Asked on Feb 21, 2016

Can't get light bulb out of fixture

Mic M
by Mic M
I know there is a way to remove the bulb, but can't remember. I am scared of it breaking off in my hand.
  14 answers
  • Bill Furnish Bill Furnish on Feb 21, 2016
    First make sure the power to the broken bulb is off. Get a potato, cut off one end. Stick the flat end in the stuck broken bulb shards and turn.the broken bulb should turn easily. Easy peasey!
  • If the bulb hasn't broken, then I would wear a leather glove and eye protection. If you cannot get the bulb out, then I would ask someone to help. If it broke inside the fixture, you want to make sure there is no power to the light fixture and use the potato idea by Bill.
  • Dfm Dfm on Feb 22, 2016
    what type of fixture and bulb? are you talking standard 60 watt bulb broken at base or curly cue florescent? or tube type bulb? some specialty bulbs have push pins, they pull straight out, no twist or turn. is the any kind of a model no. on the fixture? if there is google it and see if an on line manual is available showing how to put in the bulb.
    • Mic M Mic M on Feb 22, 2016
      @Dfm It's a flood type bulb in a ceiling fan fixture. It won't turn, so can't remove.
  • Karen Karen on Feb 22, 2016
    BILL FURNISH, IS correct : use a potato cut in half. stick the flat end into the stuck broken bulb and swist it out!!!!
  • Candy Burns-Staeb Candy Burns-Staeb on Feb 22, 2016
    i have always used a potatoe to remove light bulbs that have broken off! works every time !!
  • Louise Louise on Feb 22, 2016
    cut a potato in half, put the raw end up I light fixture. and screw it out. that is what I have heard
    • Mic M Mic M on Feb 22, 2016
      @Thank You Louise The bulb is stuck in fixture, not broken yet! Scared to force it.
  • Karen Harstad Karen Harstad on Feb 22, 2016
    Use a potato! It will work!!
  • Louise Louise on Feb 22, 2016
    did it work?
  • Con3711289 Con3711289 on Feb 22, 2016
    Mic M -- This happened to me, too, and my instincts were like yours. I was afraid to force it. Turns out that my idea of what constitutes force was a bit too wimpy. (I prefer to think of it as level-headed caution.) According to my father-in-law, I just needed to give it a little more. Here's what I did to gain the confidence to do that: I cut a bunch of lengths of painter's tape and covered the glass portion of the bulb completely, so that if it broke, the glass wouldn't go flying. Then, I slipped a heavy sock over it, and secured that around the neck of the bulb with a rubber band. (Keep everything off the metal threading of the screw-in part.) I turned off the electrictiy to the fixture and, despite the tape and the sock, I put on work gloves and safety glasses. Oh, and I tucked my hair under a ball cap. Now that I was no longer afraid of my light fixture, I had the nerve to put a little more oomph into my unscrewing effort. I figured that if it broke, it broke. But no one would be hurt in the process. And I'd just hand my husband a potato when he got back in town. :) Slowly, but firmly, I gave it even counterclockwise pressure.I took my time, increasing pressure by tiny increments. Just when i was about to give up, success! Hope it works the same for you.
    • Mic M Mic M on Feb 22, 2016
      @Contactkch-reg Will give a "harder" try. Don't have much room to tape, cuz bulb is a flood type in a ceiling fan.
  • Cindy Cindy on Feb 22, 2016
    u can take a large towel and fold it thick and use that as if the bulb breaks it wont be big enough pieces to gothrough the towel
  • Tris Smith Tris Smith on Feb 22, 2016
    Try a spray lubricant , like WD40. Spray litely around the base and give it a couple minutes to soak. I would try to grab it with a rubber jar opener held in a oven mitt. If it breaks then jam a potato into the socket and turn. Good luck!
  • Dfm Dfm on Feb 23, 2016
    if there is not enough room for your fingers, try a pair of loop style tongs and a rubber gripper under them.
  • Louise Louise on Feb 23, 2016
    u poor people , just get it is not a time boom.
  • Walt Shorts Walt Shorts on Nov 02, 2019

    Make sure that the light fixture is off. Kill it at the circuit breaker to be sure. If there's only the metal part of the bulb left in the socket, use needle nose pliers to loosen it until it comes free. The pliers should have rubber grips, to be safe, and wear protective gloves as a secondary measure.

    If there's still broken glass, use the cut potato, as described in the comments above.