Best Flushing Toilets

What should you do if a toilet seat screw is stripped?

Some problems with the toilet are relatively easy to solve. Using the right tools and following the proper process can help us get rid of the issues.

There are several ways to remove the stripped screw from a toilet. Some ways are complicated, and the method selection depends on how serious the situation is. If the screw is more rusted, you have to follow a better method.

But why are the screws stripped when a toilet seat is used? Actually, if you do not know the reasons for the problem, you cannot solve it. So, first, we will discuss the reasons and then give several solutions.

Why are toilet seat screws being stripped? 

Some significant reasons are related to the terrible issue of the toilet. Sometimes, we can feel that the toilet has issues, but we cannot make it free of them because of our unawareness. Follow the reasons carefully.

Water rusts

A toilet is a place where you use water every day. So, it is usual for the screws of the toilet surround to get touched by water and rust.

When a screw is rusted, you have to replace it immediately. This corroded screw cannot tighten the necessary parts of the toilet safely, and its corrosion can spread to other screws.

Low-quality screws

Sometimes, the screws can be less durable because of their low quality. If the user purchases the screw without judging the standard and attaches it to the toilet, it may rust soon. As a result, the screw will likely be stripped by the toilet and difficult to remove.

Much tightening

Every screw has a specific area for tightening it properly. Although many people think that overtightening can fix the screw more perfectly, it is not correct at all. If you tighten the screw, it will be cut away. As a result, when you try to remove the screw by turning it counterclockwise, you cannot do so.

Inappropriate screwdriver

Each screwdriver has a different bit size. The different screwdriver bits are suitable for use with the different screws. The screw will be damaged and stuck with the toilet if you willingly use an improper screwdriver whose bite is not similar to the head of the screw.

So, you must keep your screws safe from the problems mentioned above. Therefore, you may find that the screws on your toilet are not stripping now.

How can I remove the stripped screws from my toilet?

If you forget about the reasons for a stripped screw in your toilet and your toilet screw is stripped, you must take action immediately. Otherwise, the entire toilet system may gradually become problematic.

i) Use a screwdriver:

Using a screwdriver on a stripped screw is not an easy task. Sometimes the head of the screw becomes plain, so there is no way to insert a screwdriver into it.

If the stuck screw is corroded, its slot can be removed. So, if you want to remove the screw with a flathead screwdriver, you must cut a slot in the screw. Now, put the flathead screwdriver on the head of the screw. Turn the screwdriver anticlockwise and try to take it out.

Use a screwdriver with a head that does not match the head of the screw. Otherwise, the rusted screw removal will be much harder.

Apply a rubber band when the screw is not strictly attached to the toilet seat.

ii) Use a screw extractor kit:

This package of tools includes the necessary types of equipment for removing almost all sizes and types of screws. The kit of tools is a kind of drill. There are two sides to each drill. One side of the drill enters into the slot of the screw’s head and makes it easier to turn the screw. The other side of the drill is for holding with a hand.

iii) Apply abrasive powder:

You have to use this process when both screwdriver and plier techniques fail. The abrasive powder is necessary when the head of the screw is totally gone. Pour the abrasive powder on the screw, and it will melt soon. Therefore, you can find a place to install the new screw.

iv) Pull the screw with pliers:

A pair of pliers is the most appropriate solution for pulling out a stripped screw from the toilet seat. Hold the head of the screw tightly with your pliers and turn it counterclockwise. Some screw heads are so tiny that they are difficult to remove. But it will come easily if you select a good-sized plier and pull the screw.

Final thoughts

Sometimes the toilet can be damaged using a stripped screw. Moreover, the other screws and the other parts of the toilet must be checked at least three or four times a year.

Frequently asked questions

  • How can I remove a plastic toilet seat screw?

It is different from removing a metal screw. The plastic parts are sensitive and can be broken away with the unconscious touch of a plier. So, first, you have to try to loosen the plastic screw by holding it with your hand. Now, grip the loose nut with a plier and swiftly turn it counterclockwise.

  • Can I use a drill machine to remove the stripped screw from the toilet?

The ceramic material of a toilet is sensitive. It can be broken with the touch of a drill. Therefore, the toilet seat can be damaged. So, a drill machine is not suitable equipment to remove the stripped screw from the toilet.

  • How can I tell if my toilet seat screw is stripped?

You’ll know it’s stripped if your screwdriver slips off the head easily, or if the screw doesn’t tighten or loosen despite turning it.

  • What tools do I need to fix a stripped toilet seat screw?

Basic tools like a flathead or Phillips screwdriver, pliers, a drill, and potentially a screw extractor kit might be necessary.

  • Can I fix a stripped screw without removing it?

In most cases, you’ll need to remove the screw. However, applying more downward pressure while turning might help if it’s slightly stripped.

  • How do I remove a stripped toilet seat screw?

Use pliers to grip the screw head firmly and turn, or drill a small hole in the head and use a screw extractor.

  • What if the screw won’t budge with pliers?

If pliers don’t work, try using a lubricant like WD-40, or carefully drill out the screw.

  • How can I avoid stripping toilet seat screws in the future?

Avoid over-tightening, use the correct screwdriver size, and ensure proper alignment while screwing.

  • Can I replace a stripped toilet seat screw myself?

Yes, once removed, you can easily replace it with a new screw of the same size and type.

  • Where can I find a replacement screw for my toilet seat?

Replacement screws are available at hardware stores or online. Bring the old screw for size matching.


Hi, I am Jose S. Franz. Currently, I am working as a professional plumber, and our team offers various plumbing services at an affordable price. After my college education, I completed a vocational certification course in plumbing systems and worked with several construction companies. Since then, I have fixed lots of different toilet models, from older to the latest versions. So I have more than 22 years of experience installing plumbing systems and toilets in both residential and commercial buildings.

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