How to Clean Walls Without Ruining Your Paint

Best Of Hometalk
by Best Of Hometalk

Does dusting your furniture ever make you wonder how much of that same grime has settled on your walls? It should! Walls and baseboards collect dust, handprints, splatters, and germs and need to be cleaned even if they don’t always show it.

How to Clean Walls (pixabay)

The grime, dirt, and germs that collect on bathroom surfaces settle on the walls too and need to be cleaned just like the floors, mirror, sink, and toilet. Take a look at the contaminants and splatters seen under a blacklight on a bathroom wall near the toilet!

How to Clean Painted Walls (Matthew Gingerella)

See post: Matthew Gingerella|BATHROOMS - Why Routinely Disinfect the Walls?

Now that you know you need to clean the walls, are you worried that you don’t know how to clean painted walls without ruining the paint finish or leaving streaks? Read on to see how a simple mixture of liquid dish soap and water will have your walls sparkling clean and won’t ruin your flat, semi-gloss, or gloss paint. Whether your walls are dirty, marked with kids’ fingerprints and crayon drawings, or moisture has caused them to mold, use these tips for how to clean walls without damaging your paint.

For this simple but very necessary DIY household cleaning project you will need two buckets of hot water, two sponges, liquid dish soap, and you may need a small amount of baking soda for heavily marked walls or any stubborn remaining stains. Prepare the area before cleaning it with towels or drop cloths along the floor to protect floors or rugs from any water spills. Be sure to work from the top down when dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning the walls. If you are using this tutorial as a solution for how to clean mold off walls, wear gloves and be sure to change the water and the sponge used to clean any portion of the wall affected by the mold before moving on to sections without mold. Discard any materials used to clean and remove the mold.

How to Clean Walls

Step 1: Remove Any Surface Dirt or Dust from Walls

Use a vacuum attachment that won’t scratch the surface, a dry Swiffer, or a dry microfiber mop head to remove any dust and dirt from the wall. Working in sections, start at the top of the wall and work your way down. Be sure to remove all dirt and dust from the painted baseboards as well. Removing the surface dirt and dust is critical in order to avoid creating a streaky, almost muddy residue when wiping down the wall with a wet sponge in the following steps. It is a vital step to include especially when planning how to clean walls with flat paint that tend to be more difficult to wipe clean.

Best Way to Clean Walls (Angela)

See post: Angela|The Fastest Way to Clean the Walls

Step 2: Clean Wall with Dish Soap and Hot Water

Fill one bucket with only hot water. Fill a second bucket with about 3-4 drops of dish soap per gallon of hot water and mix together. Wet one sponge in the soapy solution and thoroughly wring water from the sponge to prevent drip lines from forming on the walls below it as you clean. Wipe down the wall with the soapy sponge from the top to the bottom. Make a second pass down the same line just cleaned using the second sponge from the water bucket to rinse away any soap residue. Repeat this process—one pass with a soapy sponge, followed by a pass with a clean sponge—in small sections at a time all the way around the room. Note: If you have two mops, it may be easier to use them in place of the sponges and make reaching the top of the walls easier! 

Cleaning Walls (Chas’ Crazy Creations)

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Step 3: Treat Any Remaining Spots

For heavily soiled walls, or in homes with children, stains or marks may persist after the initial cleaning passes are made. If so, spot treat the marks or stains with a damp cloth and a small amount of baking soda. Dip the damp cloth into a bowl of baking soda and lightly rub on any marks that remained on the wall. A small amount of baking soda should be adequate to treat small problem spots and will make the marks disappear immediately!

Spot Cleaning Walls (Shawna Bailey)

See post: Shawna Bailey|How to Remove Crayon From Your Walls

Step 4: Dry Wall with a Towel

Working in sections, dry the wall with a towel after washing it. Gently rub down the clean walls with a clean towel to prevent streaking and to remove any excess moisture from remaining on the walls. Run a fan in the room if possible to help speed the drying process. Leaving too much moisture on the walls after cleaning them can damage the walls and lead to the formation of mold!

How to Clean Mold off Walls

Mold is a common problem in many homes and is often found on walls. After determining the source of the moisture causing the mold found on your walls and either removing it yourself or hiring a professional to remove it, you’ll still need to discover how to clean mold off walls yourself

How to Clean Mold Off Walls (Christine - Decorated Life)

See post: Christine - Decorated Life|Mold Removal - How to Get Rid of Black Mold

While it is a common misconception that bleach should be used to clean mold, because bleach is mostly comprised of water, it adds additional moisture to the problem surface and thus is not actually effective at remedying the mold. After the chlorine in bleach evaporates from the wall, all that remains is the water which contributed to the mold growth in the first place! The tutorial shown here for how to clean walls is also recommended for how to clean mold off walls. The same dish soap used to clean dirt and grime effectively will clean the mold from walls without damaging the paint or leaving behind moisture that will contribute to the growth of new mold.

When your walls stop looking their best and it becomes obvious that it is time to tackle the project, look no further than this simple DIY house cleaning tutorial for the best way to clean walls. It isn’t enough to just clean the floors, furniture, and counters in your home while neglecting to clean the largest surface in any room—your walls! Bathroom walls hold bacteria and splatters that aren’t easily seen by the naked eye but linger on them nonetheless. Rather than expose your household to the fumes from harsh cleaners, a simple mixture of hot water and dish soap should be enough to return your walls to their new-paint shine without the worry of damaging their finish.

Do you have an easy and effective solution for how to clean walls without damaging your paint? Know a cleaning hack for how to clean painted walls? Share your tips, photos, and ideas with others and find inspiration for more household cleaning projects on Hometalk!

Written for the Hometalk community by: Kate Griffin | Eating in the Shower Blog

Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Nolz Nolz on Feb 25, 2019

    U talk about Dawn dish was I live in what can I use

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  • Golden Golden on Jan 21, 2020

    There is a house I am absolutely in love with however it reaks of dog urine. Of course I would change the carpet and padding but I was hoping there would be some tutorial or tips on how to thoroughly clean the walls (just to be safe) thanks.