How to safely clean electrical switches and outlets? Yes, that’s right, we’ve all been there – staring at a light switch or outlet covered in fingerprints, grime, and who knows what else. It’s an unwelcome sight and calls for prompt attention. Still, before you reach for the cleaning supplies, it is vital to understand the right way to clean these electrical components to avoid putting yourself or your property in harm’s way. It’s a matter of not only aesthetics but safety.
In this article, we take a broad brush to the subject by helping you understand how to steer clear of potential hazards and letting you know the key steps to take.
Although it is often overlooked, keeping electrical switches and outlets clean has a tangible impact on the appearance and functionality of your home or office. The accumulation of dust and grime is not only unsightly but can interfere with safe and proper operation.
Think of electrical switches and outlets as the gatekeepers of your home’s electrical system. They control the flow of electricity to your lights, appliances, and other devices. The unsung heroes that make modern living possible are often taken for granted until they stop working. So the next time you give your home a deep clean, consider these critical components.
Cleaning outlets and switches can seem daunting, especially if you need to familiarize yourself with the inner workings of your electrical system. It’s easy to imagine all sorts of disastrous scenarios in your head: what if I shock myself, damage the switch, or start a fire? Cleaning electrical switches and outlets is relatively straightforward as long as you take a few simple precautions.
1) Turn off the power.
Before doing anything else, turn off the power to the switch or outlet you are about to clean. If you’re unsure which circuit breaker or fuse governs the switch or outlet you’re working on, consult an electrician or refer to your home’s electrical diagram.
2) Gather your supplies.
To clean electrical switches and outlets, you’ll need just a few things: a soft cloth, a mild cleaning solution, and a small brush – a toothbrush will do fine. If you’re keen on using homemade cleaning products, make a solution of equal parts water and vinegar; otherwise, use a non-abrasive glass or all-purpose cleaner. Avoid using anything too harsh or acidic, as this can damage plastic or metal components.
3) Remove the cover plates.
Undo the screws holding the switches’ and outlets’ cover plates in place and set them aside. Be careful not to let the cover plate touch anything metal, as this could create a shock hazard.
4) Clean the switch or outlet.
Dip your cloth and wring it out so that it’s damp but not dripping. Gently wipe down the button or outlet, ensuring no cleaning solution gets inside the electrical components. Use the mini-brush to attack stubborn dirt in hard-to-reach spots while not letting any liquid get inside electrical components.
Replace it once you’ve finished cleaning and allow a little time for the air to dry any excess moisture; carefully replace the cover plate and tighten the screws.
And it’s that simple! You can keep your electrical switches and outlets looking and functioning like new by taking just a few minutes of your time and grabbing a few basic supplies. The best part is that you can do it without harming yourself or your property.
So although cleaning electrical switches and outlets may seem like a chore, this small task can significantly impact your home’s or workplace’s appearance and functionality. With just a few simple steps, you can safely and efficiently keep your electrical components looking and working like new. So, next time you do a deep clean, don’t forget to give your electrical system some TLC – your home will thank you.