Loosen A Stuck Outside Water Faucet With These 5 Tricks


Are you struggling to turn a stuck outside water faucet? Then there are 5 simple ways for you to work it free coming up in this article!

Here are 5 tricks to help you loosen a stuck outside water faucet

  1. Turn it with a wrench
  2. Heat it with a hairdryer
  3. Brush it with a wire brush
  4. Cover it with plumber’s grease
  5. Soak it with vinegar

As you can see, it’s super simple to loosen a stuck water faucet. Are you ready for some more detailed instructions to get your faucet turning again? Then make sure you check out the extended tips and tricks below!

Rusty faucet
Loosen your stuck water faucet easily by following the tips below!

Loosening A Stuck Water Faucet

You shouldn’t have to throw your back out or turn your hands red raw just to get your backyard faucet open. Loosening a stuck water faucet is a quick and easy job.

Here is a list of all the tools you will need to get your faucet functioning again.

You Will Need

  • Wrench
  • Hairdryer
  • Wire brush
  • Old rag
  • Plumber’s grease
  • White vinegar
  • Bicarbonate of soda (optional)

Step 1: Turn It With a Wrench

Are you finding it tricky to turn your faucet with your hands? Then why not use a wrench to do the turning for you? Here’s what you can do.

  1. Wrap a wrench around the faucet’s nut and hold it securely in place. (Always do this step with working gloves on to give yourself an even tighter grip!)
  2. Turn the wrench anticlockwise

Did using a wrench give you the extra power you needed to turn the faucet? Then fantastic! You can take a break here then get back to watering the yard! But what if your faucet still won’t turn, even with a wrench? Then try moving on to the next trick.

Turning tap with a wrench
Using a wrench makes turning the faucet much easier and gives a better grip

Step 2: Heat It With a Hairdryer

Now, I know what you’re thinking. A hairdryer? To loosen a faucet? But hang on, there’s a method to our madness!

If your faucet won’t turn, that is usually due to a build-up of corrosion. The corrosion is due to the faucet’s everyday exposure to moisture in the air. This causes layers of rust to settle on the faucet over time. Before you know it, you feel like you can’t turn the faucet without pulling the whole fixture out of the ground!

So what do you need to do? To fix this problem, you must loosen the rust and break down the corrosion. That’s where our friend the hairdryer comes to play. Enter stage left, hairdryer.

The hairdryer will heat the faucet, causing the metal to swell. This can loosen it’s grip on the pipe, allowing you to turn it.

Here’s what you can do to use your hairdryer to help turn your faucet.

  1. Turn on your hairdryer
  2. Blow the heat of the hairdryer over the corroded part of the faucet. Try not to go overboard with a heat lamp or anything, as you could end up degrading plastic parts.
  3. Turn the hairdryer off. Before the faucet cools down, try to turn the faucet with a wrench.

Step 3: Brush It With a Wire Brush

Some of the corrosion around your faucet may not be as deeply ingrained as you think it is. In this step, we’ll show you what to do to loosen some of it up.

Have you tried heating the faucet with a hairdryer? Then a wire brush should help you to remove some of the corrosion that has now loosened up around the faucet. Once you’ve removed the excess corrosion, it should be easier for you to turn the faucet.

Here’s everything you need to do at this stage.

  1. Brush around the faucet using a wire brush
  2. Wipe around the faucet using an old rag
  3. Try to turn the faucet again using the wrench

Step 4: Cover It With Plumber’s Grease

Have you tried heating your faucet with a hairdryer and turning it with a wrench but it still won’t budge? Then that is one stubborn faucet! But, don’t despair. There are still a few things you can do to get your faucet back in working order.

One of them is to use plumber’s grease. The grease should work as a penetrating oil that will force the corrosion off of the faucet. This should make it easier for you to turn it.

Here’s how to use plumber’s grease to loosen your faucet. 

  1. Apply plumber’s grease around the faucet. Leave it to sit on the faucet for a couple of hours.
  2. Scrape the corrosion away from the faucet using the wire brush and an old rag
  3. Try to turn the faucet using a wrench
  4. Reapply the grease if necessary, repeating steps 1 and 2

Step 5: Soak It With Vinegar

White vinegar is an excellent, natural cleaner. It is great at working at corrosion. So, if you are still having problems with your faucet, this is the step for you. We’ve left this step until last. This is because it’s best if you leave the vinegar soaking on the faucet overnight for optimum results.

Pro tip: While vinegar is great, if you want a professional-grade solution this penetrating oil is trusted by a great deal of plumbers.

Here are all the instructions you will need.

  1. Soak a rag in white vinegar
  2. Wrap the wet rag around the corroded part of the faucet then leave it overnight
  3. The next day, scrub the faucet with a wire brush and wipe the corrosion away
  4. Turn the faucet with a wrench

If your faucet is very stubborn, you can even try adding bicarbonate of soda to your vinegar solution. The bicarbonate of soda will eat away at any corrosion. Thanks to the superpowers from both natural ingredients, the corrosion should leap off of the faucet. It will sparkle!

Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Add two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda to every 500ml of white vinegar you use to wet your cloth.
  2. Dip your rag in the solution
  3. Wrap the wet rag around the corroded part of the faucet then leave it overnight
  4. The next day, scrub the faucet with a wire brush or a sponge and wipe the corrosion away
  5. Turn the faucet with a wrench
Natural cleaners
Natural cleaners like vinegar are great at working at corrosion

How to Prevent Your Faucet From Getting Stuck Again

Getting the hairdryer out and soaking the faucet overnight with vinegar is probably something you’re not keen to do often. So what can you do to save yourself the hassle of constantly having to loosen a stuck faucet?

There are a couple of reasons why your faucet may get stuck more frequently. Here are some of them.

  • You live in a hard water area and the faucet leaks. This causes limescale to build up over the faucet.
  • You live in a humid area. The water in the atmosphere settles on your faucet causing corrosion.
  • Your faucet is old.

So what can you do to keep your faucet turning properly for as long as possible? Here are a couple of things you can do.

  1. Clean the inside of the faucet valve with vinegar. You can do so by soaking a rag in vinegar and resting it over the valve overnight. Then use a wire brush to push any deposits away from the valve. The cleaner your faucet, the easier it will be to turn.
  2. Apply plumber’s grease to the threads in the faucet. This will help to keep the faucet moving smoothly.
  3. Replace the cartridge in the faucet. Periodically replacing it will help to keep the faucet in tip-top condition. 
  4. Cover your faucet. Covering it while you’re not using it could keep it sheltered from the rain and moisture in the air. This will help to slow down the corrosion on your faucet.
  5. Fix any leaks in your faucet. This will prevent limescale.

Consider A Water Softener

As we’ve covered, homes with hard water can often end up with the issues covered in this article. Installing a water softener can help avoid this issue altogether (not to mention the other benefits that come with water softeners!).


Is the atmosphere humid where you live? Then you may find that you are constantly having to battle with a corroded faucet that just won’t budge. I’m sure this article has shown you some of the best ways for you to quickly get yours loose again that won’t rip your hands to shreds.

Has this article been helpful to you? Then make sure you check out some of the other articles and free guides on our website!

Have a great day!


Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more