How to clean light switches?

How to clean a light switch

Typically when cleaning we dust surfaces, clean appliances and wash floors, but one of the most used areas in each room gets neglected and can be the most grotty… the light switch. This is another great task to do while on the phone, it only takes a matter of minutes and all your light switches will be fingerprint, dirt and germ free. Read further for my tip on How to clean a light switch

Follow along in the weekly cleaning series where I give you a task along with steps on how to clean an area/item in your home. Most of these tasks will be easy, from light switches to toys, towels to stinky shoes, cleaning many of the forgotten areas or things in your home. View previous cleaning tasks here.

Set yourself up with a cleaning kit to help you through the challenge, you will find what I keep in my cleaning kit here and use these cleaning checklists to help you remember regular cleaning tasks and create a routine to suit the time you have available.

Today’s cleaning task is simple, , wipe over all your light switches and door handles to remove dirt and germ build up. Don’t forget the light switch in the garage or wardrobes!

Steps to clean a light switch

  1. To be safe – turn off the power at the outside electricity box.
  2. Start at the front of the house making your way round to each switch plate.
  3. Use a homemade antibacterial wipe or a microfibre cloth lightly dampened with all purpose cleaner. Don’t spray directly onto the plate, it’s best to spray onto the cloth.
  4. Wipe over switch plate and surrounding wall, removing all dirt and grime.
  5. If switch is dirty, use a cotton bud to get into the cracks and crevices.
  6. Use another microfibre cloth to wipe plate dry.
  7. Turn the power back on.

How to clean light switches

Turn electricity off at the mains before removing faceplates.

Occasionally light switches will need to be cleaned as well. This will help remove any fingerprints, dirt and grime from the faceplates. As well as being wary of electricity, you also need to be careful not to break the switch mechanism itself.

Cleaning switches

Generally speaking, the best way to clean light grime and smudges from light switches is to:

  • Turn electricity to the lights off at the mains before doing any work to or around switches.
  • Clean the switch with a damp, soapy cloth. Ensure that the cloth is damp rather than completely wet, to ensure that no water enters the switch.
  • Ensure that the switch is completely dry before turning the electricity back on at the mains.

In order to get the best results or remove serious dirt or grease, it may be easier to actually remove the faceplate than trying to clean it while still connected to the wall.


To do this:

  • Switch off the power at the mains (i.e. at your switchbox) before doing any work to or around switches.
  • Use a flathead screwdriver to carefully remove the cover.
  • Wash the covers in warm, soapy water then ensure they are completely dry before replacing them.
  • Switch the power back on at the mains.

As they are generally inexpensive, if you find any defects in the faceplates they can be easily replaced.

You might have arrived to this blog post wondering, “is this really a guide on how to clean a light switch?”. Well, the answer is yes. Except, it’s not necessarily about how to clean light switches. It’s really more of a reminder to clean light switches.

Over the many hundreds of cleans that we have done, we have noticed that light switches are one of the most commonly missed places for cleaning. This is something we also see often when we are called to complete a reclean. For some reason this is a little detail that even some cleaning companies miss.

Kyla George, owner of the cleaning service near Ann Arbor, Maids in a Minute, finds the same pattern. “For some reason this is a common place to miss. It’s something used several times a day, yet people forget about it when cleaning” George says. “I have a hypothesis that people just think of it as part of the entire wall, which typically isn’t cleaned on a regular basis”.

Quite peculiar indeed, which is why we decided to write this semi-humorous guide about it. Here’s the quick 7 steps to a clean light switch below. We’re hoping that pointing out how easy it is to do, we’ll see light switches cleaned more often.

Steps to a clean light switch

  1. Safety first – turn off the electricity at the breaker. Not entirely necessary, but it’s easy to do and best to not mess with electricity.
  2. Grab either a pack of disinfecting wipes or an all purpose cleaner with a microfibre cloth or paper towel. If you’re using the all purpose spray, don’t apply it directly to the plates. Spray onto the cloth or paper towel and then wipe.
  3. Start at the far end of your house and work inwards. With cleaning in general, we start in a far corner of the top floor and work downwards.
  4. Wipe the entire plate and the wall surrounding it. Take extra care to remove the grime from the creases where the plate meets the wall, and where the switch itself lays under the plate. The flat parts should wipe off pretty easily, but these sections may require a little additional dexterity.
  5. If you’re finding the crevices especially difficult to clean, try using something like a cotton ball.
  6. Once you’ve got the light switch clean, wipe off any remaining residue or solution with a dry microfibre cloth or towel.
  7. Once you’ve wiped and dried all the plates, don’t forget to turn the breakers back on to restore power.

About Finolex

  • 30/July, 2018

3 Easy Ways To Clean Electrical Switches

Typically, we all love to live in a home which is squeaky clean. Like every normal person, we all give a deep daily, weekly and monthly cleaning to our home, getting rid of any dust that might accumulate on any part of our home. Often, we forget about cleaning the basic things such as electrical switches. Electrical switches should be cleaned regularly to avoid dust and stains on them, but it’s not always as easy as it seems. Sometimes, the stains are stubborn enough with which you can’t get rid easily. Moreover, being an electrical appliance, it is extremely important for you to take extreme safety parameters before you clean your electrical switches.

Keeping your safety and cleanliness both in mind, we have penned down 3 ways of cleaning electrical switchboards easily.

NOTE – Try not to put much liquid on your switchboards as it can catch fire. Better to turn off the main supply system before starting any of the process mentioned below:

1. Bring On The Power Of Baking Soda

If we have to pick one all-rounder stuff for our home, undoubtedly, we will pick baking soda. Baking soda has an enormous number of uses other than your usual baking. Mix a heaping spoon of baking soda along with lemon. Cut a lemon into half and dip its half part on baking soda. Now scrub this lemon on a switchboard to get amazing results.

The granules of baking soda emulsify the oil and stain from the surface of your electrical boards whereas vinegar will clean the germs lying on it.

2. Use Your Regular Nail Remover

Probably, this is the easiest way to clean your switchboards. Your nail polish remover is basically a complex chemical known as acetone that has the properties to remove stains from any surface. Use it as casually as you use it on your nails and you will get great results.

3. Use Your Toothpaste

Your regular white toothpaste has ingredients like sodium bicarbonate present in it which is great for whitening or cleaning any stubborn stains. Use any old toothbrush for this purpose to scrub off the surface of your switchboard to make them clean.

A person has to be very careful while cleaning the switchboards. It’s better to turn off your main supply system while cleaning to ensure electrical safety. Try not to spray liquid on the surface of the switch to avoid any electric hazard. Switches can lead to fire or can catch shock if not handled properly.

Always ensure installing a switchboard that is shock retardant meeting the international safety standards like Finolex Switchboards. Finolex Premium Plus switches are already dust repellent and are completely safe so as to avoid any electric havoc.

For stylish homes, we have Feriha switches that are made for revolutionising the regular switchboards we use conventionally. Feriha switchboards are designed with elegance to match up with modern demands and safety parameters.

You can check Finolex Switches range HERE


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