How to Clean and Disinfect Light Switches

We take the time to sanitize and clean our phones and our hands. But there are still so many different things we never think about cleaning – like light switches. The germs on your hands are spreading to whatever you touch and it’s important to sanitize and clean all the things we are touching often.

How Often Should You Clean Your Light Switches?

Bacteria or viruses can linger on hard surfaces for weeks. That’s why it’s important to clean your light switches as often as twice a week.

Light switch

How to Clean And Disinfect Your Light Switches

There are some easy things to use to clean and disinfect your light switches. It doesn’t have to be a major chore and can actually be a quick and effective way to stop the spread of germs and viruses.

Before using any of these 4 methods, remember to clean off any visible gunk or dirt from the light switch. You can do so with a damp paper towel or cloth. This will make the disinfecting and deeper cleaning more effective. Also, don’t forget to switch off the electricity if you are doing a deep clean, this can prevent electrocution or shocks.

  1. Use a microfiber cloth (it can be dry and make sure to use a fresh surface of the cloth for each light switch)
  2. Clorox Wipes
  3. Lysol Disinfecting Spray
  4. Cloth that’s damp with Mr. Clean or 409

It’s also good to clean the wall plates. These are usually easy to remove (typically with a screwdriver) and then you can wash them in warm soapy water or clean them deeply with any of the 4 methods above.

How to Clean Yellowed Light Switches

If you have plastic light switches and plates, it’s very possible that they have become yellowed over time. Nobody wants an ugly yellow light switch. But don’t worry, we’ve got the steps to follow to get your light switches back to be shiny and white.

  1. Fill a bucket of large bowl with half water and half bleach. You should have enough liquid that your light switch plate are completely submerged.
  2. For light switches that cannot be submerged, soak paper towels or a cloth in this same solution and then keep the cloth or paper towel pressed against the surface of the light switch until the plastic has whitened. Make sure the light switch stays moist.
  3. You can also use a spray bottle but you want to avoid spraying things that are not the light switch or plate, as they may ruin other surfaces.
  4. Wash with dish soap and water and then air dry.

 Another cleaner you can use is Comet. Put it onto a sponge and scrub until the yellow is removed. Once you’ve done so, wash it with dish soap and allow to air dry. 

Pro Tip: Cover your light switch and plate with a clear acrylic varnish to avoid future yellowing.

How to Clean Brass Light Switches and Plates

Typically newer homes will not have brass light switches or plates but in case your home does, here is how to clean them.

  1. Remove plates and sprinkle salt and rub with a lemon to remove stains without damaging the brass.
  2. Wipe away the salt.
  3. Polish with a fresh cloth.

You can also try mixing baking soda and water into a paste and rubbing it gently onto the surface. Steps 2 and 3 would remain the same.


Don’t let the things you touch every day get your sick or spread harmful germs throughout your house. Take the time to clean and sanitize and you’ll stay healthy and happy.

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