How to Remove a Stuck Faucet Stem the Easy Way

One of the most common plumbing issues is a stuck faucet stem. It’s easy to access as well, so it’s something you should be aware of. In this blog post, I am going to teach you how to remove a stuck faucet stem with ease.

Sticks are usually caused by hard water build-up, where minerals from the water have been deposited on the stem and can no longer move freely behind it.

This build-up causes the tap to operate harder and harder until finally, there’s no way for water to flow effectively through the tap. To fix this, you need to remove all built-up deposits from behind the faucet stem using a screwdriver. After which, you should use a pipe cleaner or contact paper that has been slathered in white vinegar (to dissolve mineral deposits) to help clean off any gunk or remaining mineral deposits that are still on your faucet stems.

What Is a Faucet Stem?

A faucet stem is a metal rod that goes through the center of a faucet and connects it to your sink. These stems are usually made of brass, copper, or stainless steel. They come in different lengths and diameters depending on what kind of faucet you have.

Why Does the Faucet Stem Gets Stuck?

Faucet stems can get stuck for a variety of reasons. Some common causes are mineral deposits, debris buildup, and age. The key is to identify the cause of the stem being stuck and then fix the issue accordingly.

Tools Required to Loosen a Faucet Stem:

  1. Screwdriver
  2. Pipe cleaner / contact paper
  3. Pliers (channel locks, needle-nosed, vice grips)faucet stem removal tool)
  4. Lubricant like WD40
  5. ½ inch screw extractor, which is essentially an over-sized socket wrench that can be used on stuck fasteners.

Steps to Loosen a Stuck Faucet Stem:

How to remove a stuck cartridge or stem from any brand faucet! | Trade Tips N Tricks

1. Turn off the water to your faucet by turning the handle all the way to the right or left. You can also turn it off at the point where you see a little red screw (sometimes called a shut-off knob).

2. Unscrew the faucet stem from the sink by twisting it counterclockwise, and remove if necessary. It may be easier if you push down on the side of the sink while unscrewing so that it doesn’t fall out of place.

3. If there is any mineral deposit still on your faucet stem’s threads, wipe that down with contact paper or a pipe cleaner dipped in white vinegar.

4. Screw back in your new faucet stem, making sure not to overtighten it; tighten just enough for it to stay put without moving when you twist it clockwise and make sure that nothing is lodged behind the stem before turning your water back on.


To remove a faucet stem, you need to first understand how it works.

Once you understand how the faucet stem works, taking care of it is easy.

You will need to use a pipe cleaner or contact paper and white vinegar to clean the area and loosen the faucet stem. Then, you will need to use a wrench or a pair of pliers to remove the stem from the faucet.

Now that your faucet stem is removed, it’s time to get rid of any leftover residue in your sink.


Can you use WD-40 on the faucet?

WD-40 is a commonly used lubricant that works great on many things, but it can be very harmful to faucets. WD-40 is an oil base product so it will attract water and make the faucet rot. If you need to use WD-40, I recommend using the WD-40 Penetrating Oil.

How do you loosen the nut under the sink faucet?

Start by using a pipe wrench or a pair of pliers to loosen the nut from the underside of the sink.

How do you loosen stuck plumbing fittings?

For plumbing fittings that are stuck, use a pipe wrench or a pair of pliers to loosen the fitting.

How do you remove the washer on a faucet?

The washer on your faucet is part of the handle assembly and is used to keep the water pressure up when turning the faucet handle. To remove the washer, use a pipe wrench or a pair of pliers to loosen the nut from the underside of the sink.

How do you remove a plastic faucet stem?

To remove a plastic faucet stem, use a pipe wrench or a pair of pliers to loosen the nut from the underside of the sink.