Dirty power cords? Here’s how you can clean them.

Remember the good old days, when your power cord looked as clean and classy as it could get, and carrying it around wasn’t an embarrassment? Gradually, it kept getting tangled in your bag, handled by sticky hands of a toddler (or yourself!), and collecting dust over time. Or maybe it’s just a splatter of paint or organic build-up of dirt. But it does need cleaning. And since you can’t just throw it in with the laundry and some extra detergent, we’ve found some quick and easy solutions for your dirty cord situation.

Using Soapy water to clean cords:

soap water to clean power cords

Step 1

Mix dish soap or detergent with warm water, and make a sudsy solution. 

Step 2

Use a sponge to soak the solution and run it up and down the cord until all the dust and debris is off. 

Step 3
Wipe the cord down well since you don’t want the moisture residue on it for creating an electrical problem further on. This solution has basic ingredients but isn’t the safest option to clean electrical cords if not done carefully. 

Using Baking soda:

baking soda

Step 1 

Make a paste of baking soda and water, and apply it all over the wire carefully, and let the paste dry. 

Step 2

Soak a cloth or sponge in warm water, and use it to wipe the cord down. You may also use a toothbrush or scrub for the tougher places.

Step 3

Wipe the cord thoroughly with a dry cloth. It’s important to let the cord fully dry before using it since we don’t want any moisture residue or electrical shocks caused because of it. 

Using WD-40:

wd40 to clean power cords

Step 1 

Dust the wire, and spray a generous amount of WD-40 on it. Let it sit for a few minutes.

Step 2

Use a cloth, steel wool, or a toothbrush to rub/scrub the wire down slowly.

Step 3

If you think it’s needed, just repeat the quick process. It’s that simple. 

The good part about WD-40 is, it is effective and super easy to use. It gets right under the dirt and cleans the cord rather quickly. And one of the biggest advantages is that it is completely safe to use on and around electrical systems as it displaces moisture – so even cleaning the outlet/plug of the cord with WD-40 for dealing with corrosion, is safe. 


While cleaning, if you notice the cord fraying, peeling, or cracking, it’s advisable to replace it altogether. But don’t delay the cleaning process. Sure, dirty on the outside doesn’t mean it won’t do the job. But no one wants to use, or be seen using a grimy, sticky power cord. So pick the solution that you think is easiest and best suited for your requirement, and get cleaning!



The uses shown and described for WD-40 Multi-Use Product were provided to WD-40 Company by the users themselves. These uses haven’t been tested by WD-40 Company and do not constitute a recommendation of suggestion for use by WD-40 Company. Common sense should be exercised whenever using WD-40 Company products. Always follow the instructions and take heed of any warnings printed on the packaging.

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