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As time passes, your walls can begin to lose their freshness and start looking less than new. You may need to go beyond your basic home maintenance routine and give your walls extra care and attention.

However, cleaning dirty walls must be done carefully to avoid taking paint off the wall or fading the color. As such, it's essential to know how to clean walls without removing paint.

Here is a guide on how to clean walls without removing paint. You can learn how to clean white walls and walls of different paint types and finishes. This post will also consider how to remove water stains from walls and some long-term wall-cleaning tips.

Steps to Clean Walls Without Damaging Paint

It is possible to clean painted walls without messing up your paint job. However, you must first bring your cleaning products before you can start cleaning. You can follow these cleaning tips and steps to clean walls without damaging your paint:


• Washing up liquid or dish soap

• Light sponges or dry microfiber cloths

• Two bowls

• Dry cloth

• Warm water

• Cool water

Step One: Remove excess dust

This is a necessary first step, as water can cement dust into your paintwork. It's not just about using a damp cloth to start cleaning. A dry microfiber floor mop or microfiber cloth is ideal. Gently wipe the cloth across your walls in a sweeping motion to remove dust and grime. In fact, dusting is one way to keep your walls looking good.

Step Two: Remove scuff marks

Flaws such as scuff marks and fingerprints may prove challenging to remove. While washing the walls may not ruin the paint, you still need to go about it gently.

Fill a bowl with warm water and wash up liquid or dish soap.

Do not pour too much of the cleaning product so the mixture doesn't get too soapy. A ratio of half a teaspoon for several pints of water should do. Your sponge should not have rough areas that could mark your paintwork.

Make sure to use a soft sponge. Also, keep cold water in a separate bowl close to you to rinse excesses. Now you can dip your sponge into the mixture of lukewarm water and washing-up liquid. Squeeze the sponge out to retain only a minimum excess.

If the wall paint is not waterproof, too much water on the sponge can damage the paint.

Work your way from the bottom of the wall to the top. This makes it easier to catch any liquid and avoid streak marks. Take care to use a dabbing motion rather than rubbing the paint.

Step Three: Rinse off the sponge and blot

After your first go-over:

• Rinse the sponge in a bowl of cold water.

• Squeeze out any excess water.

• Go over the cleaned area with the soap-free sponge.

• Remember to use a dabbing motion and keep the sponge damp instead of wet.

Lastly, put your dry cloth to work and blot the area. A cotton cloth or a clean and dry microfiber cloth can do the job. Make sure the wall is completely dry and without watermarks.

Things to Avoid When Cleaning Painted Walls

Here are a few mistakes to avoid so that you can clean walls without ruining the paint.

• Avoid using commercial cleaning products that contain bleach.

• Your sponge or cloth shouldn't be too damp. Do not use excess water on painted walls.

• Avoid scrubbing, rubbing, or using too much soap while cleaning walls.

• Be careful when cleaning areas such as light switches, telephone jacks, and outlets. Switching off the electricity at the circuit breaker box before scrubbing around electrical connections is wise.

How to Clean White Walls

The steps to clean white paintwork are the same as any other wall. However, you must take extra care while washing them as they are more likely to show marks.

Cleaning Solutions for Stubborn Stains

If you have stubborn stains on painted walls, you can make use of the following:

Baking soda and water

Baking soda acts as a natural stain remover. Mix half a cup of it with a quarter cup of water. Form a paste and gently rub it into the stained part of the painted wall. Wait for a few minutes and wipe it off.

Magic erasers and stain removers

You can use an eraser-type sponge, such as a magic eraser, to lightly buff out surface smudges and stubborn stains. Likewise, you can apply a stain remover with a cloth, rubbing gently in a circular motion. After that, simply wipe off with a clean damp cloth.

All-purpose cleaners

Liquid dish detergent and distilled white vinegar are all-purpose cleaners that are great for wall stains. Spray or apply an all-purpose cleaner on the stained spots. Then gently wipe it off with a clean cloth.

Cleaning Solutions for Wall Tiles

Over time, your bathroom tiles may present yellow stains and scaling. You can use a half-and-half mix of water and white vinegar as a DIY cleaning solution for bathroom tiles. Apply the solution to the stained portion. After some time, you can wipe it off using a damp cloth. After that, use a dry clean cloth to clean it off.

Cleaning Solutions for Permanent Marker Removal

Rubbing alcohol can come in handy to help you remove tough permanent marker stains from painted walls. Dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol. Then, apply it to the stain. You can wipe it off with a clean cloth. You can also spray some hairspray on the mark and wipe it off with a clean cloth.

How to Clean Walls of Different Paint Types

You may want to remove scuffs and stains and keep your painted walls looking fresh. However, walls painted with different paint types and paint finishes need varying levels of special care. Read on for some wall-cleaning tips for different types of paint.

Flat-painted walls

Avoid using harsh chemicals or degreasers when cleaning walls with flat paint.

Walls with semi-gloss paint

Take care to use a mild degreaser on glossy and semi-gloss paints. As always, a soft sponge is preferable when cleaning walls.

Walls painted with latex paint

Latex paints are popular as interior wall paints. You can clean these walls with warm water and non-abrasive all-purpose cleaners.

Cleaning walls with oil-based paint

You can use home-based cleaning solutions such as liquid dish soap, warm water, and vinegar. Gently clean the walls with a slightly damp sponge or cloth. You can also use a mild degreaser.

Wall Cleaning for Different Interior Paint Finishes

Avoid using harsh chemicals when cleaning flat or matte finishes. Do not use abrasive cleaners for satin or eggshell finishes. This will help you clean your wall without removing paint.

How to remove mildew and water stains from walls

Mold and mildew can create stubborn wall stains, and you may need to repaint walls with water stains.

• First, take care of the cause of the water stain.

• Next, use a half-and-half solution of bleach and water to clean the stain. This can help prevent mildew growth.

• After that, dry the area with a fan or air dryer.

• Then, use mold and mildew-resistant paint to repaint the area.

Dry cleaning methods for wallpapers

Using dry methods to spot clean paper or fabric wallpapers can help preserve them better. You can dry blot out fingerprints and stains using a dry cleaning sponge or an art gum eraser.

Long-term wall cleaning tips

• Take action immediately after you spot fingerprints and light smudges. They are easier to remove, and you can keep your walls looking better.

• Your painted walls may occasionally need touch-ups. Keep small samples of wall paints handy.

• Run air purifiers and exhaust fans. Doing so helps keep airborne dust and grease to a minimum, so it's less likely to settle on walls and other surfaces.

• It makes sense to clean walls before you paint them. This makes your wall painting last longer.

• Regularly clean your floors and walls to free them of dust particles and dust mites. Dust mites can cause respiratory issues such as asthma attacks and watery eyes.

• Take care to reduce dings and scrapes from your vacuum cleaner banging into walls.

Get Professional Help

After reading this piece, you have a better idea of how to clean walls without removing paint and what cleaning solutions are best for different paint types and interior paint finishes. However, cleaning your walls may not be in your house cleaning schedule. Therefore, you can get professional help to get your walls cleaned or remove paint from your walls.

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