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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
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    3

    Default Cleaning the grunge from around light switches

    All of my light switches (the switches, not the plates) have have an accumulation of grunge around them. It's going to take some degreaser, like 409, a toothbrush, and toothpicks to dissolve and pick this stuff out.

    I'm concerned about spraying a liquid into a hot electrical outlet. Is it sufficient to turn off the power to the switches while I'm working on them, and perhaps leave it off until I'm sure everything is dry again?

    Anyone have a better solution - short of removing or replacing the switches? (I'm not an electrician, nor have I played one on tv <wink>)

    Thanks!
    Gwyn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: Cleaning the grunge from around light switches

    I would simply turn off the elec. and try using a vacum first. but I think I would be more concerned over why you were getting any "grunge" in a closed box.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The deep South
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Cleaning the grunge from around light switches

    Do you have a Central Heating and Air system ? You might be pulling return air back through the walls .

    Or , it could just be years of grunge from dirty hands ( kids ? ) .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Cleaning the grunge from around light switches

    Sure,

    I canít stand grungy receptacles and switches either and use the cleaner/tooth brush as needed.

    Iíd turn the circuit off to be safe, scrub away, let dry and turn the circuit back on.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: Cleaning the grunge from around light switches

    Quote Originally Posted by kentvw View Post
    Sure,

    I canít stand grungy receptacles and switches either and use the cleaner/tooth brush as needed.

    Iíd turn the circuit off to be safe, scrub away, let dry and turn the circuit back on.
    Doesn't your toothbrush taste funny after that????

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
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    3

    Default Re: Cleaning the grunge from around light switches

    Quote Originally Posted by havanagranite View Post
    I would simply turn off the elec. and try using a vacum first. but I think I would be more concerned over why you were getting any "grunge" in a closed box.
    No, dusting and vacuuming won't work. This is gunk that's accumulated on and around the switch itself (the movable part). It's from years of dirty hands and ambient dust accumulating in a humid environment. It's not dust inside the box.

    Gwyn

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Cleaning the grunge from around light switches

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynm View Post
    No, dusting and vacuuming won't work. This is gunk that's accumulated on and around the switch itself (the movable part). It's from years of dirty hands and ambient dust accumulating in a humid environment. It's not dust inside the box.

    Gwyn

    I knew what you meant, Gwyn.............. You know, after a while, all that Granite dust........... Well, it takes a toll on faculties.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: Cleaning the grunge from around light switches

    Quote Originally Posted by kentvw View Post
    I knew what you meant, Gwyn.............. You know, after a while, all that Granite dust........... Well, it takes a toll on faculties.
    I used to clean it out with a little alcohol every once in a while. now I use 409 and a tooth brush.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Cleaning the grunge from around light switches

    Thanks for the input, guys! A-scrubbing I will go!

    Gwyn

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Cleaning the grunge from around light switches

    Quote Originally Posted by havanagranite View Post
    I used to clean it out with a little alcohol every once in a while. now I use 409 and a tooth brush.
    Spic-n-span werks good too.

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