Dee asked: How do I remove pesticide stains (silve oxide) from the walls in our home? We had extermination done for bird mites. The pesticide was sprayed at the top of the wall and ran down in streaks. It dried this way on the walls. How can these stains be removed? We tried regular household cleaners, water and scrubbing. The shine of the stain comes off, but I can still see where something ran down the walls.
Wall streaks may be impossible to remove, particularly over flat paint. What looks like the residue of something left behind is often damage to the paint itself, and the most practical solution is usually to repaint. In many cases, it requires less time and effort to do that than it does to attempt to clean the wall. If you have gloss or semi-gloss paint, however, you may have some success with the following technique.
You Will Need:
- Clear ammonia
- Soft cloths
- Cool water
- Fan for ventilation
- Eye protection
Steps to Remove the Stain:
- Set the fan up for ventilation. Open windows and doors when possible. Ammonia has a strong odor, so be especially diligent about ventilation when working in small areas.
- Mix 1-2 cups of clear, non-sudsy ammonia with about one gallon of cool water. Avoid using hot or steamy water. The ammonia fumes are not as strong when you use cool water.
- Wearing eye protection and gloves, begin to wash the wall using the cleaning solution. Start at the bottom and work your way up.
- Once the wall has been cleaned, rinse immediately. Prolonged contact with chemicals may cause more damage to the paint.
- If this does not work, do NOT repeat the cleaning process. If the stains are not removed, you will need to repaint the area.
Additional Tips and Advice
- When washing walls, always start at the bottom and work your way up. Even if the dirt is near the top, you do not want water or cleaning solutions running over dry paint below. This is a primary cause of streaking, which can be difficult to hide or remove under any circumstance.
- If you have matching paint (or leftovers of the existing paint color), you may be able to paint only the stained areas. If the colors do not match exactly, it will likely require repainting the entire room or wall.