Before you clean your walls, it’s a good idea to figure out what kind of paint you’re dealing with – not all paint finishes are created equal, and you can do some pretty serious damage to some types if you’re not careful.
Don’t dive in with a sponge and hot water just yet. If you’re looking at major soiled spots, you may be better off calling a professional painter who can prepare and, if necessary, repaint your walls. If it’s not a huge deal, you need to know whether you have latex paint or oil-based paint. (If you’re not sure, check your garage; sometimes painters leave behind extra paint you can check. Pro tip, though: Don’t try to repaint chips and cracks with the paint that previous painters have left in your garage… your walls have been exposed to sunlight and air, which mean the paint color has changed a bit.)
With most latex paints, you can clean spots and smudges using warm water and a non-abrasive, all-purpose cleaner on a rag or sponge. However, you’ll want to spot-test in an area that nobody can see (think behind the refrigerator) first to make sure it’s okay.
Pay special attention to areas that get a lot of hand traffic, like around doorknobs and light switches. If you’re facing a stubborn spot, make a paste of baking soda and water and rub the area gently (again, do a spot test first).
If you have oil-based paint on your walls, use warm, soapy water (use a very mild dish detergent) on a sponge and wash gently with circular motions. Don’t use an abrasive cleaner! You can substitute white vinegar for dish soap, as long as you – you guessed it – test a small spot in a non-visible area first.
If your walls are textured, you can add an ounce of borax to every pint of water you use to clean.
What you need:
Mix all your ingredients and dip a washcloth or sponge into the solution, then use it on your wall. If you’re facing a tough stain, let the solution sit on the stain for about 10 minutes before you blot it away.
The main takeaway, though, is to spot-test an area that nobody can see before you start scrubbing all your walls. Worst-case scenario: You’ll scrub off paint in patches and have to call out a professional painter to repair the damage. (We don’t mind, but you will.)
When you need to talk about professional painting services in any room (or all of them), we’re here to help. Call us at 910-725-3227 or get in touch with us online. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and give you a free painting estimate for any of our services.