A kitchen sink with a new spring neck faucet.
Nat Rea

With the right tools and tips, removing a kitchen faucet doesn’t have to be a complicated task. Whether you’re replacing your faucet or repurposing it on a new sink, this step-by-step guide will explain just how to do it.

If you’ve never removed a kitchen faucet before, don’t let all the hidden hardware throw you for a loop. Sure, the cabinet is dark, and the fixtures might be tough to reach, but this job is definitely something a DIYer can tackle. All you need is a little knowledge and the right tools.

Tools Required to Remove a Kitchen Faucet

● Penetrating oil

● Headlamp

● 6” Adjustable wrench

● Tongue and groove pliers

● Basin wrench

● Safety glasses

● White vinegar

● Towel or rag

How to Remove a Kitchen Faucet

Removing a kitchen faucet isn’t as complicated as it might seem. The following steps will guide you through the process. Wearing your safety glasses will ensure that you’re protecting your eyes from falling gunk and buildup, while your headlamp will allow you to see what you’re doing under the cabinet.

Step 1: Spray with penetrating oil

Sweaty pipes and high humidity levels inside a cabinet have a way of making things stick. With your safety glasses on, you’ll want to spray penetrating oil in a few areas:

● Both ends of the supply lines (at the shut-off valves and at the faucet)

● Both ends of the sprayer hose

● The large nuts holding the faucet to the sink

Step 2: Turn off water

Before you can remove a kitchen faucet, you have to shut off the water supply. Turn on the water at the faucet so that both hot and cold water are running. Reach into the cabinet underneath and turn the shut-off valve clockwise until it’s shut. You’ll know it’s shut when the water stops running within a few seconds of the valve being shut. In the event that your system has two shut-off valves, both will have to be turned off. If the valve is shut off and the water doesn’t stop running, you’ll have to shut off the water supply to the house and replace the shut-off valve under the sink

Step 3: Remove supply lines

In order to remove the faucet, you’ll have to disconnect it from the water shut-off valves. Unless these hoses are fairly new, you’ll probably want to replace them anyway. Using your 6-inch adjustable wrench, twist the brass nuts counterclockwise to remove them from the valve.

If the shut-off valves or pipes are older, it’s often a good idea to support the valve with your hand or a pair of tongue-and-groove pliers. This will prevent you from placing too much torque on weaker pipes. Also, if the braided hoses are twisting and preventing you from removing the brass nuts, you can grip the hose with the pliers while you twist the nut with the wrench.

You don’t have to disconnect the supply lines from the faucet to remove it, but it can make the job much easier. The procedure is much the same, but you might need to use the basin wrench to reach the brass nuts behind the sink.

Step 4: Disconnect the sprayer

If your kitchen faucet has a spray attachment, you’ll have to disconnect it as well. The hoses typically have quick-connect fittings that snap onto a fitting under the faucet. Simply pinch the hose fitting until it comes loose from the faucet.

Step 5: Remove kitchen faucet mounting nuts

With the sprayer hose and supply lines out of your way, you’ll have unimpeded access to the large, flat mounting nuts that hold the faucet to the sink. These nuts are often plastic and easy enough to remove by hand by twisting them counterclockwise. If not, hook the basin wrench around the nut and twist it counterclockwise until they’re loose enough to remove by hand.

You can repeat this process for the sprayer attachment. If the base continues to spin, try gripping it with your free hand, but you might have to hold it in place with your tongue-and-groove pliers.

Step 6: Pull faucet and sprayer up and out

With the mounting hardware all removed, you’re free to remove your faucet. If it’s been in place for a few years, it might feel slightly stuck, but a little wiggle should remove it without issue. You’ll probably also notice a plastic base left behind. This base fits underneath the faucet, and it’s specific to that particular model, so you’ll want to save it if you’re reusing your faucet.

Step 7: Remove kitchen faucet residue

Repeated use over time invariably leaves some gunk and goo behind when you remove the faucet. Most wipe right off, but a bit of vinegar on a rag will usually take care of the more stubborn buildup. If there are hard water stains, soak the rag in vinegar and leave it on top of the stain for ten minutes before wiping it away. Repeat this procedure until the stain is gone.

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