Whether painted or papered, walls can need a good wipe down every so often. This is especially true for properties with children and pets, or both! As property owners, we have mastered the art of carpet cleaning, window cleaning, and even oven cleaning; but what about walls? The right technique and proper solutions can clean walls with ease, but it is important to know these tips before getting your hands wet. This is because some wallpapers and paints react adversely to certain solutions and cleaning agents. Learning the proper methods and products for wall cleaning is the first step to getting the job done!
How to Clean Painted Walls
Cleaning painted walls is a large job, so preparation is key to making it as easy as possible. This means moving furniture away from walls and laying down cloth sheets, not tarp, to avoid slippery walking surfaces. It also means covering wall nails with a bit of dry sponge or rubber to protect your hands while cleaning, as well as, to remember where hanging frames belong. Once prep is complete, here’s what you need to get started:
✔ Lamb’s Wool Duster
✔ White Rags or Cloths
✔ Natural Sponge (No colors)
✔ Two Buckets (One for water, one for solution)
✔ Rubber Gloves (Turn up sleeves to stop drips)
✔ Step Ladder
✔ Liquid Dish Detergent
❶ In the first bucket, combine 1 gallon of clean water with ¼ cup mild dish detergent liquid.
❷ Fill the second bucket with clean clear water. This is for rinsing only. Change as needed throughout cleaning.
❸ Using a duster, wipe down the entire surface area of each wall to remove loose dust, cobwebs, and other debris. Do not forget the baseboards and moldings.
Before applying moisture to the walls, keep in mind that dirty dripping water can dry and leave behind muddy stains. For this reason, always wash walls from BOTTOM to TOP, and then from SIDE to SIDE. Use your sponge to swipe up additional drips as you clean. Never take breaks in the middle of one wall, this can leave behind uneven cleaning marks. Finish an entire wall, then take a breather before beginning the next one.
❹ Dip the sponge in the cleaning solution and gently apply it in a small area, then rinse the sponge in clean water and rinse the wall clean. Continue using this technique as you work your way through the entire wall.
❺ Use the clean white cloths to pat the walls dry, removing any excess moisture left behind.
You can purchase store-bought wallpaper cleaners that are safe and effective for washable wallpaper. You can also just use some warm water and a little dishwashing liquid. If you have non-coated wallpaper, you do not want to apply moisture to it for cleaning. Instead, use a dry sponge, found at any local hardware store, to lift dirt and grime safely. And to remove fingerprints, use an art eraser to gently rub away the marks. The most important tip for cleaning wallpapered walls is to check the manufacturer guidelines first before you start.