In some homes, the walls seem to always be clean, requiring only a bit of dusting to keep them looking their best. But in other homes, those who envy the wall dusters, have dirt, fingerprints, grime, and more making homes in need of a cleaning. The causes of your dirty walls are endless, from natural oils on your fingers and hands, to crayons, to smoke, and the list goes on. Whether your walls have latex paint or oil-based paint, we are here to help with tips on how to clean your painted walls and keep them looking spotless for the long haul.
Dusting Your Walls
No matter what type of paint is on your walls, regular dusting is the first step in keeping them looking freshly painted. And it is the first step you need to take before washing or spot cleaning as well. The easiest approach, making walls and ceilings in reach, is with the dust brush attachment on your vacuum. Next, wipe them down with a cloth covered broom or mop. You can even use dusting wipes if you have them on hand.
Now you might think this is a step you can skip in the wall cleaning process – but please don’t! Skipping the dusting will only make your job more difficult in the long run – existing dust mixed with water will only make more streaks, smudges, and marks on your walls.
Painted Walls in General
Here’s the thing, you always want to start with the gentlest wall cleaner available – water on a sponge. You can always go stronger if the water fails to remove the stain, but you’ll have to re-paint the wall if you discolor the paint because you started out aggressively.
Remember, stains and other marks are going to take a little more effort. If there is only a single spot, try a mixture of baking soda and water, rinse and dry it. If that fails, you can go to warm water and a mild cleaning soap. And if you have a truly stubborn stain, you might want to experiment by adding white vinegar to the mix. Regardless of what mixture you find works for you, always be safe – avoid getting water around light switches, outlets, cable connections, and other electrical connections.
Always, do a test in an inconspicuous area before you begin to wipe down the entire wall. Put your cleaner on and let it dry. If it looks good, go ahead with the cleaning project beginning at the top of the wall and working toward the floor. Do manageable areas – wash, then rinse – rubbing with a soft touch in a circular motion and drying each section with a soft clean cloth as you complete it.
The Latex Painted Walls Conundrum
While flat, satin, and eggshell latex paint makes for beautiful walls, they are more difficult to clean. Paint may lose it color or even rub off with cleaning. On latex walls, you definitely want to do a spot test, using warm water and a sponge to start, adding non-abrasive gentle detergent if needed. Dip your sponge, wring it out, and gently rub. Rinse with a clean sponge and water.
Proceed slowly and carefully on latex painted walls, getting sloppy or going to quickly will likely make things look worse than when you started. In the event this happens to you, you might want to consider hiring a professional cleaning service or applying a fresh coat of paint to the walls.
The Oil-Based Painted Walls
Semi-gloss and gloss enamel painted walls typically can stand a good washing with ease. Even so, always begin with the gentlest cleaner available. If your walls are dirty or have tough to beat stains, try a stronger solution of dish detergent, white vinegar and warm water for best results. Again, you’ll want to do a spot test, and if successful, follow the same washing procedure as you did on your latex painted walls.
Keeping Walls Clean
Dusting walls regularly is the place to start. Next, keep walls clean year-round is wiping away smudges, fingerprints, crayon marks, and other stains as soon as you notice them. Of course, the ideal solution is to hire a dependable cleaning service like Signature Maids whose promise is to deliver affordable, expert cleaning services to you.