How to Remove Plastic Screws

Knowing to remove plastic screws is an important skill for any do-it-yourselfer. Plastic screws are becoming increasingly popular due to the fact that they are lightweight and inexpensive, but they’re also prone to stripping if not removed properly. In order to avoid this, it’s a good idea to know the basics of removing plastic screws.

How to Remove Plastic Screws

One of the main advantages of using plastic screws is their durability and resistance to corrosion. Plastic screws are less likely to corrode or rust in wet or humid environments, making them ideal for use in applications such as outdoor furniture, playground equipment, and boats. Additionally, plastic screws are less likely to strip than metal screws when being used with power tools, making them a great choice for DIY projects. In this blog post, You will learn in detail how to remove plastic screws.

Tools You Will Need

  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Standard Slot Screwdriver
  • Power Drill or Electric Screwdriver
  • Heat Gun or Hair Dryer
  • Pliers
  • Putty Knife
  • Hammer
  • Safety Goggles and Gloves
  • Towel or Cloth Rag
  • Plastic Pry Bar (optional)

Step by Step Processes for How to Remove Plastic Screws

Step 1: Inspect the Plastic Screw

Before attempting to remove the plastic screw, inspect it closely. Check for signs of wear or damage and make sure that the screw is in good condition before attempting to remove it.

Step 2: Gather the Proper Tools

You’ll need a pair of pliers or a flathead screwdriver to remove a plastic screw. Using the right tool for the job is important, as using an inappropriate one can cause damage to the screw and make it harder to remove. To loosen a plastic screw, apply pressure with your pliers or flathead screwdriver. Ensure you’re applying enough pressure to loosen it, but not so much that you break the screw.

 Screwdriver to Remove a Plastic Screw

Step 3: Increase the Pressure

If the plastic screw is still not loosening, increase the pressure until it begins to turn. Make sure that you don’t overdo it, as too much pressure can damage the screw or cause it to break. Once the plastic screw has started to move, turn it counterclockwise. This will help it come out more easily and with less force.

Step 4: Remove the Plastic Screw

Once the plastic screw is loose enough, you can remove it from its housing. Gently twist and pull the screw until it comes out completely. If there are any remaining plastic bits or parts in the hole from which the screw was removed, carefully remove them using a pair of tweezers.

Step 5: Clean Up the Area

Once all of the pieces have been removed, clean up the area with a damp cloth to remove any debris. Check the hole that the plastic screw was removed from for any signs of damage. If you find any, it’s best to replace or repair the part as soon as possible.

Step 6: Test Out New Part or Repair

If you’ve replaced a part or repaired an item with plastic screws, it’s important to test out the new part or repair it before you use it. This will ensure that everything is in good condition and working properly. By following these steps, you can easily and safely remove plastic screws from your projects.

Tips for How to Remove Plastic Screws

  1. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from dust, particles, and debris when working with plastic screws.
  2. Put on gloves to prevent skin irritation or splinters if the screw is particularly hard to remove.
  3. Ensure you have a good grip on the screwdriver; use a non-slip handle for even better control.
  4. Check the screw first to ensure it is a plastic screw and not a metal screw.
  5. Insert the tip of the screwdriver into the head of the plastic screw, ensuring it fits snugly to prevent slipping or stripping of threads.
  6. Apply even, measured pressure as you turn the screwdriver counterclockwise to loosen the screw.
  7. Use a lubricant like WD-40 if necessary to help loosen the plastic screw.
  8. Unscrew the plastic screw completely before discarding it into a recycling bin or trash can. Do not leave any loose screws lying around that could be dangerous or create an obstruction hazard.
Wear Safety Goggles to Protect Your Eyes

Are There Any Potential Risks Associated With Removing Plastic Screws? 

Removing plastic screws is a relatively safe process, but there are some potential risks that should be considered before starting the job. For instance, if you use a power tool to remove the screws, you risk damaging or cracking the screw or the surrounding materials around it. Additionally, you should use caution when removing larger screws as it can be difficult to control the torque and pressure applied.

When using a hand tool, you should always wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles to protect yourself from any chips or particles that may fly off during removal. Additionally, be sure to apply pressure evenly when unscrewing plastic screws so as not to strip or damage the threading of the screw.

How Can You Prevent Future Issues With Plastic Screws After You Are Removed?  

Once you have successfully removed your plastic screws, it is important to take steps to prevent future issues. Before re-installing any plastic screws, thoroughly clean them and the threads of the hole they will go into. Any debris or residue could cause the screw not to properly seat and become loose again in a short period of time.

When re-installing plastic screws, use light pressure when tightening them. Over-tightening can cause you to strip the screw or create an improper fit which will likely lead to it becoming loose again in a short period of time.

If possible, consider using low strength thread locker (such as Loctite 222) to keep the screws secure and prevent them from coming loose. Lastly, if you use plastic screws outdoors or in places where they may be exposed to moisture, use lubricants such as Vaseline or petroleum jelly to protect the threads of the hole and screw. This will help ensure that even after exposure to moisture, your plastic screws remain secure and do not become loose.

Are There Any Additional Precautions That Should Be Taken When Removing Plastic Screws? 

When removing plastic screws, you should use caution to prevent any damage to the surrounding material. If possible, it is best to place a cloth or other protective barrier between the screw and the material so that any debris from removal does not scratch or damage the surface. Additionally, avoid using excessive force when turning with your screwdriver, as this can cause the screw head to strip or break off. If the screw is too tight, you may need to use a lubricant such as WD-40 to loosen it.

Use a Lubricant Like Wd-40

Finally, be mindful of any screws that are in an area that might contain wiring, as cutting into them could cause electrical malfunctions. Taking additional precautions can help ensure that removing plastic screws goes as smoothly and safely as possible. In addition to exercising caution, it is important that you use the correct tools when removing plastic screws.

The best tool for this task is a flathead screwdriver. If the head of the screw is damaged or stripped, you may need to use a flathead bit in an electric drill or impact driver. You should also ensure that the bit you use is not too large, as this can cause further damage to the screw head.

Do You Need to Hire Any Professional?

In most cases, you should have no problem removing plastic screws without the help of a professional. However, if the plastic screw is stripped, lodged deep in a hole, or otherwise difficult to remove, then it is usually recommended that you contact a professional handyman or contractor for assistance. They will have the tools and experience needed to quickly and safely remove the stubborn plastic screw.

Additionally, they can provide advice and assistance on how to replace and secure the new plastic screw properly. Properly securing the screws will ensure optimal performance of the associated appliance or device and help prevent it from coming loose in the future.

To make sure that you don’t have any problems when removing a plastic screw, it is important always to use the right tools. For example, you should never attempt to remove a stripped screw using pliers or other metal objects. Doing so can cause permanent damage to the plastic and make it virtually impossible to remove without professional help.

Easy to Removing Plastic Screws


The main disadvantage of removing plastic screws is that they are often difficult to remove without causing damage. It can be easy to strip or break the head off of a screw when using a traditional Phillips or flathead screwdriver, as these are designed for metal screws, not plastic ones. Additionally, depending on the size of the head, some plastic screws can be too small to fit a standard screwdriver.

In conclusion, removing plastic screws is not as straightforward as it may appear. 

The process can be tricky and require some finesse to avoid damaging the screw or other components of the item you are working on. With the right tools and a bit of patience, however, you can successfully remove plastic screws from nearly any object. Be sure to use caution when using force or sharp tools, and always wear protective gloves to keep your hands safe. I hope this article has been beneficial in learning how to remove plastic screws. Make Sure the precautionary measures are followed chronologically.

Photo of author

Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

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