat-head screwdriver to take off the cap and then unscrew the nut under the cap to get the valve completely uncovered.

Step 2:

If the color of the valve is brownish-red, then definitely it has rust. Take the small stiff bristle brush and clean the area under the cap and especially the valve as best as you can clean. Reach down to the valve area with the digging and brushing option as much as you can to get better results.

Wipe off the brush with a dry rag because the idea is to clean the area as much as possible to get the required results. This will clean all the rust, and you would be able to do the next step.

Step 3:

If not successful, pull off the handle, use a dry rag to hold the handle better, and try to remove it. If it doesn’t seem to work, don’t worry; I have another method for you to follow.

Method 3:

You may also like to read how to tighten kitchen faucet nut under the sink.

Use Oil and Apply Force:

If still not successful, then here is the last but not the least method to remove the stuck faucet handle.  Even though you have cleaned the area and there is no rust, the corrosion in the handle’s inner parts where you cannot reach the brush still exists.

Now it is the only cause of the handle sticking. Don’t worry; follow this method and get ready to use elbow grease to remove the stuck faucet handle.

Step 1:

The first step is the same as explained in the 1st and 2nd method but if you are following this method instead of those two, then remove the handle cap with a flat head screwdriver. Then remove the screw under the cap to get full access to the valve.

Step 2:

Take penetrating oil and apply it inside the valve and around the base of the handle. You can also use a spray bottle for this task. Wait for at least 30-minutes and get the oil to penetrate the inner parts of the handle.

Step 3:

After that, wrap a dry rag on the handle and try to turn it clockwise. If not successful yet, use a hammer to tap the handle clockwise or to the left side of the handle to turn it. Tap the handle with the hammer carefully and slowly, and make sure not to tap the hammer on other parts of the sink or handle.

What if all three methods do not work?

Ok, no worries if all those methods have not worked for you. Here is the method for you which will definitely work, but you should be more careful in applying it. As you have applied oil now, it’s time to use a basin wrench or needle-nose pliers to remove the stuck faucet handle.

Basin Wrench:

If you are using a basin wrench, take a small piece of cloth or towel and cover the handle. After that, tighten the basin wrench on the covered handle with a towel and move a wrench gently clockwise. When the handle turns, remove the wrench and turn the handle clockwise with your hands.

Needle Nose Pliers:

You can also use needle-nose pliers to remove the stuck faucet handle. Adjust the needle nose plier on the covered handle with a towel or cloth. And move it clockwise to remove the stuck faucet handle. After one or two turns, remove the needle nose plier and remove the faucet handle with your hand, and get the handle off.

Things to focus on while removing a stuck faucet handle:

  • Try to turn the handle off clockwise or in the direction in which you turn on the water.
  • While using a wrench or hammer, turn or tap the handle gently.
  • Use oil and white vinegar generously.

Things to avoid:

  • Don’t turn the handle in the opposite direction.
  • Don’t apply too much force while using a hammer.


I have discussed the above three methods to remove stuck faucet handles. All of those methods are proven and will definitely work for you. Remove mineral deposits, remove corrosion and rust and apply oil and use force to remove faucet handle are popular and most result-oriented three methods.

Gathered all the tools you required for the method you will follow before starting the procedure to get your job done effortlessly.