How to Clean Painted Walls?

How to Clean Painted Walls?
by John Carlucci - August 9, 2022

Walls with scuffs, scratches, and stains can make even the cleanest space appear shabby. The good news is that you do not need to purchase any specialized cleaners or gear for this task. Here's how to simply clean painted walls.

The floors of your home require frequent cleaning, but what about the walls? Even though painted walls do not collect grime in the same manner that floors do, they will eventually collect dust, grime, and stains, especially in high-traffic areas. Plan on cleaning your painted walls once each year, taking care not to damage the finish.

Wall cleaning is a significant aspect of maintaining a clean home. Consider contacting a professional firm if you require assistance.

If you would rather do it yourself, though, here is how to clean painted walls.

Get Ready To Clean

Before you begin soaping sponges, you should prepare your home for this process. Dust the walls you will be cleaning to remove any dirt on the surface. This can be accomplished with a dusting cloth, a vacuum cleaner with a dust brush attachment, or a clean rag wrapped around the head of a mop. Foam craft brushes are ideal for getting into corners or around baseboards and molding for precise work.

Additionally, place a drop cloth or sheet around the walls you intend to clean. Although you don't want to use so much water that it runs down the walls, drips and spills are inevitable throughout any cleaning endeavor; thus, protect your floors.

Pick Your Cleaning Solution

The type of paint on your walls will determine the appropriate cleaning to employ. Matte, flat, eggshell, and stain finishes are more sensitive and require a very gentle cleaning agent. In warm water, dissolve a little amount of dye-free hand soap or dishwashing detergent.

Glossy and semi-gloss coatings are more durable, and you can use cleaners containing a degreasing agent, such as dish soaps with a higher concentration of detergent. On this type of paint, you may also use the most nonabrasive all-purpose cleaners, or you can make your own by combining one teaspoon of liquid dish soap and one-fourth teaspoon of white vinegar with one quart of water. This solvent should be compatible with most latex paints.

Lastly, oil-based paints can be cleaned using a somewhat stronger solvent. Use the same combination as above, or replace the vinegar with a little amount of ammonia. You might also consider adding one ounce of borax for every pint of water.

If you have any worries about the paint's resistance to these cleaners, try a tiny, inconspicuous area first.

Wash Gently

Two buckets and two sponges are useful to have on hand: one for cleaning solution and one for plain water to rinse. Use nonabrasive sponges (i.e., the smooth side, not the abrasive side) and wring out the sponge until it is barely damp prior to applying it to the wall. An excess of water can cause bubbling and watermarks.

Start at the top of the wall and work your way down, washing each portion after cleaning it. Scrub delicately, exerting minimal pressure and utilizing circular strokes. Glossy and semi-glossy finishes are susceptible to scratching, so exercise extra caution when handling them. Pay special attention to the areas surrounding light switches and door frames. Additionally, avoid allowing water to drip into electrical outlets, wall jacks, and light switches.

Spot Treat For Stains

Walls can develop stains over time, so don't panic if you see streaks or spots that a light cleaning solution cannot erase. You can apply a paste made from baking soda and water to the stain. Allow it to set for a few minutes, and then remove it. However, take care not to scrub the mixture too vigorously, as baking soda can be abrasive.

Red wine stains can be removed with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, and rubbing alcohol is also worth a try. Always begin with softer tactics before progressing to harsher ones. Also helpful are cleaning items such as stain remover pens and magic erasers. Regardless of the type of cleaner you employ, be sure to remove any residue with a moist sponge.

Dry The Walls

Since your sponge should be only slightly damp, there shouldn't be much water remaining on the walls after rinsing, but you may want to dry the wall by hand with a towel. If you removed any pictures or other items off the wall, ensure that the surface is completely dry before returning them. You may wish to delay cleaning your walls until the weather is nice and dry, so you may open your windows to expedite the task.

Now, what are some other things you can do to take care of your home? You can read our article for assistance.

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