How to Clean an Extension Cord

To clean an extension cord, unplug it first and then wipe it down with a damp cloth or sponge. Ensure it is completely dry before plugging it back in and using it.

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Now, let’s delve into why it is important to keep your extension cords clean. Extension cords are an essential part of our daily lives, used to power various devices and appliances both indoors and outdoors. However, prolonged use and exposure to dirt, dust, and other contaminants can lead to decreased performance and even potential hazards.

Regularly cleaning your extension cords not only helps maintain their longevity but also ensures a safe electrical connection. We will discuss simple yet effective methods to clean and maintain your extension cords, promoting their durability and safeguarding your home or workplace.

Why Cleaning Your Extension Cord Is Important

Regularly cleaning your extension cord is important to ensure its functionality and longevity. Discover how to effectively clean your extension cord and keep it in top-notch condition.

Cleaning your extension cord regularly is crucial for several reasons. It not only helps prevent electrical hazards but also ensures the proper functioning of the cord and extends its lifespan. Neglecting to clean your extension cord can lead to dangerous situations and reduce its efficiency over time.

To understand the importance of cleaning your extension cord, let’s explore these benefits in more detail:

Preventing Electrical Hazards:

  • Regular cleaning removes dust, dirt, and debris that can accumulate on the cord, reducing the risk of electrical fires or short circuits.
  • Removing these contaminants helps maintain the insulation and conductivity of the cord, minimizing the likelihood of electrical shocks during use.
  • Cleaning also eliminates any potential hazards caused by tangled or frayed cords, reducing the chance of tripping or damage to the cord itself.

Ensuring Proper Functioning Of The Cord:

  • Keeping your extension cord clean allows for optimal electrical flow, ensuring that power is transmitted efficiently to connected devices.
  • Cleaning the plug and socket connections removes accumulated debris that can hinder the flow of electricity, preventing voltage drops or unstable power supply.
  • Regular maintenance of the cord also helps detect any signs of wear and tear, allowing for timely repairs or replacement to ensure uninterrupted electrical performance.

Extending The Cord’S Lifespan:

  • An extension cord that is well-maintained and cleaned regularly can last significantly longer than one that is neglected.
  • Regular cleaning helps keep the cord flexible and prevents it from becoming brittle or damaged, ensuring it remains functional for an extended period.
  • By removing dust and debris, you reduce the likelihood of corrosion on the cord’s metal components, such as prongs and connectors, enhancing their durability.

Remember, an extension cord that is not properly cleaned and maintained can pose potential risks and compromise its functionality. By following these cleaning practices, you can promote safety, enhance its performance, and extend the lifespan of your extension cord.

Safety Precautions Before Cleaning

Before cleaning an extension cord, it is important to take safety precautions. Ensure the cord is unplugged, visually inspect for damage, gently wipe with a dry cloth, and avoid water exposure.

Unplug The Extension Cord

Before cleaning an extension cord, it is crucial to unplug it from the power source. This ensures your safety throughout the cleaning process.

Inspect For Any Damage Or Fraying

Once the extension cord is unplugged, carefully examine it for any signs of damage or fraying. This includes checking the insulation and the outer casing of the cord. Look out for any exposed wires or loose connections, as these can pose a serious safety risk.

Remove Any Dust Or Debris On The Cord’S Surface

After inspecting the cord, it’s time to remove any dust or debris that may have accumulated on its surface. This can be done using a dry cloth or a soft brush. Gently wipe or brush along the length of the cord to ensure you remove all the particles.

Avoid Using Water Or Liquid Cleaners

It’s important to note that extension cords should not be cleaned using water or liquid cleaners. These can damage the cord’s insulation and increase the risk of electric shock. Stick to dry cleaning methods to keep the cord in good condition.

Use A Damp Cloth For Stubborn Stains

If there are any stubborn stains on the cord that cannot be removed by dry cleaning alone, you can slightly dampen a cloth with water. Wring out any excess moisture to avoid getting the cord wet. Gently wipe the stained area, being careful not to saturate the cord.

Allow The Cord To Dry Completely

After using a damp cloth, ensure that the extension cord is completely dry before plugging it back in. This will prevent moisture from causing any damage or electrical hazards. Leave the cord to air dry in a well-ventilated area for a few hours.

Avoid Excessive Bending Or Twisting

When cleaning an extension cord, it’s important to avoid excessive bending or twisting. This can weaken the cord’s internal wires and lead to fraying or breakage. Handle the cord with care and avoid putting excessive strain on it during the cleaning process.

Store The Cord Properly After Cleaning

Once the extension cord is clean and dry, it should be stored properly to prevent it from getting dirty or damaged again. Coil the cord loosely and avoid tight knots or tangles. Store it in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight and sources of heat.

Regularly Inspect And Clean The Extension Cord

Cleaning an extension cord should not be a one-time task. Regularly inspect and clean the cord to ensure it remains in good condition and safe to use. Dust and debris can accumulate over time, so it’s important to keep the cord clean to maintain its longevity.

Replace Damaged Or Frayed Cords

If you discover any significant damage or fraying during the cleaning process, it is best to replace the extension cord. Continuing to use a damaged cord can be dangerous and increase the risk of electrical accidents. Safety should always be the top priority.

Cleaning Tools And Materials

Extension cords need regular cleaning to maintain their efficiency. Use a damp cloth and mild soap to gently wipe the cord, ensuring it is unplugged. This will remove dust, dirt, and stains, extending the life of your electric cord.

Extension cords are a handy electrical accessory that we rely on for various purposes. However, just like any other item, they can accumulate dirt and grime over time. To keep your extension cords clean and functioning optimally, you will need the following tools and materials:

Soft Cloth Or Sponge

  • A soft cloth or sponge is an essential tool for cleaning extension cords.
  • The soft texture of the cloth or sponge ensures that your cords won’t get scratched or damaged during the cleaning process.
  • Gently wipe down the entire length of the cord using the soft cloth or sponge.
  • This will help remove any dirt, dust, or debris that has accumulated on the surface.

Mild Detergent Or Soap

  • To effectively clean your extension cords, you will need a mild detergent or soap.
  • Mix a small amount of the detergent or soap with water in a bucket or basin.
  • Dip the soft cloth or sponge into the soapy water and wring out any excess liquid.
  • Carefully wipe down the entire length of the cord, focusing on areas that appear particularly dirty or stained.
  • The mild detergent or soap will help remove grease, oil, or stubborn grime that may be clinging to the cord’s surface.


  • Water is a crucial component when it comes to cleaning extension cords.
  • After applying the soapy solution, rinse the cord thoroughly with water.
  • Make sure to remove any residual soap or detergent from the surface to prevent sticky residue.
  • You can use a water hose or gently run the cord under a faucet to ensure a thorough rinse.
  • Avoid soaking the cord in water or submerging any electrical connections.

Cleaning Brush Or Toothbrush

  • For more stubborn dirt or hard-to-reach areas, a cleaning brush or toothbrush can be highly beneficial.
  • Use the brush to scrub any grime that is entrapped in the cord’s grooves or crevices.
  • You can also utilize a toothbrush to clean specific areas that require more attention.
  • Brush gently to avoid damaging the cord and focus on removing any dirt or debris that wasn’t easily removed with the cloth or sponge.

By utilizing these cleaning tools and materials, you can effectively clean your extension cords and ensure their longevity. Regular maintenance and cleaning will not only keep them visually appealing but also decrease the risk of electrical hazards. Remember to always unplug your cord before cleaning and allow it to fully dry before using it again.

How To Clean An Extension Cord


Cleaning The Surface Of The Extension Cord

To clean an extension cord surface, begin by unplugging it and wiping it down with a damp cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals and ensure it is fully dry before use to maintain its durability and functionality.

Whether you’ve accidentally spilled something on your extension cord or it has accumulated dirt and grime over time, cleaning it is a simple task that can help prolong its lifespan. By following a few easy steps, you can have your extension cord looking clean and like new again.

Here’s how to clean the surface of an extension cord:

Dampen The Cloth Or Sponge With Water And Mild Detergent:

  • Mix a small amount of mild detergent with water in a bucket or bowl.
  • Take a clean cloth or sponge and dampen it with the soapy water.
  • Ensure the cloth or sponge is not dripping wet, as excessive moisture can damage the cord.

Gently Wipe Down The Cord, Removing Any Dirt Or Grime:

  • Starting from one end of the extension cord, use the damp cloth or sponge to wipe the surface.
  • Apply gentle pressure while moving along the length of the cord, ensuring that you cover the entire area.
  • Use back-and-forth motions to effectively remove any dirt or grime that may be stuck on the cord.

Pay Special Attention To Any Sticky Or Greasy Spots:

  • If you come across any sticky or greasy spots, apply a bit more pressure to loosen and remove the residue.
  • Continue wiping down the cord until all visible dirt and residue are gone.
  • Take your time and be thorough to ensure a clean and fresh surface.

Rinse The Cloth Or Sponge And Wipe Down The Cord Again To Remove Any Soap Residue:

  • Rinse the cloth or sponge under clean water to remove any soapy residue.
  • Wring out any excess water until the cloth or sponge is damp but not saturated.
  • Once again, gently wipe down the entire extension cord to ensure all soap residue is removed.
  • Make sure to cover all areas, paying extra attention to corners or crevices where residue might be hiding.

By following these simple steps, you can effectively clean the surface of your extension cord, removing any dirt, grime, sticky spots, or soap residue. This not only improves its appearance but also helps to maintain its functionality and prevent any potential damage.

Regularly cleaning your extension cords will ensure they continue to serve you well for years to come.

Dealing With Stubborn Stains Or Dirt

Are stubborn stains or dirt ruining your extension cord? Discover effective ways to clean and remove tough stains or dirt from your extension cord, ensuring its longevity and safety.

If you find stubborn stains or dirt on your extension cord, don’t worry, there are simple steps you can follow to clean it effectively. Here’s how to deal with stubborn stains or dirt on your extension cord:

  • Create a mixture of mild detergent and water:
  • Mix a small amount of mild detergent with warm water in a bucket or sink.
  • Ensure that the detergent is gentle and suitable for the material of your extension cord.
  • Dip the cleaning brush or toothbrush into the mixture:
  • Submerge the cleaning brush or toothbrush into the soapy mixture.
  • Ensure the bristles are coated with the cleaning solution.
  • Gently scrub the stained areas, applying light pressure:
  • Locate the stained or dirty areas on your extension cord.
  • Using the cleaning brush or toothbrush, gently scrub the stained areas in a circular motion.
  • Apply light pressure to avoid damaging the cord’s insulation.
  • Rinse the cord thoroughly to remove the cleaning solution:
  • After scrubbing, rinse the extension cord under cold running water.
  • Ensure that each section of the cord is thoroughly rinsed to remove any residual cleaning solution.

Remember to exercise caution while cleaning your extension cord. Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Never immerse the plug or connectors in water.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that could damage the cord.
  • After cleaning, allow the extension cord to air dry completely before using it.

By following these steps, you can effectively clean your extension cord and ensure its longevity. Regular maintenance and cleaning will not only keep your cord in good condition but also enhance safety during use.

Drying The Extension Cord

To clean an extension cord, start by carefully unplugging it from the power source. Next, wipe it down with a damp cloth and let it air dry completely before using it again.

Whether you’ve washed your extension cord to remove dirt and grime or it got wet accidentally, drying the cord properly is crucial before using it again. Here’s how to effectively dry your extension cord:

Gently Shake Off Any Excess Water

  • After cleaning the extension cord, delicately shake it to remove any excess water. Be careful not to fling water onto other surfaces or objects.
  • Hold the cord at one end and give it a few gentle shakes to dislodge any water droplets. This step helps speed up the drying process.

Lay The Cord Flat On A Clean Surface Or Hang It To Air Dry

  • Find a clean and dry surface where you can lay the extension cord flat. Ensure that the surface is free from moisture, dust, or debris.
  • Alternatively, you can hang the cord using clips or hooks, making sure it is stretched out to allow optimal air circulation around it.
  • Avoid placing the cord in direct sunlight as prolonged exposure to UV rays can damage its insulation.

Ensure The Cord Is Completely Dry Before Plugging It Back In

  • Give the extension cord enough time to dry thoroughly. The drying time may vary depending on the cord’s length and thickness.
  • To check if the cord is dry, run your hand along its length. If you feel any dampness or moisture, continue drying it until it feels completely dry to touch.
  • Remember, using a damp or wet extension cord can pose serious safety risks, so it’s essential to ensure it is completely dry before plugging it back in.

Remember to follow these drying steps to ensure the safety and longevity of your extension cord. Stay cautious and take the necessary measures to keep your electrical devices and surroundings protected.

Maintaining The Extension Cord

Maintaining your extension cord is essential for its longevity. Learn how to clean your extension cord properly to prevent damage and ensure its performance remains top-notch.

Regularly inspect the cord for damage or fraying:

  • Check the extension cord for any signs of damage or fraying before each use.
  • Look for exposed wires or cracks in the insulation.
  • If you notice any damage, repair or replace the cord to avoid potential hazards.
  • Remember, a damaged cord can be a fire or electrical safety risk.

Store the cord properly to prevent tangling or potential damage:

  • Avoid loosely coiling the extension cord and leaving it on the ground.
  • Instead, neatly wrap the cord after each use to prevent tangling and tripping hazards.
  • Use a cord reel or a suitable storage solution to keep the cord organized and protected.
  • Keep the cord away from sharp objects or heavy items to prevent cuts or crushing.

Avoid excessive bending or twisting of the cord:

  • Excessive bending or twisting of the extension cord can damage the wires inside.
  • When using the cord, ensure there are no sharp bends or kinks that can strain the cord.
  • Bending the cord at extreme angles or pulling it tightly can lead to electrical failure or fraying.
  • Treat the cord gently to avoid compromising its integrity and longevity.

Keep the cord away from water sources and extreme temperatures:

  • Water and electricity don’t mix well, so it’s essential to keep your extension cord dry.
  • Avoid using the cord in wet conditions or near water sources to prevent electrical shocks.
  • Similarly, extreme heat or cold can affect the cord’s insulation and performance.
  • Store the cord in a dry and moderate temperature environment to maintain its functionality.

Remember, proper maintenance of your extension cord ensures its longevity and safety. Regularly inspecting the cord, storing it correctly, avoiding excessive bending or twisting, and keeping it away from water sources and extreme temperatures will help you make the most out of your equipment while ensuring your safety.

Stay safe and enjoy the convenience of a well-maintained extension cord!

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Clean An Extension Cord

How Do You Clean The Inside Of An Extension Cord?

To clean the inside of an extension cord, unplug it first, then wipe the prongs and socket with a dry cloth.

What Happens If You Spill Water On An Extension Cord?

Spilling water on an extension cord can cause electrical shock or short circuit, leading to potential hazards.

What Not To Do With Extension Cords?

Do not overload extension cords as it can cause fires. Avoid using damaged cords and keep them away from water.

Can You Submerge An Extension Cord?

No, you should not submerge an extension cord as it can cause electrical hazards.


Keeping your extension cords clean is essential for safety and durability. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can effectively clean your extension cords without damaging them. Remember to always unplug the cord before cleaning and use a mild detergent diluted in water to wipe down the surface.

Avoid using excessive force or harsh chemicals that could compromise the integrity of the cord. After cleaning, ensure that the cord is completely dry before using it again. Regularly inspect the cord for any signs of wear or damage, and replace it if necessary.

By regularly cleaning and maintaining your extension cords, you can prolong their lifespan and reduce the risk of accidents or electrical hazards. Stay safe and keep your extension cords clean!

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