How to Wash Interior Painted Walls

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Kaye asked: I am cleaning walls that are not white. They are dark colored walls. I am not sure if I should clean them differently. I am using Mr. Clean for wash and then clean rinse water then dry. Any other advise. I did buy some Awesome but not sure about using it.

Cleaning the walls in your home is something that we often neglect. Any color of painted walls can be cleaned if the paint is semi-gloss or gloss. If the paint is white or light in color, flat paint can be cleaned as well. Do not attempt to clean dark colored flat paint as it often leaves more streaks and marks and leaves it looking worse than when you began. Follow these steps to clean you walls in the most efficient way.

You Will Need:

  • Mild detergent
  • Water
  • 2 Buckets
  • 2 Sponges
  • Plenty of soft cloths (terrycloth works well)

Steps to Clean the Walls:

*Always test a small hidden section first to ensure the cleaner will not cause any adverse effects to the color.

  1. Begin by filling two buckets with water.
  2. Place the mild soap or detergent in the first bucket and agitate slightly to mix and form suds.
  3. Moisten the sponge with the sudsy water and squeeze it out thoroughly. You want the sponge to be moist, but not dripping.
  4. Start cleaning in small sections working from the bottom to the top. If you start at the top, it is likely that the dirty water will drip towards the bottom causing a larger mess. It is easier to clean runs from the wall if it has already been cleaned.
  5. First, wipe it clean with the sudsy sponge.
  6. Next, rinse it with a sponge moistened with clean water.
  7. Dry the area immediately to avoid streaking.
  8. Repeat these steps, working in small sections (about 4 feet at a time) around the room. Overlap each section slightly to avoid missing any areas along the edges.
  9. Replace the rinse water as needed to keep it fresh.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • If you’re cleaning the walls to prepare for applying new paint, consider using a stronger cleaner such as TSP. Do not use this on regular walls as it will dull and/or strip the paint. Use protective gloves and eyewear to protect yourself while cleaning.

Comments

  1. Eileen says:

    My white gloss painted doors keep having a dull film on them. I have tried many products to clean this off and after a short while it is back again. Please can you give me any advice on how to clean them? Thank you.

  2. Melanie says:

    Eileen,
    If you are using water to clean the doors, even water mixed with a product to dilute it, it could be that you have hard water. An easy remedy for that is to use distilled water instead.
    Another possibility is that the film could be soap scum from the products you are using to clean. For that, you need to determine what cleaner can remove the scum and also be safe for the painted door. Test any cleaner on a small, hidden area first to look for any adverse reaction. Some products that might work are isopropyl alcohol, diluted white vinegar, diluted ammonia or possibly a glass cleaner. You could also try using a paste of baking soda in water, but don’t scrub very hard with it, as baking soda is a mild abrasive.
    Source: HowToCleanStuff.net – How to Remove Lime Scale
    Source: HowToCleanStuff.net – How to Clean Soap Scum
    Source: HowToCleanStuff.net – How to Remove Film from a Natural Stone Shower

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