How To Save An Outlet That's Been Painted Over

Did you accidentally paint over your electrical outlets? Perhaps you didn't touch the outlets at all but have just moved into a new place and found outlets with leftover paint stains all over. Either way, it can feel like a big challenge when it's time to remove the excess paint. Outlets need to be cleaned and handled with care, so regular cleaning products aren't the best fit. Thankfully, the following cleaning method will get rid of even the most stubborn leftover paint, so you're left with outlets that are clean and ready to use.

While it's safe and effective to use soapy water and a sponge to clean paint from regular walls and doors, this method is unsafe for anything connected to electricity. Nevertheless, paint stains, especially those that have been there a while, require some elbow grease to get rid of. Luckily, you can clean your power outlets without any specialist items. 

Get your outlets looking back to brand new again

For this cleaning process, you'll need rubbing alcohol, a cotton ball, and a cotton swab. Before you begin, shut off power to the outlet for your safety. Then, simply add a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the cotton ball and swipe it over the leftover paint. Don't oversaturate the cotton, as excess liquid inside the outlet could lead to an electric shock when the power is returned. A drop or two is more than enough. It may take a while, but the stubborn paint stains should disappear with some concentrated scrubbing. Finally, use a clean swab to get out any dirt from within the actual plug socket. 

If you don't have rubbing alcohol, an alternative method is to mix together a half-and-half solution of Mr. Clean and water. Ideally, place the mix in a spray bottle, but if you don't have one, just grab two cloths, one to dip and one to clean. Add a small amount of the mixture to one of the cloths and dab at the paint marks until they disappear. Use the other to dry the area. Remember that electricity and liquid do not mix, so making sure the outlet is left clean and dry is vital.