Various Wall Repair Jobs

In this article, you’ll find help for removing toggle bolts, expanding wall anchors, and cleaning walls.

How to Remove Wall Anchors

Wall anchors are designed to spread out and grip drywall so that you can fasten various objects to it without the screws pulling free. The various types of anchors may or may not be difficult to remove, depending upon their particular design.

With a toggle bolt, just unscrew the screw; the wings will fall down inside the wall.

Toggle bolts, as shown at right, are easy to remove—you just unscrew them and let the toggle drop into the wall cavity.

With an expanding anchor, remove the screw, tap the collar into the wall, and fill the surface with spackling compound.

On the other hand, expanding anchors that balloon out into an umbrella-like shape behind the wall surface, as shown at left, may be left behind permanently.

To hide this type of sleeve, use a hammer and a short bolt to set the sleeve further into the wall. Then just fill the surface hole with spackling compound as you would any other hole (see How to Fix Holes in Drywall.)

How to Clean Dirty Interior Walls

When ordinary cleaners don’t work, stubborn stains on plaster often can be scrubbed away with a strong solution of tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) and water or a non-phosphate substitute. Unpainted plaster is porous but generally non-soluble, so unless you really drown the wall it can take a good bath and rinse.

Drywall has a paper coating and its gypsum base is water soluble, so water can penetrate a thin coat of paint. Scrub drywall gently with a soft sponge and a mild TSP solution, and try not to use too much water. Let the drywall dry thoroughly and consider repainting with a higher-gloss paint that resists stains and is easier to clean.

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