Removing Wall Anchors

Q: Is there any way to get a toggle bolt out of drywall?

Photo by John W. Taylor

Is there any way to get a toggle bolt out of drywall without making a big hole?

-Esther, Cashton, Wisc.


Norm Abram replies: Sure, you can get the bolt out, but you won't be able to retrieve the spring-loaded toggle that grips the back side of the wall. Simply unscrew the bolt until the toggle falls off into the wall cavity. Then just pull out the anchor and spackle over the hole.

A molly bolt is a similar type of wall anchor. It's often confused with a toggle, but a molly's "bendable" legs are part of the anchor and will remain in place when the bolt is removed. Sometimes you can straighten those legs out by unscrewing the bolt partway, then pushing it back into the wall cavity. If you're lucky, you might be able to pull the anchor out through its own hole. If not, you'll have to use a punch and hammer to pound the head just below the drywall surface, then spackle over it.


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