May 3rd, 2013

Helen Adams How to: Removing Dirt and Scuffs from Walls

A shoe scuff here, a nick there, and that dreaded black mark up your stairwell from that heavy suitcase you just had to take on vacation – all things you have grown to accept in your home, and possibly, tried to remove a time or two, but now you’re ready to get that home on the market and the thought of having to repaint the stairway, or the kids play room, is too much to handle with everything else you have going on.  Well, we’re here to help you out with that. I am sure you have tried those pesky little magic erasers or maybe just a wet rag, sometimes with little or no results, but the DIY Network’s ”Home-efficiency Expert” Cynthia Townley Ewer has a few other tricks up her sleeve for cleaning those painted walls in your home.

Some of these cleaning tips are a little more tedious, but will be less costly in the long run than purchasing gallons and gallons of paint, or hiring a professional crew to come freshen up your house. However, if that’s more you’re speed, check out our post on picking the perfect pop of color right here. For those looking to keep it clean, here’s the how-to!

For cleaning painted walls you will need:

  • A canvas/floor covering
  • lamb’s wool duster
  • white cleaning cloths
  • a natural sponge (avoid colored sponges, since they can deposit dyes on light-colored walls)
  • two buckets (one filled with cleaning solution and one filled with clear water for rinsing).
  • Rubber gloves or washing-up gloves protect your hands;
  • A step stool
  • tools with handles for those hard to reach places

How to clean the walls:
Move the furniture to the center of the room and then cover those floors. In one of your buckets mix 1 gallon of warm water and liquid dish washing detergent. Spot test the mixture to make sure it doesn’t remove any paint from the walls. Then in your second bucket you just want clean water (if your walls are more soiled and need a heavier clean, try adding this solution to the hot water – 1 cup clear ammonia, 1 cup white vinegar, 1 cup washing soda or borax).  The first thing you want to do is remove all the dust from the walls using your wool duster, make sure you wipe from the top down.  Once the dust is removed you’re ready for a wash down. Dip your natural sponge into the cleaning solution and start from the bottom and wash up then rinse the area with a sponge, from the clean water, in the same manner, this helps to avoid drips. Complete this process on an entire wall, top to bottom and side to side. Avoid stopping in the middle so that you do not get streaks on the walls. The best time for a break is in between walls.  Remember as you are working around the room to keep an eye on your clean water and change it out as needed, you don’t want to undo all your hard work by rinsing with muddy water. Additionally make sure to apply even pressure as best as possible to get the same level of cleanliness around the room.

This is also a great tip to remember for spring cleaning, as you have been holed up in your home all winter, causing dust and dirt to settle on your walls and floors. Additionally you can use the warm fresh air to help dry the walls and air out any fumes that may be lingering from the cleaning solutions.  Getting rid of pesky stains on walls is never a hard job, but hopefully this cleaning trick will help save you a few bucks to put towards another home project in your current house, or if you’re getting ready to put your home on the market, something for the new place!



How to Remove Stains from Walls and Wallpaper – DIY Network