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I use wall plugs a lot for putting screws into brick walls.

It's easy to get the screw out when you want to remove them and usually you can loosen the screw a bit and pull and then both the wall plug and screw slide out.

Sometimes, however, the screw slides out but not the wall plug.

What's the best way to get it out?

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4 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I usually just poke them into the wall (unless they are the screw in kind obviously, or the kind with a large collar). Put a screw driver on them and give it a sharp whack, then patch the hole. I find it's easier and faster to patch the slightly larger hole, than it is to try and dig them out and then patch the hole anyway.

For the larger collar ones, try to bend/mutilate the collar enough then poke them through the wall.

Be careful when you do this, you don't want to put the screw driver and/or your hand through the wall as well.

In a brick wall you could drill them out. Find a bit that is about the same size as the hole in the anchor, then carefully drill it out.

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Updated question for brick wall. In that case, you can't poke them through. –  nzpcmad Jun 30 '11 at 20:15
    
@nzpcmad: are the anchors also epoxied into the brick wall? –  Tester101 Jun 30 '11 at 20:18
    
No - I use the correct drill bit size to drill the hole and then "gently" hammer them in. Normally a pretty tight fit. –  nzpcmad Jun 30 '11 at 20:57
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You can use a small metal rod the same size as the plug, using a hammer to knock the plug in, then patch the hole.

If this does not work, cut the plug into quarters with a Stanley knife, cut the plug out using the knife then patch the wall.

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If it is the expanding type, I had good results from inserting the screw back and using a crowbar as a lever against the screw head to pull it out. But be careful it the plug is very tight against the wall that you don't delaminate the wallboard.

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I do this often for the plastic plugs. Just put the screw in a couple turns, but not so for that it's expanding the back, and then give a controlled tug. Those plugs typically slide right out. –  BMitch Aug 18 '13 at 14:02
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I will just take a pair of needle nose pliers, jam it into the wall so one needle goes directly into the drywall and the other goes into the hole of the wall plug. Clamp hard and yank it out. Clean up the hole and patch it.

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Yeah - that's what I normally do but it normally damages the wall. –  nzpcmad Jun 30 '11 at 20:14
    
You have to repair the wall anyways. A slightly larger hole isn't any more work. –  Chris Cudmore Oct 5 '12 at 13:47
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