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How to clean a light switch

You might have arrived to this blog post wondering, “is this really a guide on how to clean a light switch?”. Well, the answer is yes. Except, it’s not necessarily about how to clean light switches. It’s really more of a reminder to clean light switches.

Over the many hundreds of cleans that we have done, we have noticed that light switches are one of the most commonly missed places for cleaning. This is something we also see often when we are called to complete a reclean. For some reason this is a little detail that even some cleaning companies miss.

Kyla George, owner of the cleaning service near Ann Arbor, Maids in a Minute, finds the same pattern. “For some reason this is a common place to miss. It’s something used several times a day, yet people forget about it when cleaning” George says. “I have a hypothesis that people just think of it as part of the entire wall, which typically isn’t cleaned on a regular basis”.

Quite peculiar indeed, which is why we decided to write this semi-humorous guide about it. Here’s the quick 7 steps to a clean light switch below. We’re hoping that pointing out how easy it is to do, we’ll see light switches cleaned more often.

Steps to a clean light switch

  1. Safety first – turn off the electricity at the breaker. Not entirely necessary, but it’s easy to do and best to not mess with electricity.
  2. Grab either a pack of disinfecting wipes or an all purpose cleaner with a microfibre cloth or paper towel. If you’re using the all purpose spray, don’t apply it directly to the plates. Spray onto the cloth or paper towel and then wipe.
  3. Start at the far end of your house and work inwards. With cleaning in general, we start in a far corner of the top floor and work downwards.
  4. Wipe the entire plate and the wall surrounding it. Take extra care to remove the grime from the creases where the plate meets the wall, and where the switch itself lays under the plate. The flat parts should wipe off pretty easily, but these sections may require a little additional dexterity.
  5. If you’re finding the crevices especially difficult to clean, try using something like a cotton ball.
  6. Once you’ve got the light switch clean, wipe off any remaining residue or solution with a dry microfibre cloth or towel.
  7. Once you’ve wiped and dried all the plates, don’t forget to turn the breakers back on to restore power.

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