You need to be careful not to break the glass when removing a stubborn bulb. This guide is about removing a stuck light bulb.
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Having to change a "stubborn" light bulb from your freezer or refrigerator, not wanting it to break in your hand? Take a hairdryer to it! Aim the air at the base of the bulb's area where it screws in and it will unleash the grasp on the bulb and you are ready to install the new bulb.
By Trisha from Ventura, CA
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Here are questions related to Removing a Stuck Light Bulb.
I have a very small light bulb stuck in my stove hood that I cannot remove. It is hard for me to get any kind of a grip on it because it isn't sticking out very far. Please help.
By Mary R from Eagan, MN
By vicki hood03/21/2013
Electric off. Cut a potato, mash the cut part over the part and turn counter-clockwise. When you install the new bulb, rub the thread in your scalp. It gives just enough oil to keep bulb from corroding in socket.
How do I remove a light bulb stuck in the ceiling socket?
By Alex from Naples, FL
Turn off power at the breaker box. Take a potato cut in half for grabbing the bulb and turn, voila. :)
By Steve (Guest Post)02/27/2008
For a recessed bulb, like in a stove top cover, use a piece of tape on the bulb. Duct tape or packaging tape will work. Just get enough to cover the bulb and fold the remainder back. Of course make sure the power is off. Remember, safety first.
By Eddie (Guest Post)12/16/2007
I have used gaffer's tape especially with floodlight or spotlight bulbs. Use a 6 inch or so strip of tape and tape about 1/2 of it at one side of the face of the bulb. Tape a second piece opposite the first. Take the end of each piece of tape and pull in the counterclockwise direction. Bulbs that I couldn't turn by hand or with rubber gripper can undone easily with tape. Duct tape or other film tape works as well but everyone should have some gaffer's tape around. It is wonderful.
I have a recessed spotlight in my kitchen ceiling that seems to be corroded because I can't twist it out. I have no way of doing the tape wrap trick either as it is too recessed to work around. Any suggestions as how to remove without shattering the light bulb?
1. Make sure the switch is OFF
2. Try squirting WD40 or some other lubricant around the
base of the bulb and wait a few minutes...no luck?
3. Be very careful. Use eye protectors. Wear gloves.
Hold bulb and gently tap with a hard object to break it.
Once broken clear glass so metal base rim is exposed.
Using needle nose pliers grip the rim and gently wiggle
while using a rotating motion in the direction you
would use to unscrew the bulb naturally. The rim may
start to bend...I've had them a bent mess but no
matter. Presevere until it is removed. Another
squirt of WD40 may help this process.
4. When replacing the bulb smear the base of the new
bulb with vasolene so this won't happen again...
What can you apply to the threads of a light bulb to stop galling of the threads?
Rub a small amount of Vaseline on the threads. It prevents rust and makes the bulb easier to remove, especially if it is seldom used and spends months or years in the fixture. Be sure not to get Vaseline on the contact point on the bottom.
I have an under-cabinet fluorescent fixture that was installed at the time my house was built, 15 years ago. The tube in that fixture has burned out and needs to be replaced, but it will not budge. How do I safely remove the tube? Thank you.
By Frances V.
The metal part of my light bulb is stuck in socket of my curio stand. The glass part broke off in my hand. I unplugged the curio stand and have been working with needle nose pliers. The pliers are tearing through the metal part of the bulb. I think if I continue it will eventually come loose. Is there any danger of electrical shock! I don't think I should have to turn off the power at the circuit box since I unplugged the curio stand from the wall. I have the patience to keep working at it with the pliers but my main concern is getting electrically shocked or knocked on my rear!
By Samuel from Farrell, PA