How to Remove a Stuck Faucet Handle

Imagine going to your kitchen to wash your cheese nacho smelling hands just to find yourself facing the resistance of the worst kind. A stuck faucet handle that won’t budge. 

That too, after you’ve been watching in awe as the millionaire in the movie used the best touch on kitchen faucet in his kitchen. The frustration you’ll be going through could entice you to use force but that could be one of the worst approaches to this situation. So, you better stay calm and follow our step by step guide to get out of this sticky (read stuck-y) situation.

Reasons For The Problem

The handle could be stuck due to various reasons, two major being:

  • Corrosion, leading to the fusion of the mating parts 
  • Over time accumulation of minerals

Requirements for the Operation

Here are the things that you might need for freeing the stuck handle

  • Screwdrivers (Philips and slot variety)
  • Lubricating lube or penetrating oil
  • Vinegar or acetone
  • Wooden piece
  • A cloth
  • Faucet Handle Puller

If you’re lucky, you won’t even have to get anything other than the screwdrivers!

Process of Removing a Stuck Handle

Here is the step by step process that will help you to get rid of the problem once and for all

Unscrew the screws

To take off the faucet handle, locate the screws and remove them with a Philips screwdriver. If the screws don’t come off easily, use a lubricating lube or penetrating oil (WD-40 being the preferred one). This should loosen then up in a few minutes.

Remove the handle

Now that the screws are off, remove the handle by lifting it. If the handle is fixed, insert a few drops of lubricants in the space beneath the handle. If a lubricant doesn’t work, drench the faucet in vinegar and let it stay for 20-30 minutes for the vinegar to show its effect. Commercial chemicals like acetone can also be used.

If this doesn’t loosen it, time to bring the big guns!

  1. Use a hammer to put light pressure from various angles. This could break up the scales that are providing excess friction. Cover up the kitchen faucet with a cloth before you hit it to prevent any scratches or dents.
  2. Using a wooden piece as fulcrum, wedge a slot screwdriver under the handle and PIVOT!
  3. If the previous steps didn’t work, your frustration levels must be sky-high by now. The good part is that you are in no way alone in this. The problem is so common that a specific equipment  ‘Faucet Handle Puller’ was created just for the purpose. Buy that and it should remove your kitchen faucet for sure.


  • Handles aren’t usually built to be very sturdy, so be careful with your hammer blows.
  • Block the drain so that you don’t lose the screws by mistake 

Final Words

So, till the time you don’t trade up for a touch on or pot filler faucet, this should be your way to keep things turning!

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