Removing Broken Light Bulbs

I would like to know how to remove broken light bulb.

By elise777 from San Jose, CA

September 20, 20090 found this helpful

I haven't done this in a while, but here is a way to do it. First disconnect the power to your light, i.e. fuse, breaker etc. That is very important! Do not attempt to do anything before doing this. Take a peeled potato and jam it up into the socket. The potato grabs the piece of light bulb left in there and you should be able to turn it all the way out. Clean the socket well before turning the electricity on again and insert a new light bulb.

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September 21, 20090 found this helpful

Just had to say "thank you" for the tip of using a new light bulb to remove the old broken one. It worked perfectly!

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September 22, 20090 found this helpful

I was going to recommend the potato method too. Tried and tested here too. Glad someone beat me to it :)


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September 23, 20090 found this helpful

I agree with the cut potato. Just cut the potato in half and press the cut side up into what is left of the bulb (the metal part). Slowly turn to unscrew it.

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October 23, 20100 found this helpful

I just removed the broken off light bulb in a light socket in my kitchen. I tried the potato hint first and that didn't work. Then I tried the pliers method and that didn't work too well since I had to turn off the power to be safe and it was too dark to see what I was doing. Then I found a neat hint about using tape on the end of a broom handle and this worked great. Just wrap some duct tape, sticky side out, around the end of the broom handle, stick it up into the socket and turn counterclockwise. The broken part came right out. Hope this helps you, too.

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November 12, 20110 found this helpful

Just tried bjshu2's suggestion about the duct tape on the broom handle and it worked immediately! Had tried everything else and about ready to give up when came across this post. Thank you so much.


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September 19, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

Use a cut potato to grab and pull a broken light bulb out of its socket to avoid cutting oneself.

By blterri

Editor's Note: The first thing you should do is make sure the light is turned off or lamp is unplugged. One thing you can do that's even better than a potato is crumple up newspaper into a tight ball and use that to turn and unscrew the broken light bulb. The ball of newspaper won't contain as much water as a potato does.


Removing Broken Light Bulbs

Something else that works well is a thick sponge. I found this out when I had no potatoes (didn't even consider newspaper.). Anyone have any other ideas for things to use for this?

Terry (03/15/2005)

By terdralynn

Remove a Broken Light Bulb

If a light bulb breaks off in the socket while trying to remove it, use a small raw potato to remove the broken bulb. Lightly push the potato on the broken end of the bulb and turn to unscrew.

This is much easier and safer than using metal pliers to remove it and risk getting cut or electrocuted. Always turn off the circuit breaker when changing a ceiling bulb and pull the power plug on a lamp. An apple might work as well, though I have only used potatoes. This is a great trick.

By hedrivesz (03/23/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Removing Broken Light Bulbs

Another thing you can try is using a new light bulb to unscrew the old broken socket, it works great when the broken socket is screwed on tight (02/17/2006)

By Vanessa A.

Removing Broken Light Bulbs

Another object you can use to take out a broken light bulb is a bar of soap. Just insert the edge of soap and twist, but make sure the bar of soap is dry. (06/01/2008)

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