How To Clean a Power Outlet

updated May 21, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This is slightly embarrassing but my power outlets are…grodie. Doesn’t it look like it’s crying out? It would be one thing if it was hidden behind the sofa but this is in plain view above the stove. However with a little elbow grease (about the amount of a Smurf) it’s clean, clean, clean.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

What You Need

Formula 409
Razor Blade (if you have excess caulking to remove)


1. Shut your power off.

2. Remove the power plate cover. You can simply wipe this down but since mine was cracked I bought a new at the hardware store for just $1.99.

3. Spray a little 409 on a Q-tip and dab it on a paper towel so it’s not dripping. Then carefully wipe away the grease and muck. Much like your ear canal, don’t stick the Q-tip inside the socket.

4. If you have caulking or paint around the edges of your switch, gently scrape away using a razor blade.

5. Replace the cover and you’re finished! Look how happy he looks.

Additional Notes: Thanks to Apartment Therapy readers for helping us update step one, safety first!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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Images: Geoff Bentz