How to Clean Painted Walls, Safely and Effectively

It’s a common scenario most homeowners will be familiar with. It wasn’t long ago that your interior walls were painted and in the most perfectly pristine condition imaginable. Only now, everyday life has taken its toll. You take a closer look at your wall, only to find they’re far grubbier than you’d like them to be. A buildup of dust and dirty, greasy fingerprints, crayon marks that somehow slipped your attention – all doing an impressive job taking the sparkle from your walls.

The question being – how to clean them without ruining the paint job?

How to Clean Painted Walls, Safely and Effectively

If you’ve ever attacked a painted wall with anything harsh or abrasive, you’ll know how easy it is to damage or dull the paint’s finish. And once you’ve done as such, there’s little you can do other than consider a touch-up or repaint the whole surface. So it’s a bit of a catch-22, but it doesn’t have to be. There are, in fact, more than a few ways of getting rid of even stubborn wall stains, without causing damage to the wall’s surface.

So while it’s hardly a comprehensive list, here’s a quick rundown of a few common wall stains and how to get rid of them, safely and effectively:

Removing Dirt and Dust from Walls:

  1. Before getting started with any of these jobs, be sure to protect surrounding areas and floors with plastic sheets, or anything else that will prevent excess mess or damage.
  2. More often than not, you’ll make a big difference to the luster of your walls simply by using the vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. Start out at the tip of the wall, moving from side to side and slowly working your way down.
  3. Take a large bowl or bucket, add a few drops of mild detergent and fill it around half way with warm water. Give it a good stir to make sure the soap has been fully dissolved into the water.
  4. Take a soft sponge, wet it in the soapy solution and squeeze it out until just damp. Use the damp sponge to gently wipe the walls, once again working from side to side and top to bottom. Be sure to re-wet the sponge regularly to ensure it stays clean.
  5. Rather than giving any residual dirt and dust time to dry back onto the walls, dry them off manually with a towel as you go. Every time you clean say a couple of square meters, give it all a good wipe with dry towel or cloth for the best possible finish.

Removing Crayon from Walls:

  1. You’ll want to invest in a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (or equivalent product) for this one, which to be honest can be a godsend for a whole bunch of stain-removal jobs around the home. Buy at your local hardware store or order online.
  2. Take a dull knife with a smooth edge and use it to very carefully remove as much of the crayon as possible protruding from the wall’s surface. Do NOT make the mistake of scraping too hard or too deep.
  3. After this, take the Magic Eraser and in accordance with instructions, rub it over the area where the residual crayon remains. This will help lift the crayon from the surface and make it much easier to remove.
  4. Next, mix up a bowl of mild soapy water, using just a few drops of detergent in a large bowl or bucket. Wet a sponge, squeeze out until just damp and get to work gently rubbing the spot with the crayon marks.
  5. Use a dry cloth or towel to remove excess moisture, repeating the process with the sponge if necessary.

Removing Marker and Ink:

  1. A Magic Eraser makes a good starting point for stains like these, often proving effective in its own right.
  2. Marker and ink stains can sometimes be remove with ease by using a little hairspray. Just spray the area lightly, take a paper towel or cloth and give it a gentle wipe. If it seems to be working, repeat until the stain is gone.
  3. If it doesn’t work, you can try applying a thin layer of toothpaste to the affected area. Leave it in place for about 10 minutes, before wiping it away and assessing the result. Repeat as necessary.

Removing Coffee, Wine, Tea etc.

  1. Always try to tackle spills and splashes like these before they are given chance to dry fully.
  2. Mix the same mild soapy water solution as described above.
  3. Use a cloth to wet the stain, rinse and repeat as many times as required.
  4. Dry the area full with a cloth or towel, before using a Magic Eraser to get rid of any residual marks.
  5. Repeat the whole process if necessary.

Important to Note:

Please be aware that none of the above methods are guaranteed to work and therefore must be tried out entirely at your own discretion and risk. Be careful when it comes to use of detergent, as if you use too much it will leave behind the kind of residue that will result in your walls attracting more dirt and grime.

Instead of using detergent, you’d be surprised how effective mild baby wipes can be on a lot of household stains. Lastly, be extremely careful if the painted surface you intend to clean is damaged, as the introduction of any moisture at all could accelerate its deterioration.

For more information or advice, get in touch with the Homm CPS team anytime.