How to Clean Painted Walls
Washing your walls should be a regular part of house cleaning, especially if you have doodle-happy kids and/or muddy pets running around. It may seem less crucial than other chores, but it is important for keeping your home looking and smelling good and extending the life of your paint.
Popular natural cleaning solutions include white vinegar or baking soda. At best, vinegar can help in removing soap scum and mineral deposits, neither of which are likely to be your problem in this case. Though a mixture of baking soda and water will clean your walls without removing paint, it can leave a stubborn white film behind, requiring you to do multiple wipes after cleaning.
Not all types of paint respond as well to cleaning as others. Flat, satin or eggshell finishes are a little more delicate, but you just need to be extra gentle when rubbing or wiping.
Whether they're coated in flat, satin, eggshell, gloss, semi-gloss oil-based or latex paint, using a non-abrasive cleaner is the best way to clean painted walls. Keep walls clean and free of dust, fingerprints, stains and smudges with Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner.
Spot clean fingerprints and other marks as soon as you notice them, and deep clean once a year to keep dirt off and maintain that freshly-painted look.
Directions for Cleaning Painted Walls:
- Prep walls. Remove artwork and wall hangings, and move furniture toward the center of the room. Dust the entire area you're going to be cleaning using a cloth or the brush attachment on your vacuum.
- Make your Simple Green solution. Mix 1 ounce of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner with 4 cups of clean water in a small bowl.
- Apply your solution. If you're worried about dripping onto the floor, line the wall with towels. Spot test your Simple Green solution on a small, hidden area before use. Dip a non-abrasive cloth or clean sponge into your solution and apply it to the wall section-by-section. Flat, satin and eggshell finishes do best with as little water as possible, so wring out your cloth or sponge well. Be careful around parts of the walls that house electrical components like light switches, plug outlets and telephone jacks.
- Soak. Allow the solution to sit for a minute or so on heavy soils such as scuff marks or crayon.
- Wipe down. Use a damp, clean non-abrasive cloth to wipe the cleaned section. Remember to use as little liquid as possible and wipe gently. Start at the top and work your way down in circular motions.
- Wipe dry. Use a dry, non-abrasive cloth or towel to dry the section completely. This step is important for avoiding streaks.
- Repeat. Move to a new section of the wall and repeat steps 3-6.
TIP: If you're dealing with more heavy-duty stains, such as grease splatters on your kitchen walls, see how to clean those here.