How to Remove a Stubborn Wall Anchor

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Utility blade with holder
Needle-nose pliers
Pair of rubber gloves
A piece of cotton cloth for cleaning the wall

As great as wall anchors are for hanging photo frames, mirrors, or bookshelves on a wall, they can lead to a stressful situation if you decide you want to move some wall hangings and get rid of the wall anchors. Although sometimes just pulling them out with an appropriate tool can seem like the answer, it can lead to an ugly hole in your wall in place of the removed anchor that will ruin the look of the room and wall. Here is a step-by-step guide to removing a stubborn wall anchor with minimal and easily fixable mess without causing any permanent damage to the wall.

Step 1 - Clean

spray bottle and gloved hand

Clean the area around the wall anchor you intend to remove by rubbing in a circular motion with a cleaning cloth rigorously. The area should be free from any dust or grime that may have accumulated over time. This will make the removing process easier and smoother.

Step 2 - Loosen the Wall Anchor

Take a pair of needle-nose pliers and grab the edge of the wall anchor’s head. Bend and pull the head while shifting to pull from different diagonal angles. The trick is to apply enough pressure to visibly loosen the wall anchor, but not to pull it out completely. The wall anchor must be loosened and pulled out just about 1 mm.

Step 3 - Prepare the Blade

Utility blades are easily available at hardware stores and are one of the most common razor blades used for various types of work. Getting a utility blade with a holder is important here as it will ensure safety while removing a wall anchor. For added protection from sudden cuts, wear a pair of rubber gloves before handling the utility blade and holder.

Step 4 - Cut off the Wall Anchor Head

utility knife

Now that the anchor head has been loosened about 1 mm, there will be enough room to slide the utility blade behind it. When sliding the blade behind the anchor head, the trick is to make short left-right movements in a downward motion toward the head. Again, it is imperative that the downward motion and left-right movements are done with enough pressure to cut through the plastic wall anchor and not allow it to completely fall out of the wall.

Step 5 - Finish up

After the anchor head has been cut off, some part of the anchor remains in the wall. Using a screwdriver, push this part of the wall anchor fully inside. This will leave you with just a tiny, proportionate hole in the wall which will be extremely easy to patch.

If you follow these steps, you should be able to easily remove a stubborn wall anchor.