Have you ever had a light bulb break free from its metal base as you are unscrewing it? It can become a real pain to remove.

Here is how I do it:

1) Make sure that you’ve turned the power off to your light fixture. If it’s a lamp, unplug it. If it’s an overhead light, turn off the circuit breaker.

2) If you have some sort of work gloves, put them on. If you don’t, be very careful. If you’re working above your head, put on glasses of some type. You don’t want glass shards falling in your eyes.

3) Using your needle-nosed pliers, grab the edge of the metal base of the light bulb and bend it slightly inward.

4) Turn the base in the same direction you’d turn to remove an intact bulb. Psst, that’s counter-clockwise.

5) Once you’re done, vacuum up the area glass to completely get rid of any glass shards.

But what do you do if the light bulb is screwed deeply into the socket and there is no metal edge to grab? You can try to shove the needle-nosed pliers in between the space of the light fixture and the metal light bulb base, but you risk damaging the light fixture itself. The easiest thing to do is to head back to your toolbox and grab your regular pliers.

1) Insert the pliers into the broken base as far as they can go.

2) Open the pliers so that they’re pressing on the inner sides of the metal bulb base.

3) Holding the pliers in this manner, turn them counter clock-wise. The broken light bulb base should come loose.

4) Of course, vacuum up the area when you’re done.

Another way to do this home repair is to use a potato. Repeat steps 1 and 2 above and then instead of pliers, push a potato onto the light bulb socket where the broken base is and turn the potato counter clock-wise. The broken light bulb base should come loose!