How to Remove Paint From Electric Outlets

Written by cody sorensen
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How to Remove Paint From Electric Outlets
The end of a screwdriver can scratch off small paint spots. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Professional painters remove outlet covers before painting begins so they won't have to be cleaned later, but paint has a way of getting onto these surfaces from time to time. When the cover is removed the electrical plug-in should also be covered with a piece of masking tape. Removing paint from the outlet or plate is easier too do before it dries and so always check these items immediately after painting. A paint thinner or rubbing alcohol removes the paint.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Painter's rag
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paint thinner
  • Flathead screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Go to the electrical power or breaker box in the home. Turn off the electricity to the entire house.

  2. 2

    Dip a painter's rag into rubbing alcohol if you're removing water-based paint or paint thinner if you're removing oil-based paint.

  3. 3

    Rub the paint until it comes off the outlet. Slide the tip of a flathead screwdriver into the rag to rub paint out of the actual plug-in sockets of the outlet. Twist the tip of the flathead back and forth for the narrow ends of the socket and up and down to clean the sides of the sockets.

Tips and warnings

  • Cleaning paint off electrical sockets is dangerous if the power isn't turned off properly. Electrocution may occur resulting in injury or death.

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