How do I clean flat paint?

I live in a rental where every room is painted in flat white paint. With a teenager and a toddler how can i clean the fingerprints and dirt, and keep the walls clean?

  9 answers
  • Deb K Deb K on Mar 09, 2018
    Microfiber cloths are perfect for so many jobs including walls, mild soap and water, rub gently rinse, wipe and voila!

  • Laura Jo Lubeck Laura Jo Lubeck on Mar 09, 2018
    The Mr. Clean Magic sponge works wonders also. They sell them even at the $$ stores, but I buy a bigger container with various sizes from Costco. Dampen it and rub gently!

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Mar 09, 2018
    I use microfiber cloths (they have them at the dollar store) and Mr. Clean erasers. Careful with the erasers though, as they can remove paint. Clean from the outside to inside of any marks so that you don't spread them. A bucket for the soapy water (a drop or two of Dawn works well) and a bucket for the rinse water. Don't let water drip down the wall.

  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Mar 09, 2018
    Buy a whole package of off-brand Mr. Clean Erasers at Dollar Tree. Use a small piece before you clean with anything else. From your own pocket, buy washable white paint and put a coat on corners or other abused walls. Find out what schedule the landlord uses for repainting—often not until a new renter is moving in. See if you can negotiate a paint job using washable paint. Or start a paint fund to do the job yourself. I once covered the “kicking wall” in my son’s room with clear Contact paper. When I took it down when my son outgrew the toddler kicking, the Wall didn’t even need cleaning. Best wishes ☺️ P.S. I made a rule for the grandchildren to always leave their shoes in a box by the front door, wet or dry. That has saved hours of polishing and vacuuming the floors. Socks make fewer scuffmarks on walls as well as floors this way!

  • Karla Karla on Mar 09, 2018
    My builder used flat paint on the walls, why I do not know. I tried everything and I mean everything, it always took the paint off as well and I would have an unsightly spot on the wall, it looked like I tried to clean it. So, what I started doing is barely getting the paint brush wet and go over all the spots once a month. At first I thought this would take forever, but it is actually quicker than trying to clean it. Maybe ask your apartment maintenance for some paint and try that. Just another thought.

  • Chubby58 Chubby58 on Mar 09, 2018
    Ask your landlord if you can repaint your rental in the same color, if you can then use a satin or semi gloss. Much easier to clean.

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Mar 09, 2018
    Mr. Clean Magic Eraser! Followed by Windex if the sponge leaves residue.

  • Chris Gardner Chris Gardner on Sep 09, 2021

    Here are some simple and highly effective ways to get rid of those ugly scuff marks or stains from your flat paint walls. These tips will help you do it without damaging your paint:

    1. Cloth and Sponge: The first thing you should try is warm water and a clean cloth or sponge. Sometimes just water alone is enough to remove stains. Try gently rubbing the area and see what happens. Make sure you clean dirt and stains from flat paint walls as quickly as possible. The longer you ignore them, the harder they are for you to clean!
    2. Vinegar and Water: If warm water alone doesn’t do the trick, try adding a very small amount of vinegar to your water or even a few drops of mild detergent
    3. Specialty Sponges: If the stain still persists you can try using one of the melamine-foam-based white sponges such as the “Magic Eraser” or the “Easy Eraser”. They are non-abrasive and are not likely to mar flat-painted surfaces. But be careful because as these sponges wear down, they have a tendency to leave a white residue on walls that are darker colors such as dark grey, navy, brown, or green.
    4. Touch Up Paint: A can of touch-up paint may come in handy right about now if nothing else has fully removed the stain. Flat paints are much easier to touch up than semigloss or satin. You just want to make sure the paint on your wall isn’t faded or dirty so the spot you are touching up will match perfectly after the touch-up paint has dried.
    5. The Last Resort: Last but not least, if all your previous methods have failed, and you have enough matching paint, you can always resort to repainting the entire wall. This will obviously take you more time and prep work but might be worth it in the long run to give you the desired look of a beautifully clean wall.