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How to Clean the Walls in Your Home

Even the most thorough cleaners can overlook a vital portion of a home—the walls. Many people barely think about their walls even though they’re one of the most prominent parts of a space, especially painted with a fabulous pop of color or covered with eye-catching wallpaper.

To get the deepest clean possible, you can’t forget your walls. However, it can be a delicate process that requires preparation and the correct tools to avoid any damage. Our experts at Merry Maids® want to show you how to clean your walls, whether they’re painted, wallpapered, or still drywall.

3 DIY Natural & Holistic Wall Cleaners

Using harsh chemicals when cleaning is a surefire way to cause irreparable damage to your walls. Fortunately, there are some great holistic cleaners you can mix with simple, non-toxic ingredients in your home right now. These natural wall cleaning solutions are both safe and effective and only require one to three different components.

1. Distilled Homemade Cleaner

  • 1 container or bottle

  • 2 cups of water

  • 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap

  • 1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar

Best for: Interior walls

2. Vinegar DIY Wall Solution

  • 1 bucket

  • 3 1/2 cups of white vinegar

  • 1/2 gallon of water

Best for: Exterior walls

3. Multipurpose Tile & Wall Cleaner

  • 1 spray bottle

  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar

  • 1 Tablespoon of liquid dish soap

  • 1/4 teaspoon of tea tree oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon of eucalyptus oil

Best for: Bathroom and kitchen walls with tile

How to Clean Painted Walls

Believe it or not, painted walls can be washed and should be cleaned regularly to remove handprints, food residue, scuff marks, and more. If you have children, you’re well-acquainted with scrubbing crayon, pencil, and markers from bedroom or living room walls. The cleaning solution you use will depend heavily on the paint’s finish. Semi-gloss or glossy enamel paints stand up better to washing, while flat, satin, and latex paints might fade or rub off. This is why you have to be gentle when cleaning your walls.

Tools You’ll Need

  • 1 microfiber cloth or cellulose sponge

  • 1 gallon of warm water

  • 1/4 cup of liquid dish soap

Steps for Regular Cleaning

Step 1: To help preserve the quality of your paint job and the walls themselves, employ the most delicate, gentlest cleaning method with water and a sponge.

Step 2: If you’re getting the desired effect with just water, stick with that. However, if you need to step up your cleaning tactic, add mild dish detergent to the water.

For a more powerful cleaner, grab a spray bottle and mix 1 cup of ammonia, 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1 gallon of warm water. Evenly distribute the solution onto the wall and gently rub it with a sponge. Remember, keep your touch light so as not to scrub off any paint.

How to Clean Drywall

Home remodels can get dirty, dusty, and just plain messy. After the drywall is installed, it can easily sit for weeks without being painted, as this is one of the last steps before furniture and appliances are installed. Unprimed and unpainted drywall tends to accumulate a layer of debris in a construction zone, so it’s essential to keep it cleaned and primed for painting later on.

One of the main issues with cleaning drywall is the outer surface is absorbent like paper, and paper doesn’t hold up so well to water. An essential technique when cleaning drywall is to start with dry cleaning first.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Shop vacuum

  • Pair of gloves

  • Tack cloth

  • 1 cellulose sponge

  • 1 gallon of warm water

  • 1 cup of clear ammonia

  • 1 cup of white vinegar

  • 1 cup of borax or washing soda

Steps for Regular Cleaning

Step 1: Start with dry-cleaning before you proceed with a liquid-based cleaning method. Use a shop vacuum hose with the brush attachment.

Step 2: Use a tack cloth for small areas to gently clear away debris. Ensure you’re not pressing too hard, or you may embed wax in the drywall paper, damaging the surface.

Step 3: Move on to wet cleaning if dry-cleaning methods don’t give you the desired result. Start by dipping your cellulose sponge in your water mixture and squeezing out the excess water. The sponge should feel virtually dry.

Step 4: Begin at the top of the drywall slab, using very light pressure and downward strokes.

Step 5: Rinse off and ring out the sponge frequently. If the water starts to appear murky, change it out. It doesn’t do you any good to clean with dirty water.

Keep in mind that these instructions are for unpainted drywall. If you’re trying to clean painted drywall, an acrylic-latex paint surface is relatively water-resistant. So, using warm water and a non-abrasive all-purpose cleaner is safe and shouldn’t cause damage.

How to Clean Wallpapered Walls

Wallpaper is starting to make a comeback in interior design, which means you’ll want to know how to keep it looking pristine for years to come. Most modern wallpaper can be cleaned using eraser putty and a water-based cleaning method, but older wallpaper will need a gentler approach.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Microfiber cloth or lambswool duster

  • Dry sponge

  • Dish soap

  • Bucket of warm water

Steps for Regular Cleaning

Step 1: Grab your dry sponge and use long, downward strokes to remove dirt. A dry sponge is sufficient for easy-to-remove dirt and dust on older wallpaper.

Step 2: For vinyl wallpaper and spot cleaning, mix warm water and dish soap in a bucket.

Step 3: Dip your sponge into the soapy water and wring it out well.

Step 4: Use downward, gentle strokes across the wallpaper’s surface.

Step 5: Immediately dry the area you just washed to keep the wallpaper from absorbing any extra moisture.

We know with your busy lifestyle, wall cleaning isn’t always on your radar—but it is for us! Our experts in home cleaning are ready to give your walls the attention they deserve.

Let us help rejuvenate your space. Just give us a call at (888) 490-4227 for your free estimate today!