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How to Clean a Bathroom Faucet Cartridge

A leaking faucet or poorly functioning handles may be caused by a buildup of sediment in the faucet cartridge. Here we show you how to remove the cartridge and clear away buildup so your faucet runs properly again.

Video Transcription

Hi, I'm Tom from Signature Hardware. If your bathroom sink faucet is leaking or the handles have stopped turning properly, it could be caused by a buildup of sediment and hard water deposits in the faucet cartridge.

In this video, we're going to show you how to clean the cartridge yourself, and get your faucet working smoothly again.
We’re going to need a couple of tools for the job; an open-ended wrench, maybe an Allen wrench, a screw driver, a plastic bowl, a bucket of clean water, a towel, and maybe even an extra set of hands.

First, you'll need to shut off the water supply valves located under your sink. Turn the valves clockwise to close them. Then, turn on both your hot and cold water taps to drain any excess water from the faucet.
Once that's done, turn the taps back to the “off” position.
At this point, it’s a good idea to close or block the drain. This will keep any small parts from falling into it. Arrange a towel behind the faucet to absorb any water.

Now we're going to remove the faucet handles.

Faucet handles can differ by model, but they're typically attached by a screw. If there's a decorative cap or button on the handle, you'll want to take that off first to get to the screw. If there's an escutcheon or other trim, remove that as well.
Now, loosen the cartridge assembly with your wrench and remove it. Your faucet cartridge may look different than the one we have here, but the steps for cleaning them are essentially the same.

If you have an extra pair of hands to help you, now would be a good time to put them to use. Place the plastic bowl upside down over the faucet hole to direct water spray towards the drain. Have your extra set of hands turn on the hot water supply under the sink while you hold the bowl. Let the water run for 3 or 4 seconds.
This will flush out any debris trapped in the faucet or in the water line. Once this is done, turn the hot water supply off, then repeat the process for the cold water.

Now we’re going to rinse out the cartridges, placing them individually in the bucket of clean water.
Open and close the cartridges by twisting the stem. You may have to place the handle back on temporarily to move them.

Now reinsert the cartridges and reassemble the handles. It’s important not to over-tighten the cartridge assembly. Stop when you feel resistance, otherwise you could damage the faucet.

If your faucet handles are working in reverse, you've probably placed the cartridges on the wrong sides. Simply take them back out and switch them.
Now reopen the supply valves under the sink and slowly turn on your taps. Check for any leaks and make sure the water runs smoothly.

If you have any questions, visit signaturehardware.com or call customer service at 1.866.855.2284.

Thanks for watching!