How to Remove a Broken Lightbulb from a Light Socket

Replacing a lightbulb should be a simple DIY job.  However, if you find yourself dealing with a lightbulb that’s broken off in the light socket, it may not be so easy.  Don’t despair!  Lou has a few tips you can use to tackle this job, safely and effectively:

The main concern with trying to remove a broken lightbulb from the socket is safety.  Broken glass is no joke and because it’s a live wire you want to take certain precautions before starting.

  • Turn off the power
  • Wear safety glasses
  • Use work gloves

Now that you’re ready to do the job safely, here are three different options to consider:

  1. The Needlenose Pliers Method
    1. Push the open pliers down into the collar of the lightbulb
    2. Close the pliers tightly and twist in a counterclockwise motion until the bulb is completely removed
  2. The Potato Method
    1. That’s right, we said potato!
    2. Slice off a small sliver of the skin of a raw potato
    3. Push the potato down with pressure and start twisting it counterclockwise until the bulb is complete remove
  3. The Repair Putty Method
    1. Cut off a piece and mold it so it will fit over the broken lightbulb
    2. Remove any remaining glass or elements from the bulb in the socket
    3. Jam the putty into the socket
    4. The putty will set in about 5 minutes, so at about the 4-minute mark, take a flathead screwdriver and stick it inside to make a small wedge or divot
    5. Once the putty sets put the screwdriver into the wedge and turn it counterclockwise

Once the bulb is removed, you can drop a new one in and turn the power back on.

Replacing a lightbulb should be a simple DIY job.  However, if you find yourself dealing with a lightbulb that’s broken off in the light socket, it may not be so easy.  Don’t despair!  Lou has a few tips you can use to tackle this job, safely and effectively:

The main concern with trying to remove a broken lightbulb from the socket is safety.  Broken glass is no joke and because it’s a live wire you want to take certain precautions before starting.

  • Turn off the power
  • Wear safety glasses
  • Use work gloves

Now that you’re ready to do the job safely, here are three different options to consider:

  1. The Needlenose Pliers Method
    1. Push the open pliers down into the collar of the lightbulb
    2. Close the pliers tightly and twist in a counterclockwise motion until the bulb is completely removed
  2. The Potato Method
    1. That’s right, we said potato!
    2. Slice off a small sliver of the skin of a raw potato
    3. Push the potato down with pressure and start twisting it counterclockwise until the bulb is complete remove
  3. The Repair Putty Method
    1. Cut off a piece and mold it so it will fit over the broken lightbulb
    2. Remove any remaining glass or elements from the bulb in the socket
    3. Jam the putty into the socket
    4. The putty will set in about 5 minutes, so at about the 4-minute mark, take a flathead screwdriver and stick it inside to make a small wedge or divot
    5. Once the putty sets put the screwdriver into the wedge and turn it counterclockwise

Once the bulb is removed, you can drop a new one in and turn the power back on.