How to Remove Molly Bolts From a Wall

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A molly bolt, a fastener with strong holding power, is commonly used to hang heavy objects on drywall. A molly bolt's fastener is a sleeve. When a screw is screwed into the sleeve, the teeth of the molly bolt expand against the backside of the wall. Removing a molly bolt in the conventional way with a wrench or screwdriver won't work because it is designed to be permanent. A molly bolt may be removed by trying to pull it out, or by pushing it through the other side of the wall.

Things You'll Need

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Nail
  • Hammer
  • Drill

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Tap It Out

Decide if you intend to hang an object over the same hole as the existing molly bolt. If you are going to reuse the hole, remove the entire molly bolt. If you are going to spackle over the hole, push the bolt in far enough so that it is no longer flush with the surface of the wall.

Place needle-nose pliers against the bolt. Put one point of the pliers inside the molly bolt, and the other point on the lip on the bolt.

Twist or bend the lip of the bolt back and forth until the lip snaps off.

Tap the bolt until it is no longer flush with the surface of the wall or it falls completely out. You can also simply tap the entire molly bolt into, or through the wall, with a nail and hammer. Breaking off the lip does not leave as big a hole as leaving the entire head of the bolt intact.

Pull It Out

Try straightening the teeth or the back of the bolt by unscrewing the bolt halfway.

Grasp as much of the head as possible with pliers. Bend, or snap off the lip, to help obtain a better grip.

Pull the bolt out of the hole with pliers. It's possible the entire bolt will come out of the wall.

Drill It Out

Drill into the screw hole.

Drill until the head of the molly bolt breaks free, and the remainder of the bolt falls behind the wall.

If head does not separate from bolt, push the entire bolt through wall as described above.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a sharp drill bit that is at least twice the size of the molly bolt's screw. Take your time. Be careful not to leave a bigger hole than necessary in the wall.

References

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