7 Tips to Clean White Walls
Fresh, white walls make a room seem bigger, brighter, and cleaner... most of the time. The problem with white walls is that they get dirty easily, whether from scratches from moving furniture or fingerprints from small children. It's hard to keep a home looking fresh when the walls show all the signs of wear and tear. Fortunately, there are many ways to restore your walls to a shine. White walls can be cleaned with household products such as dish soap or a paste of baking soda and water that can be applied with a wet sponge and wiped clean. Commercial products such as all-purpose cleaners and Magic Erasers can also be used to make walls fresh and shiny again. Read on to learn some easy ways to take your walls from smudged to radiant in no time.
1. How often should you clean your walls?
Normally, walls can wait for a thorough cleaning or be cleaned before important events in the home, such as a move- in or move-out. However, our walls can get dirty after a party or in the warmer months when we open the windows to let the fresh air (and dust) in.
More often, walls need spot cleaning, especially in households with children and pets. Choose a schedule that works best for you, your home and your needs.
Assemble your materials
Assess the damage and get the tools you need. What exactly are you dealing with? Do you just need to dust the ceiling to the floor? Are you dealing with a few thumbprints or a scrape longer than your forearm?
The size and type of stain or mark will largely determine what tools you need. In most cases, you can remove any stain with a soft sponge or microfiber cloth, but for particularly stubborn stains, you may need a Magic Eraser or scrub brush.
2. Start by dusting from the ceiling to the floor
If you're not dealing with a stain but just want to dust, grab a stepladder, a damp microfiber cloth and an extra cup of coffee and get to work. Be sure to check the microfiber as you work, rinse it out and wring it out if it gets dirty. If you like, you can add a few squirts of all-purpose cleaner, but it's not strictly necessary, more of a personal preference.
3. If you want to be extra refined and thorough, use a tool with an extendable arm that allows you to reach high corners.
4. All-purpose cleaner
You can use any all-purpose cleaner with a microfiber cloth, rag or paper towel, whichever you prefer. Try to choose an all-purpose cleaner with an almost soapy texture. You'll probably use the same cleaner to remove grease stains in your kitchen.
These cleaners are best for removing sticky spills, such as if you spilled something to eat or drink on your white wall. The all-purpose cleaner method works best if you catch a stain immediately.
5. Dishwashing liquid and a soft sponge
Don't let the name of the product fool you - dishwashing liquid is a great cleaner for all surfaces in your home, from countertops to carpets. Try to choose a mild dish soap that doesn't contain strong fragrances or other harsh chemicals.
For a stain that won't come off, take a soft sponge, get it wet, add a drop of dish soap and lather up the stain. Gently rub the stain until you see foam, let it sit for a bit, and then wipe it off with a damp microfiber cloth. You may need to repeat this process two or three times.
6. Baking Soda Paste
Got a really stubborn stain that's still stuck? Try this natural remedy for all types of stains and surfaces.
Take some baking soda and a bowl and make a paste of three parts baking soda and one part water. The paste should have a slightly sticky consistency, so adjust the ratio accordingly.
Gently spread the paste on the wall with a wet sponge.
Let it soak in - the longer, the better.
Once the area is sufficiently soaked, wipe it off with a damp microfiber cloth or paper towel.
7. Magic eraser
Still no luck? When all else fails, it's time to bring out the big guns. Wet a Magic Eraser and gently wipe the stain or scuff until the walls are clean. Magic Erasers are so powerful, you'll need little to no effort to do it.
Be careful with glossy or semi-gloss painted walls. The Magic Eraser can leave a noticeable "matte" stain if used aggressively while scrubbing.