How To Clean Painted Walls And Wallpaper Correctly

how to clean walls

Whether they’re bright and covered with wallpaper or soft paint, walls play a large role in making your home cozy. They breathe life into every room of a home.

If you let them get overly dirty, you’ll quickly find that the inside of your home doesn’t look nearly as appealing as it used to.



The daily activities that take place in your home can leave your walls coated with ink, dirt, crayon, marker and several other unwanted compounds.

Finger marks, smears and smudges are especially common. If you have children, then you’ll probably have to scrub extra hard to remove the dirt.

While cleaning all of the walls in your home might seem like a monumental task, it doesn’t have to be, but you do need to be prepared.

Cleaning Painted Walls

Before you start cleaning your painted walls, you’ll need to move all of your furniture to the center of the room. You’ll also want to place old sheets or something similar onto the floor under the walls, which will catch the soapy runoff.

You should avoid placing plastic tarps onto the floor because they won’t actually absorb the drippy runoff, and they can become quite slippery when wet. You might want to place something over picture nails to make sure you can remember where they are.

You’ll want to grab two buckets, a natural sponge, white cleaning cloths and a lamb’s wool duster. You should avoid using colored cloths because they can deposit coloring onto the walls.

Fill one of the two buckets with cleaning solution and fill the other with clear water, which will be used for rinsing.

You should wear rubber gloves to protect your hands. Grab a step stool, so you can reach the higher points in your home.

Get It Done

The cleaning solution that you fill one bucket with should consist of mild detergent and water. Use one gallon of warm water mixed with one squeeze of liquid dishwasher fluid. If your walls are especially soiled, you’ll want to use a much stronger alkali solution.

You can create the stronger solution by mixing one cup borax, one cup white vinegar, one cup non-sudsing ammonia and one gallon warm water together.

Your second bucket should have clean water, which you’ll use for rinsing. Before you clean your painted walls with the cleaning solution, you should remove all of the dust. Just use a lamb’s wool duster and wipe the entire room.

When you’re washing the walls, you’ll have to accept the fact that there will be a lot of drips. To avoid drips, just wash from the bottom of the wall upwards. When large drips start to run down under where you’re washing, just wipe them quickly with the sponge.

If you wring the sponge out before wiping, you’ll be able to avoid a lot of drips. When you wash a wall, make sure you wash the entire thing. It can take a long time, but eventually, you’ll get it done.

Cleaning Wallpaper

Wallpaper can breathe life into virtually any room. It has varied textures and bright colors. However, the textures and colors can cause some issues when you need to clean. It can seem scary, but wallpaper isn’t that difficult to clean.

First, make sure to check the manufacturer guidelines. Wallpapers are known to differ in terms of coating and content, so it’s important to check manufacturer recommended cleaning instructions.

Also, make sure to dust wallpaper carefully. You can use a lamb’s wool duster to dust them before cleaning. Non-coated, older wallpaper can be cleaned with what is known as a dry sponge; you can buy one at your local hardware store.

A dry sponge is effective because it removes dirt without moisture. For washable wallpaper, you can use a natural sponge that has been dampened lightly with warm water and dishwashing fluids.

Additional Tips

You should never apply heavy amounts of soap to a wall. It will be extremely difficult to remove the residue left behind, and it will actually attract and hold grime and dirt.

Baby wipes can work well on walls, and they don’t require detergent or water. Before you apply any chemicals to your wall, make sure to spot test.

If you’re using strong chemicals, make sure to open your windows and allow for adequate ventilation. If you were wondering how to clean walls, now you know!

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