How to Remove Hairspray from Painted Walls


Dante asked:  How do I remove non-aerosol hairspray from painted walls? Non-aerosol hairspray bottles have a habit of getting partially clogged and they splatter hairspray all over the painted walls. I have tried every type of commercial bathroom cleaner and magic erasers – nothing works! I’d rather not repaint the walls to get rid of the spots.

When hairspray builds up on walls and other areas, it not only creates a sticky surface, it causes discoloration as well. There are a variety of methods out there that will cut through this sticky mess so that it can be removed. Be sure to test a small, hidden area first (especially on dark colored walls) to ensure there is no color removed with the cleaning process. Here are a few methods that will remove the hairspray easily without damaging your walls.

Fabric Softener Method

You Will Need:

  • Liquid fabric softener
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft cloths

Steps to Remove the Hairspray:

  1. Fill the spray bottle with one part fabric softener and two parts water.
  2. Spray the hairspray covered surfaces with the mixture.
  3. Wipe the area clean with a soft cloth.
  4. Repeat as necessary.

Baking Soda Method

You Will Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Soft cloths

Steps to Remove the Hairspray:

  1. Fill a bucket or bowl with warm water.
  2. Add about a cup of baking soda to the water.
  3. Moisten the soft cloth with the mixture.
  4. Use the wet cloth to wipe the hairspray covered areas on the wall.
  5. If the hairspray does not come off, try sprinkling some dry baking soda on the wet cloth and rubbing it gently on the wall. Do not apply too much pressure or it may start to remove some of the color.
  6. Once clean, rinse with clean water and a clean cloth.
  7. Dry with a soft towel.

Using Bathroom Cleaners

You Will Need:

  • Bathroom cleaners or mild soap
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Soft cloths

Steps to Remove the Hairspray:

  1. Fill a bucket with warm water and add some soap. Mix until suds begin to form.
  2. Moisten a soft cloth with the mixture and rub it over the hairspray covered area. Hairspray is water soluble. It may take some time, but it will break down when wet. If possible, allow the hairspray to absorb the moisture before trying to wipe it away.
  3. An all purpose cleaner can also be sprayed onto the surface.
  4. Wipe away with a soft cloth.
  5. Rinse with clean water and a clean cloth.
  6. Dry with a soft towel.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Regular cleanings will help prevent serious build up.
  • Some recommend using alcohol to remove the build up. While this may work for cutting through the hairspray, it can also remove the coloring from the walls.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are good for removing all kinds of dirt and build up. They are safe to use on painted walls. However, excessive use can lead to paint removal or thin areas. Keep a close eye as you are cleaning for any adverse effects.


  1. You can also use a used dryer sheet. After you remove it from the dryer, just wet it and wipe away the hairspray!

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