I found out some previous tennant of my flat painted the walls with common white wall paint. Unfortunately the bare earth connector (German type F, aka Schuko) on the sockets was painted too. As this is dangerous, I want to remove the paint. Is there a method to remove it by some solvent? I know I could always use sandpaper, but that damages the surface.

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    In the US they are inexpensive enough to simply replace. You need to find out what type of paint was used so you can get the correct solvent.
    – Gil
    Mar 1, 2022 at 6:52
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    can you just scrape it off with a screwdriver or small knife, like an xacto? New plates for a rental can be had under 1usd, might be worth it.
    – dandavis
    Mar 1, 2022 at 7:35
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    @dandavis I agree that scraping is the way to go. However, I believe the OP is asking about cleaning paint off the ground contact, not the face plate. The Schuko socket (Wiki picture link) has exposed ground pins, unlike our US sockets where all contacts are recessed.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 1, 2022 at 13:44
  • @dandavis New plates are not viable here, because a) there is no paint on them and b) these plates come in a lot of designs, with the only commonality being the collar preventing touching any conductor. Mar 1, 2022 at 23:24
  • @FreeMan Right, the problem is paint on the ground pins. Mar 1, 2022 at 23:27

1 Answer 1


Solvent has the potential to drip and leak onto the line and neutral contacts, potentially causing a short. Of course, you could should turn off the breaker to this circuit to kill the power to prevent this danger, and should do so no matter what approach you take to removing the paint.

However, I'd suggest simply using a small utility knife or hobby knife (like an Xacto™ knife) to scrape the paint off first. I've always found that a knife will do a fine job of getting house and/or hobby paint off of hard metal surfaces. Actually, it'll do a pretty good job of getting baked on paint off of a car, too, so I'm pretty sure it will work here.

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    Ok, I'm going to try the scraping method. Of cause with switching the breaker of first, as I have to remove the face plate first to get access for a blade. Mar 1, 2022 at 23:31

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