How to Remove a Sink Faucet Handle: A Step-by-Step Guide

So, you’ve noticed that your sink faucet handle is wobbly, leaking, or just in need of a replacement. Don’t worry; you don’t have to be a plumbing expert to tackle this task. Removing a sink faucet handle can be a straightforward DIY project with the right guidance. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process step by step.

Gather Your Tools and Materials

Before you start, it’s a good idea to gather the necessary tools and materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Adjustable wrench: You’ll use this to loosen the faucet handle.
  2. Screwdriver: A Phillips-head or flat-head screwdriver, depending on the type of screw securing the handle.
  3. Penetrating oil: In case the handle is stuck due to corrosion.
  4. Towel or rag: To protect your sink and catch any water that may drip.

Turn Off the Water Supply

Safety first! Before you begin, turn off the water supply to your sink. Look under the sink for the shut-off valves and turn them clockwise to shut off the water. This will prevent any unexpected water flow while you’re working.

Expose the Screw

  1. Pry off the decorative cap: Many sink faucet handles have a decorative cap covering the screw. Use a flat-head screwdriver or your fingernail to gently pop off this cap.
  2. Locate the screw: Once the cap is removed, you should see a screw holding the handle in place. If you can’t see the screw immediately, it may be hidden beneath the handle’s base. In this case, you may need to remove a decorative plate or cover to access the screw.

Loosen and Remove the Screw

Using the appropriate screwdriver (Phillips-head or flat-head), carefully loosen and remove the screw. Turn it counterclockwise to do so. Be sure to keep the screw in a safe place—you’ll need it later to reassemble the faucet handle.

Wiggle and Remove the Handle

With the screw removed, you can now take hold of the faucet handle and gently wiggle it back and forth. If it doesn’t come off easily, don’t force it. It may be stuck due to mineral buildup or corrosion. In such cases, you can apply some penetrating oil around the base of the handle and let it sit for a while to loosen things up.

Once the handle is free, carefully lift it away from the faucet. Be prepared for a little bit of water to drip out, so keep your towel or rag handy to catch any spills.


If you encounter any difficulties during the process, here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Stuck handle: If the handle won’t budge, use more penetrating oil and wait a bit longer. Gentle tapping with a rubber mallet can also help loosen it.
  • Rust and corrosion: If you notice rust or corrosion on the handle or valve stem, you may need to clean or replace these parts. It’s a good opportunity to inspect the internals of your faucet for any further issues.


Removing a sink faucet handle doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right tools and a bit of patience, you can easily take care of this common plumbing issue. Remember to turn off the water supply before you start, be gentle with the handle, and keep track of all the small parts. Soon enough, your sink faucet will be ready for a new handle or any necessary repairs, and you’ll have the satisfaction of a job well done!