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What Can You Use To Clean Painted Walls? (How To)

Man painting the wall using roll brush

Few things feel better than a clean home. If you’re like me, it’s an achievement to remember to clean the ceiling fans and top of the refrigerator. But I don’t often think of cleaning the walls. What can you use to clean painted walls?

To clean painted walls you can use ammonia, baking soda, and Murphy’s Oil soap. Tougher cleaning products such as bleach, rubbing alcohol, TSP, and Sugar Soap are best used for spot treating difficult stains or for cleaning the walls prior to being repainted.

The walls will not accumulate dirt like other surfaces in your home, but they do collect dust, grime, and stains, especially in high-traffic areas. Cleaning the walls once a year is all that is needed to keep your home clean and looking fresh – all while not damaging the paint.

Can You Use Ammonia To Clean Painted Walls?

Man painting the wall using roll brush

Ammonia is touted as a natural cleaning product and is also found in many pre-made cleaning solutions. Can you use ammonia to clean painted walls?

Yes, you can use ammonia to clean painted walls. Mix 1 cup of regular ammonia with 1 gallon of water. Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently wipe the walls. After cleaning the walls, wipe the walls with a wet cloth to remove any residual ammonia left on the walls.

Ammonia is an effective cleaner, especially when cleaning kitchen walls that easily accumulate grease and dust. However, although it is considered ‘natural’, ammonia is dangerous if used incorrectly.

Ammonia has a very strong scent. Open windows for ventilation or wear a respirator if you are working in a confined space. The fumes can be extremely irritating to the lining of the lungs. If ventilation is not possible, wear a respirator to avoid inhaling the fumes.

You also need to wear rubber gloves to protect your skin. Wear gloves that are long enough to protect your entire hand and forearm, if needed. Wring out the excess ammonia solution so you do not have any running down your arms as you work overhead.

Can You Use Baking Soda To Clean Painted Walls?

Baking soda is known for its stain-fighting abilities. It is in our laundry detergent and toothpaste. Can you use baking soda to clean painted walls?

Yes, you can use baking soda to clean painted walls. Baking soda is best used for cleaning stubborn stains. Mix enough baking soda and water together to form a paste. Gently rub the paste on the stain and let it rest for 5 minutes. Remove the paste with a damp cloth.

Baking soda is naturally abrasive so do not use too much pressure when scrubbing. If the stain is particularly stubborn, leave the paste on the stain for a few minutes and then remove it with a damp cloth.

Another home solution is hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is good for stubborn stains such as red wine. Use a rag dabbed with hydrogen peroxide and press it into the stain. Hold the rag against the stain for at least 5 minutes.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 07/09/2022.

Can You Use Bleach To Clean Painted Walls?

Man painting the wall using roll brush

Bleach is a household staple when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting regularly touched surfaces. Can you use bleach to clean painted walls?

Yes, you can use bleach to clean painted walls. Mix bleach and water in a 3:1 ratio. Never use undiluted bleach on painted walls. Transfer the mixture to a spray bottle. Spray the wall and let it rest for 15 minutes. Use a damp cloth to remove the bleach.

Bleach is not the best choice when it comes to general cleaning of painted walls but it is effective at removing mold or mildew from painted walls. Unfortunately, our homes are built in such a way to keep heating and cooling costs down but that also means there is less ventilation.

When there is not adequate air movement in a home, water vapor builds up. The vapor condenses, creating the perfect environment for mildew to move in. This is especially true for bathrooms where moisture is already present on a regular basis.

Safety

Bleach will not harm most surfaces, but the same cannot be said about the human body.

Bleach can burn the skin and damage the mucosal lining of the nasal passages and lungs. Wear long sleeves or, at the very least, long rubber gloves to protect your arms and hands.

If you are mixing a large amount of bleach solution, wear eye goggles and a respirator to protect your eyes and lungs from the fumes. Only use the solution in an area that can be well ventilated.

Can You Use Borax To Clean Painted Walls?

Borax is often used as a stain remover for the laundry. Can you use Borax to clean painted walls?

Yes, you can use Borax to clean painted walls. Mix 2 cups of warm water with 2 tsp of Borax. For added grease cleaning, add one-quarter cup of distilled vinegar. Pour the solution into a spray bottle. Lightly spray the wall, starting at the top, and gently wipe with a microfiber cloth.

Pouring the Borax solution into a spray bottle will help prevent you from soaking the walls. Using Borax on walls painted with flat paint could remove the paint so do not scrub the walls.

You can also use the Borax solution to remove mildew and crayon marks. It is always a good idea to test the solution on an inconspicuous patch somewhere out of sight, just in case your painted walls don’t tolerate the solution.

Can You Use Goo Gone To Clean Painted Walls?

Man painting the wall using roll brush

Your child used the hallway wall as his mural. Again. Can you use Goo Gone to clean painted walls?

Yes, you can use Goo Gone to clean painted walls. Use a small solution on a soft cloth and gently rub the area you want to clean. Once the stain is removed, use a solution of water and soap to remove any oily residue left behind.

Goo Gone is not meant to be used as a general cleaning solution but it works great for spot jobs, such as removing crayon marks from the walls.

As always, if you are not sure how your walls will handle Goo Gone, do a spot test on an area that is not seen by others.

Safety

Goo Gone is safe to use but it is a chemical, so caution needs to be exercised when using this product. The fumes from Goo Gone, while not strong in comparison to other cleaners, have been known to cause skin and lung irritation.

Use Goo Gone in a well-ventilated area. If you are not able to open windows or turn on fans, wear a respirator to protect your airways from the fumes.

Can You Use Goof Off To Clean Painted Walls?

Goof Off claims to be ideal for stubborn stains and heavy-duty messes. Can you use Goof Off to clean painted walls?

Generally speaking, you should not use Goof Off to clean painted walls. Goof Off is acetone-based. Acetone will remove paint, especially latex paint. Goof Off is best used when needing to remove paint splatter, not cleaning painted walls.

Goof-off is too caustic to be used for general cleaning purposes. However, if you are wanting to clean walls that are going to be repainted or otherwise refinished, Goof Off will effectively remove any sticky or stubborn spots.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 07/09/2022.

Can You Use Magic Eraser To Clean Painted Walls?

Man painting the wall using roll brush

Magic Erasers remove everything from scuff marks to markers. Can you use a Magic Eraser to clean painted walls?

Yes, you can use Magic Eraser to clean painted walls. Magic Eraser can remove the shine from some glossy paint finishes so do a test patch first. Keep the Eraser wet while cleaning. Use a damp cloth to remove any residue left behind.

Magic Erasers are not designed to be used everywhere, although it feels that way. Magic Eraser is made of melamine. These tiny particles swell with water, making them effective at scrubbing away stains and scuffs. Melamine can cause skin irritation so wear rubber gloves when using it.

Can You Use Murphy’s Oil Soap To Clean Painted Walls?

Murphy’s Oil Soap is a multi-purpose product that is 98% natural. Can you use Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean painted walls?

Yes, you can use Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean painted walls. Dilute a one-half cup of Murphy’s Oil soap with one-half cup of warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the wall. Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently rub the solution.

Even though Murphy’s Oil Soap is safe, it can cause skin irritation. Wear rubber gloves when cleaning with the Murphy’s Oil Soap solution.

Can You Use Rubbing Alcohol To Clean Painted Walls?

Man painting the wall using roll brush

Rubbing alcohol is used to clean and disinfect surfaces in our home. Can you use rubbing alcohol to clean painted walls?

Yes, you can use rubbing alcohol to clean painted walls. Apply the alcohol to a cotton pad and use it as a spot treatment. Rubbing alcohol will remove tough stains such as markers and wine. Rubbing alcohol can be diluted with water for a gentler concentration.

Rubbing alcohol is a widely available and affordable way to spot and clean your walls. Do a test patch to make sure your walls can tolerate the solution.

Can You Use Steam Cleaner To Clean Painted Walls?

All of us are no strangers to disinfecting rooms after someone has been sick. Can you use a steam cleaner to clean painted walls?

Yes, you can use a steam cleaner to clean painted walls, unless they are painted with water-based paint. Keep the nozzle at least 6 inches away from the wall. Keep the steamer constantly moving. Wipe down each section after it has been steamed.

You do not have to purchase or rent a special cleaner to steam your walls. Your regular household clothing steamer will do the job just fine. The most important thing to remember is to keep the steamer moving and keep water from dripping down the wall.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 07/09/2022.

Can You Use Sugar Soap To Clean Painted Walls?

Man painting the wall using roll brush

Sugar Soap is an industrial-strength cleaner that packs a punch. Can you use Sugar Soap to clean painted walls?

Yes, you can use Sugar Soap to clean painted walls but caution needs to be used. However, Sugar Soap should not be used on walls that are not going to be refinished. To prepare walls for fresh paint, mix one-quarter cup of Sugar Soap with 5 quarts of water.

Sugar Soap is not intended to be used as a general household cleaner. Despite its name, Sugar Soap is not sweet and will do damage to your walls and to you if used incorrectly.

Wear rubber gloves when working with Sugar Soap to protect your skin. Only use the solution in a well-ventilated area. Open windows or turn on fans to increase the drying time as well.

Can You Use TSP To Clean Painted Walls?

TSP, Trisodium Phosphate, is an industrial-strength cleaner that cleans the toughest messes. Can you use TSP to clean painted walls?

You can use TSP to clean painted walls but caution is needed. Dissolve one-half cup of TSP with 2 gallons of warm water. Transfer the solution to a spray bottle or use a cloth or sponge to apply the solution directly from the bucket. Rinse the walls with plain water to remove any TSP residue.

TSP will remove grease, grime, and stubborn stains from the wall but it will also remove the gloss and smooth finish. TSP is good to use when cleaning and prepping painted walls to be repainted, not for general cleaning purposes.

Safety

Because TSP is so caustic, it should be used very carefully. Wear long sleeves and pants to protect your skin as well as waterproof rubber gloves.

Safety glasses should be worn to protect your eyes from fumes and potential splashes. Getting TSP in the eye could result in serious eye damage or even blindness.

Wear a well-fitted respirator to protect your lungs from fumes. An N95 will not be effective in keeping fumes out.

Can You Use Vinegar To Clean Painted Walls?

Man painting the wall using roll brush

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant. Can you use vinegar to clean painted walls?

Yes, you can use vinegar to clean painted walls. Vinegar will effectively clean and remove stains from painted walls without stripping or dulling the paint. Dilute 3 tablespoons of regular white distilled vinegar in one gallon of warm water.

Vinegar can have a strong smell. Diluting the vinegar with water will reduce the fumes. Vinegar is safe to use on all types of paint.

What To Look Out For While Cleaning Painted Walls

When it comes to cleaning painted walls, not all cleaners are approved. What should I look out for while cleaning painted walls?

When cleaning painted walls, look out for any signs of dulling, peeling, etching, or bubbling. Industrial strength cleaners that are not diluted or that are applied with too much pressure will eat away at the paint’s finish. Using too much water can cause the paint to bubble or peel.

Cleaning your painted walls is not meant to be stressful. With the right product, the right supplies, and the right technique, you can quickly and easily clean your painted walls.

How To Clean Painted Walls Properly

Confused man standing

Thankfully, cleaning the walls is not complicated. You don’t need any special equipment or supplies. You probably already have everything you need. Here is a basic run-down of what you need.

Step 1: Supplies

Mix your cleaning solution in a one-gallon bucket with warm water. Use a soft lint-free cloth such as microfiber. Wring the cloth out well so that the cleaning solution does not run down your arms and the wall, creating a bigger mess for you to clean.

Start cleaning from the top of the wall, working your way down. Use light, circular motions to cover as much area as possible. Semi-glass and gloss paint finishes are prone to scratching so be extra careful when cleaning these walls.

Step 2: Dust The Walls

Before you clean the walls with a liquid solution, you need to remove the dust. Use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove the dust.

Afterward, use a microfiber cloth to remove any traces of dust left behind. A foam craft brush is great to use on baseboards and molding.

If you don’t have a brush attachment for your vacuum or you are worried about scratching the walls, another effective way to remove dust from the walls is to wrap a dry mop head with a soft rag. Start at the top of the wall and work your way down.

Step 3: Rinse and Dry

After you have used the cleaning solution to clean the walls, you need to remove any possible residue left behind, even from the natural solution.

Use a separate cloth to dry the walls. You can also open a window or turn on fans to dry the walls.

To clean painted walls properly, use a non-abrasive cleaning solution. Dilute any cleaning product that will be used over a large area. Spot treat with stronger products and then wipe the area with a clean cloth. Avoid using excess water to clean the wall.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 07/09/2022.