How to Get a Broken Light Bulb Out of a Microwave

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Things You'll Need

  • Thick leather gloves

  • Needle-nose pliers

Broken light bulbs are a safety hazard.
Image Credit: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

Microwaves make life convenient by offering short cooking times and quick clean-up. All microwaves have a light bulb inside that allows you to view food as it cooks. Most light bulbs last for years, often for the life of the microwave. The light bulb may break if you handle the microwave roughly or attempt to change the bulb. When this happens, the bulb base gets stuck inside the microwave, making it difficult to remove. Typically, you should have a repairman handle light bulb changing and removal, but with the proper tools, you can extract a broken bulb yourself.


Step 1

Unplug the microwave to reduce the risk of electric shock.

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Step 2

Gain access to the broken light bulb. In some microwaves, you need to remove several screws to open the cover and access the light bulb. The screws are usually located underneath or on the back of the microwave.


Step 3

Put on a pair of thick leather gloves. Reach inside the microwave and grasp the base of the broken light bulb.

Step 4

Twist the light bulb base with your fingers to loosen and remove it. Do not touch any other exposed microwave parts while doing this. Doing so may damage the microwave or cause an electric shock.


Step 5

Grab the bulb base with needle-nose pliers if you cannot remove the bulb by hand. Twist the bulb base carefully to avoid shredding the metal.

Step 6

Insert a working light bulb. Bulb types vary depending on the microwave model. Do not use a light bulb with wattage higher than 30 watts.

Step 7

Replace the microwave cover, including any screws removed.


There is always a risk of electric shock when working with exposed electrical parts, even if you unplug the microwave.

In most cases, opening your microwave to remove the light bulb voids your warranty. If a warranty covers the microwave, contact the manufacturer to schedule a repair.



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