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Appliances inside shot of refrigerator - smaller

Published on February 11th, 2014 | by Chris Zeisler


How to remove a stuck refrigerator light bulb

Last week, a customer asked, “How do I remove a refrigerator light bulb that’s stuck in its socket?”

Here’s what’s worked for us:

  1. Unplug or disconnect power to the refrigerator.
  2. Lightly spray a lubricant such as WD-40® at the base of the bulb.
  3. Allow it to set for a few minutes and reach crevices.
  4. Use a damp rag or leather glove and gently twist the bulb counter clockwise to remove it.
  5. Place a new light bulb in the socket and turn clockwise gently. Take care not to damage the threading.
  6. Restore power to the refrigerator.

Enter your refrigerator model number on our website to find the light bulb recommended for your model.

Light bulb

How to remove a broken refrigerator light bulb that’s stuck in its socket:

  1. Make sure the refrigerator is unplugged.
  2. Place a shoe box beneath the socket to catch any falling pieces.
  3. Wear safety gloves.
  4. Use pliers to gently turn the bulb base counterclockwise to remove it.
  5. With care, place a new light bulb in the socket.
  6. Restore power to the refrigerator.

Potatoes make a better side dish than a tool

One half of a raw potato is a DIY favorite for removing a broken light bulb from a socket. Be mindful that this may introduce damaging moisture to the socket. That’s why it’s best to first try our recommendation above.


Other common, related questions

Why do light bulbs get stuck?
Corrosion and expansion due to the cold air.


Can I put a “regular” light bulb in my fridge?
Light bulb replacement should follow the refrigerator manufacturer’s guidelines listed in its owner’s manual. You should only use the light bulb with the exact wattage recommended by the manufacturer.

It’s a smart idea to purchase a few spare bulbs at a time to avoid the annoying, ultra-dark refrigerator interior situation.


What if I get cleaning spray on my light bulb?
Many refrigerators have a light bulb cover to protect the light bulb from damage. It’s best to avoid spraying cleaning solution near the light bulb. When thoroughly cleaning the refrigerator interior with cleaning spray, you should unplug it first.


Anything else work for you? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you!

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About RepairClinic

Since 1999, three and a half million people have purchased replacements parts and accessories from RepairClinic and saved more than $260 million in repair costs by fixing appliances, lawn equipment, power tools, and heating & cooling equipment on their own. From the beginning, RepairClinic has provided free troubleshooting and how-to resources on its website.

The company’s 2,000+ free how-to repair and how-it-works videos on its YouTube channel have been viewed more than 41 million times.

RepairClinic’s free, advanced online repair help system empowers do-it-yourselfers to fix common problems associated with home appliances, lawn equipment, power tools and heating & cooling equipment. DIYers can enter a model number to choose from a list of common symptoms for that particular model, troubleshoot and watch award-winning, expertly-produced videos to learn the most likely causes and conditions and purchase the correct part. stocks more than one million parts and accessories for 160 brands of lawn mowers, small engines, snowblowers, string trimmers, furnaces, air conditioners, air handlers, heat pumps, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, power tools and many other products.

Since 1999, the company has served more than three million customers including homeowners, first-time and beginner DIYers, advanced DIYers, appliance repair professionals, small engine repair shops and landscaping and lawn care business owners. RepairClinic orders are backed by a 365 Days. Period.® return policy that enables customers to return any part. Of the more than one million parts available on the website, 95 percent of parts ordered are in stock and guaranteed to ship the same business day. RepairClinic ships within the United States, U.S. territories and military bases and Canada.

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About the Author

Chris Zeisler is an appliance expert with expertise earned through years of experience as an appliance repair pro. As a technician for major appliances, HVAC equipment, hot water heaters and outdoor power equipment brands, he regularly completes manufacturer training. Chris joined RepairClinic in 1999 as the lead technical guru. He is credited for creating much of RepairClinic’s pioneering DIY repair information that has helped millions of people complete repairs on their own and save money. He remains a leader in content development for RepairClinic’s repair help information and how-to videos. He’s also frequently called on for technical advice and press information for journalists and bloggers. Chris keeps RepairClinic staff abreast of industry trends and relevant news. He develops and leads frequent Customer Care staff training programs. He serves in a supervisory role, offering counsel on technical issues to staff. Outside of RepairClinic, Chris and his wife are busy with their four children and coaching soccer, baseball and softball teams. He also enjoys restoring and maintaining muscle/performance cars. He lives with his family in metro Detroit.

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