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How to Clean Metal Light Switches and Wall Plates

When it is time for spring cleaning, one area that needs attention is the light switch. It may not occur to you, but light switches and plates can be some of the dirtiest places in your house.

You may turn your lights on and off throughout your home dozens of times a day, and hundreds of times a year. Dirt, oils and grime from fingers and hands can accumulate unnoticed and, before you know it, the switches and plates will need a thorough cleaning.

The typical home is equipped with plastic toggle switches and wall plates that are relatively easy to wipe clean. Metal switches and wall plates cost more, but they are more durable. Plus, they are a stylish decoration for your home’s walls.

If you have a brushed nickel light switch on your wall, regular cleaning protects the surface and maintains its condition. Plus, cleaning is remarkably simple.

Cleaning Tips

Brushed metal has a distinctive appearance and is commonly used for appliances and sink fixtures. A set of brushed nickel light wall switches lends sophistication to any kitchen or bath. Its brushed texture makes the metal susceptible to damage, so care should be taken in its cleaning.

Special cleaners or polishers are not required for brushed metal finishes, but do not use glass or surface cleaners that contain alcohol or ammonia. Warm, soapy water is usually enough to do the job. Dampen a soft cotton rag and wipe off any smudges or fingerprints from the switch and plate. Buff the metal plate and switch with a dry cloth to remove any soap residue and to ensure there are no water spots remaining on the metal.

Vinegar Works

White vinegar is effective at removing smudges and spots, but do not use scrub pads or harsh abrasive cleansers that can damage the brushed nickel finish. Non-abrasive disinfectant cleaners are okay on surfaces repeatedly touched by potentially germ-laden hands.

The brushed nickel light switchplate on your wall is a stylish addition to any part of the house. The switches and plates do get dirty with so many hands touching them daily, but there’s no need to fret about buying expensive polishes to clean them. Regular cleaning will maintain the luster, style and appearance for years to come.


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