Cleaning? Don’t Forget the Wallplates!

When it comes to cleaning, we all have our routine checklist that generally focuses on the most visible and prominent areas of the home – floors, countertops, furniture, kitchens and bathrooms, etc. The list is long and seemingly endless but it’s often missing one little but important job – wallplates. Think about it, the wallplates in your home are touched EVERY day, MULTIPLE times, by EVERY family member - and guests as well. Over time, this creates a steady build-up of grime, dust, dirt and yes, germs.

Cleaning wallplates is not a big job, but it is one that needs to be handled with care.  Remember, wallplates cover and protect electrical switches and outlets, and electrical devices and water (or any liquid for that matter) do not mix. The last thing you want to do is spray water or a cleaning solution directly on to the wallplate surface. This can result in the risk of electrical shock; or the liquid could seep into the switch or outlet itself and damage the electronic components, creating a hazard.

Our 4-step solution is simple and effective:

  • Step 1 – Turn off the power at the circuit breaker or fuse delivering power to the switch or outlet of the wallplates you wish to clean. This makes the job safe.
  • Step 2 – Carefully remove the wallplates by unscrewing the mounting screws or snapping off the wallplate if it is a screwless model.
  • Step 3 – Soak the wallplates in a sink or basin filled with warm, soapy water.  Use a mild soap or dishwashing liquid for best results.  After soaking for 30-60 minutes, remove them and gently wipe clean with a soft cloth.  Be sure to remove all dirt and particles from the surface area and in the tight corners.
  • Step 4 – Dry completely and remount the wallplate. Once securely in place, turn the power back on at the circuit breaker or fuse.        

Types of Wallplates

The primary job of a wallplate it to protect the electrical switch or outlet it covers.  However, this doesn’t mean the wallplate can’t also serve as a decorative or functional element in the room. Leviton offers a variety of options to meet all your needs including:

Decora® - Our signature brand adds a touch of elegance to enhance the décor of any room in the home.

Decora Plus™ Screwless – Offers a snap-on design for contemporary architectural styling.

RENU® – Screwless design. Available in 20 popular colors to coordinate with our RENU line of outlets, switches and dimmers.

Antimicrobial – These wallplates are treated with an EPA registered additive to help keep the wallplate surface cleaner by reducing bacteria growth.

Whatever your choice of wallplate, be sure to clean them regularly for a bright, fresh appearance and healthier living environment. It may be a small job, but it’s an important one.

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