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Toe Touch Drain Stopper Won’t Unscrew: Reasons And How To Fix?

Toe Touch Drain Stopper Won’t Unscrew: Reasons And How To Fix?

If your toe touch drain stopper starts to leak or does not work properly, you might need to unscrew the drain stopper to replace its spring or install a new one.

But what would you do if your toe touch drain stopper won’t unscrew?

Problems with unscrewing the toe touch drain stopper are common and require some fixing techniques. If you have experienced the same problem, this article could be your one-stop solution.

Brief Overview: Toe Touch Drain Stopper

stuck toe touch drain stopper

The main duty of a drain stopper is to hold the water and clear it out when needed. There are different kinds of drain stoppers.

Among them, toe touch, push and pull, lift and turn, trip lever, pop up, and flip it are the most common.

Toe touch drain stoppers are primarily used in bathtubs. You can just use your toe to push and push back to have this drain stopper functioning. There is no need to use your hand.

That’s why this kind of drain stopper is called toe touch drain stopper. In this article, we will be talking about the difficulties you might face when unscrewing those toe touch drain stoppers, as well as how to fix them.

Why The Toe Touch Drain Stopper Won’t Unscrew?

Your bathtub’s drain and drain stopper should be cleaned regularly. If not, built up like hair and water’s mineral can grow there.

As a result, the stopper will get stuck.

Sometimes soap deposits with hair entangle with the spring inside the plug, and the spring stops working. As a result, the drain stopper won’t unscrew easily.

Another reason that can be responsible for this problem is the broken spring inside the plug. Whatever the reason is, we have guidelines for you on how to remove toe touch drain stopperand unscrew itsupereasily.

Fixing The Toe Touch Drain Stopper

troubleshooting stuck toe touch drain stopper

Here are some techniques that you can apply to unscrew your toe touch drain stopper.

  • Needle Nose Pliers

If your push down plug won’t unscrew, you should try this really easy method. All you need are needle nose pliers for this.

  • Firstly, you have to find the underneath of the rubber ring of the stopper.
  • After that, you have to hold the rubber ring with the needle nose pliers very tightly so that it can not slip out of the rubber ring.
  • While holding the rubber ring, remove the cap of the stopper. This way, the stopper cap will come out without getting stuck.
  • Then just use a screwdriver to remove the screw from inside the plug.

You should use thin clothe underneath the pliers while using this method. It will prevent your bathtub from getting any scratches.

  • Using Clothes/Rubber Gloves for better grip

Another reason that might be responsible while your bathtub drain stopper won’t unscrew is when the cap of the drain stopper keeps spinning no matter how hard you try to pull it off.

It happens because hair might be clogged to the spring inside the plug.

  • When this problem arises, all you need to do is take a dry piece of clothes or rubber gloves that can give you a better grip.
  • Then you need to find the black rubber portion of the stopper beneath the cap.
  • After that, hold the rubber part of the stopper as tightly as possible. Then twist the cap counterclockwise. Make sure the stopper is dry and free from lubrication. That way, you can easily unscrew the cap completely by yourself without getting any complicated tools.

But remember, you need to try this method with the open position of the cap. Otherwise, the cap will stay flat, and you won’t find the rubber part to grab it.

  • Screwdriver
unscrewing toe touch drain stopper

Before using a screwdriver, you need to make sure that the cap or the lid of your drain stopper is removed perfectly.

You can use the dry clothes or rubber gloves technique to open the lid of the stopper.

  • Firstly, remove the cap, and you will find a square shaped hole.
  • Then you need to take a flat blade screwdriver to place it in the hole. Make sure your flat blade screwdriver fits perfectly into the hole. Otherwise, you won’t be able to loosen up the grip of the knob which stays beneath the cap.
  • After placing your screwdriver, twist it counterclockwise. Remember, you can not loosen up the pressure of your screwdriver; rather, you need to put the pressure and twist it at the same time.
  • Keep twisting the screw until it starts to loosen up. It will come out within five or six rotations of counterclockwise twist.

That’s how you will be able to unscrew your toe touch drain stopper just with the help of a flat blade screwdriver.

  • DIY Technique: Heat Gun or Hair Dryer

One of the main reasons for your toe touch drain stopper’s unscrewing problem might be that it’s corroded.

Once you remove the cap or lid of the drain stopper, you may find it a little bit difficult to loosen up the screw because it’s stuck with rust.

In this case, you can use a fun DIY technique that requires a heat gun. If you don’t have access to a heat gun, you can simply use your hair dryer, which provides hot air.  

  • At first, you need to heat up the inside of the stopper with the heat gun or hair dryer.
  • Avoid the outside area as we only need to loosen up the inside screw. It will take two to three minutes, depending on how stubborn the rust is.
  • Once the inside of the stopper is slightly loosened up, you need to place your needle nose pliers crosswise into the drain stopper.
  • Then take adjustable pliers and grab the handle of needle nose pliers with this. While grabbing that handle as tightly as possible, twist the pliers counterclockwise. The heat has already loosened up the drain, so now it can be twisted more easily.

How Toe Touch Drain Stopper Works?

A toe touch drain stopper follows the push and pull model. When you push the stopper, it blocks the drain of your tub.

Similarly, when you push it again, it releases the block, and the water drains out.

But have you ever wondered how it blocks the drain and holds all the water? It is possible because of its rubber seal, one of the most important parts of the toe touch drain stopper.

Another essential part is the spring inside the plug, which helps the stopper to be pushed.

The mechanism of toe touch drain stopper is a little bit more complicated than the other options, but the usage is a lot easier as it only requires pushes to operate correctly.


Toe touch drain stopper is the easiest option for your drain, as you only need to use your toe to operate; there is no need to bend it over. But it becomes a hassle when your toe touch drain stopper won’t unscrew.

If you face any difficulties unscrewing your toe touch drain stopper, don’t panic. Go through the steps we have discussed and figure out the suitable method for you.

Collect the necessary tools, and you will be able to unscrew your toe touch drain stopper all by yourself, even without the help of a plumber.

Clyde Mitchell

I run a hardware store nearby Court Anaheim, CA. Over the last 7 years, I have been blogging about home improvement and yes, I own ReliefInBath.com From me and this website, you can expect some useful tips on great ideas for a modern bathroom.

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