Tips GB

5 ways to clean painted walls

By Maha

Updated: January 5th, 2024

Give your walls a good (gentle) scrub before your move.

Moving out soon?

Other than packing up your entire home, it’s also time to tackle your abode with a good old pre-move clean.

Sure, some areas like the oven are fairly straightforward to clean, and we’re used to regularly cleaning them. But what about painted surfaces like your walls?

Walls can gather grime and dust (don’t ask us how) over the years. And they’re not something we seem to regularly clean (well, most of us anyway).

If you don’t want the hassle of a full-blown paint job, try cleaning your painted walls using the below 5 tactics:

A couple of things before you start though…

  • Don’t forget to dust off any excess dirt before starting. You can do this using a simple duster for those areas you can reach, and a broom with a rag over its bristles for any high areas.
  • Use the right tools to prevent any scratches on the paintwork. A soft sponge will do for cleaning, and a soft cloth for drying.
  • Don’t over soak the sponge. If you do, wring it out properly before cleaning. Dripping can leave water stains on your walls that future tenants won’t love.

1. Wash with a gentle detergent and water solution

Yep, your walls can be washed.

Slightly weird concept when you think about it, but it’s actually the best way to clean your painted walls. Now in most cases, all you need is warm and soapy water. Create a cleaning solution in a bucket using water and your mildest cleaning detergent. Use your softest sponge to apply the solution to your walls.

Have another bucket with just water nearby so you can rinse off the solution about 5-10 minutes after applying.

This simple process should be enough to clean most painted walls.

2. Use white vinegar with warm water for pesky stains

Need something a little stronger? White vinegar, our old cleaning favourite, is up to the task of cleaning off any stubborn stains or particularly grimy walls.

Simply mix a cup of white vinegar with a bucket full of warm water and use your soft sponge to tackle any stains. No need to rinse off after.

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3. Avoid alcohol + chemicals

If you’re heading to your cleaning cupboard to find the right products to clean painted walls with, step away from anything containing alcohol or harsh chemicals. These ingredients can break down your paint surfaces, and leave your walls in more of a mess than when you first started.

If you’re unsure about even the mildest detergent – test it out first. Find an inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn’t contain any ingredients that will affect the paintwork.

4. Use a mild degreaser for kitchen walls

Obviously, kitchen walls can get a little greasy. On top of your washing techniques above, an additional wipe-down with a gentle degreaser should do the trick.

Just follow the product instructions to avoid any streak marks.

5. Spot-clean with baking soda + water

Got a few stains that just won’t budge? Baking soda can (once again) come to your rescue. Spot-clean your walls using a mixture of water and baking soda on a soft cloth or towel.

A half-cup of baking soda in a bucket of warm water should do it. Any crayon or pen marks should come straight off with this nifty little blend.

Again, test out on a hidden area before really going for it.

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