How To Clean The Painted Walls?

Cleaning the painted walls is a delicate job. This is especially true when you have decorative wallpaper or exclusive painting on the wall. So, we are trying to show you the best method of how to clean the painted walls. Cleaning the walls of your home might be a tiresome job. Our tips will help you to do it in an effortless but effective way.

Wall cleaning is an occasional job. But the walls get messier when you have a pet or kids. So, you need to learn a fast and easy way of cleaning the dirty wall. More importantly, many harsh chemicals also destroy the paint. So, you better be careful when choosing any synthetic for cleaning purposes.

How To Clean The Painted Walls

Supplies you’ll need:

You will require relevant supplies to complete the cleaning job. Therefore gather them beforehand in order to get less messy. The supplies you will require is as below-

  • Liquid soap (hand or dishwashing)
  • Baking soda
  • Degreaser
  • Warm water
  • Piece of cloth
  • Sponge
  • Microfiber dust mop
  • A vacuum cleaner with a dust brush
  • White vinegar
  • A couple of buckets
  • Tarp or groundsheet

In the following steps, we are trying to provide the best solution to clean your painted walls.

Know The Paint Type

Before you start cleaning, you must know the type of paint used in your wall so that you can decide how you should treat it. Many times it is seen that a wrong treatment has turned the painted wall into a mess. As a homeowner, you wouldn’t like it. The cleaning process of different types of paint is different. Hence we recommend you learn about the paint type in the first place.

There are quite a few types of paint used on walls. Some are water-based, and some are oil-based. However, distemper, textured, and metallic paint are also available, and every type of paint demands a varied cleaning method. If you are uncertain what sort of wall paint you have, you can apply some solution on any unnoticeable corner to find out.

Prepare The Floor And Gather Supplies

Before you start cleaning, you need to spread a layer of clothing on the floor. You can cover the floor with a tarpaulin or groundsheet. It will keep the floor clean and mess-free. Also, it will reduce your pain to clean the floor. Then gather your cleaning supplies all together.

Dusting The Wall

Now you may want to know why you need to dust before washing the wall. It is like dusting the floor before you mop. That is, dusting removes the loose particles from the wall and makes cleaning smudges free. Therefore, you need to use a dusting brush to do the job easily. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum cleaner. Always start the cleaning from top to bottom.

Start Cleaning

The cleaning process of the painted walls may vary depending upon the paint type. It not only cleans the walls deeply but also brings out a fresh new look to the house. Also, you need to consider the timing of the cleaning. Because if you do it in early fall or late spring, the passing air through the open windows helps to dry the walls faster.

i) Satin, Eggshell, Flat Paint Finishes

Let’s move to the next step now, and that is to clean the walls. Since the eggshell and flat finishes are most common for interior walls, you have to be a little careful when cleaning these finishes.

In one of the buckets, mix a few drops of mild liquid soap with about 2 liters of warm water. Then soak the sponge and wring out most of the water. Excess water may create bubbles or watermarks on the surface. Now before washing the wall, do a patch test on an unnoticeable side.

Do not scrub the wall; instead, wipe the surface in a soft, circular motion. You can divide the wall into three portions- up, middle, down, and start at the top, then move downwards. You may need to go for a second round if the walls are very dirty. And if the soapy solution becomes cloudy, you may need to make a second batch.

An alternative to this mixing solution is a gallon of warm water with 2-3 tablespoons of plain white vinegar. (Do not use red wine vinegar instead. It may leave stains on the wall.)

ii) Semi-Gloss And Gloss Finishes

Glossy paints generally don’t have a flickery texture and do not break off the wall easily. The glossy paint is mostly used in the kitchen. Also, the dirt sits on the wall firmly. So, you will require a degreaser. However, use a mild version of the degreaser. 

Spray the degreaser on the spot where the sticky dirt is. Leave it for a few minutes on the grease. Use a wet sponge to remove the dirt, swirling it in a circular motion. Then wipe the grease off with a clean piece of rug.

After that, make a solution by mixing a teaspoon of liquid soap, 1 liter of warm water, and 1/4 th teaspoon of white vinegar. Make the solution prior to starting the cleaning. Use the solution to wipe off the remaining dirt, followed by a simple water rinse. Wring out the excess liquid before you wipe the wall with a sponge.

Start from the top of the wall and move to the bottom as you clean. Also, do not give excessive pressure while wiping the walls. It may cause damage to the paint. Use a soft cellulose sponge to reduce the risk. Wash the sponge in between the wipes and change the liquid mixture as necessary. Sometimes the dirt might be too stubborn and wouldn’t go away easily. There you may need to give a second wipe.

iii) Oil-based Painted Walls

An all-purpose cleaner for oil-based wall-stains solves half of the problem, right? Since oil-based paints are hard to clean, here is a simple formula to clean the mess faster and effortlessly.

  • 1/4 th teaspoon of white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent
  • 1 liter of warm water

Mix them all and make a solution. Leave the mixture before use for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Air Dry The Walls

You do not need to wipe the walls with towels to pat dry them. Switch on the fan so that the walls dry faster. And if you are in a suitable condition to open the doors and windows, do so to speed up the process. Also, avoid cleaning the walls on gloomy days. Try to do the cleaning on a warm sunny day to make the drying process faster.

How To Clean Dirty Walls?

If you do not have to clean the whole wall, then you can spot clean any specific area. However, using any harsh chemical to remove any tough stain may ruin the paint. So, you need to choose carefully what you are using to clean stains. Also, you need to act promptly as soon as the wall gets stained.

In the first place, soak a sponge in just simple warm water and wipe the wall. If it doesn’t seem working, use the mildest cleaner to clean the dirt in a specific space. Make sure to do a patch test at a corner first to ensure it is safe for the flat paint walls or wallpaper. If the paint remains in place and the dirt is still there, pick a stronger cleanser.

Tough spots, including fingerprints of your kid, may require special care. Use vinegar and water mixed with a sponge on the spot. If it doesn’t work, make a paste with a teaspoon of baking soda and a few drops of water. Then take a soft, cellulite sponge and wipe the dirt off. However, do not scrub too hard, or it may ruin the paint. After that, wipe off the remains with a clean, dry cloth.

How To Prevent Dirty Walls?

Preventing is always the best way to keep things safe. The same goes when we talk about keeping the walls clean. Regular dusting reduces the effort to deep clean walls without removing paint. You can use a vacuum with an attached brush or a soft broom. Another important thing to consider is to use a white microfiber cloth to prevent transferring color to the wall.

The fresh look on the painted walls is at constant risk of getting dirty when kids are around. So, whenever they leave a mark on the wall, instantly clean it with a dampened sponge. Use a degreaser to remove any sticker residue. Also, avoid washing the wall when you might be able to skip washing. Just spot clean the stains.


We think now you have a clear idea of how to clean the painted walls. The same goes with the wallpapers. Make sure to do a scratch test and use a clean, white rag for cleaning. Now, it’s time to clean!

About Emon Hawlader

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