How To Clean Painted Walls

Posted on May 10th 2022


How To Clean Painted Walls

Cleaning your walls is often forgotten with all the other home cleaning tasks, but giving them a cleaning can turn a drab room into a bright, fresh one.

If you aren't sure where to start when cleaning your walls, don’t worry; Painter1 is here to help! We have compiled some tips, tricks and advice to help you keep your walls clean and radiant.

Know What Kind of Paint You Have

There are different types of paints and finishes often used on walls. Some are less durable than others and require different cleaning methods, so it is essential to know what you have on the walls before attempting cleaning.

This color is probably here to stay in some form because it looks good with just about anything, and can be used easily when decorating your interior.

  • Flat, Eggshell, or Satin:
    These finishes are the least durable and require gentle cleaning. Do not use harsh chemicals or degreasers, and do not scrub too hard as this finish is more likely to rub off.
  • Semigloss or Glossy:
    High traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms usually have this paint, so they are durable enough to withstand mild degreasing cleaners. Though these finishes are more durable, they can still be scratched and scuffed, so be careful when cleaning and use a soft sponge.
  • Latex and Oil Based Paint:
    These paints are relatively durable, and using a mild, nonabrasive cleaner mixed with warm water will work to clean them. Be sure to still use a soft sponge and not scrub hard. You may scratch or take off the paint.
Painter1 in your local area has expert-approved paints near you.

Cleaning Solutions

The best practice for cleaning walls is to first try warm water with a slightly damp soft sponge or microfiber cloth. If there is still grime left over, you can try something more potent. Making your own cleaning solution is easy to do at home! Mix a teaspoon of (undyed) liquid dish soap and ¼ teaspoon of white vinegar into one quart of warm water. That solution will work on your semigloss or glossy finishes. For the latex and oil-based paints, you can increase the power of the solution by swapping out the vinegar for ammonia.

If you are ever concerned about damaging your paint or finish, you can test clean in an inconspicuous area like behind furniture or hanging wall art.


To prepare, remove all hanging wall art or pictures and move furniture away from the walls. Lay down towels, drip cloths, or newspaper to ensure any possible dripping does not get on your floors. Thoroughly dust the walls, particularly textured walls, as they can accumulate dust and particles.

Next, gather your supplies; a large soft sponge or a microfiber cloth is effective. Avoid dyed sponges as they can cause stains, and kitchen or cleaning gloves may be helpful if you have sensitive skin. Lastly, prepare a bucket with the cleaning solution and one with clean, warm water to rinse your sponge or microfiber cloth.

Painter1 in your local area preparing and cleaning walls.

Clean the Walls!

Begin at the top left hand of the wall and wash gently in circular motions, working down the wall. Make sure your sponge or cloth is not too wet, as you want to avoid water running down the walls. After going over each area with the cleaning solution, go over them again with fresh, clean water to remove excess cleaning residue. A sponge mop with a long handle may be useful if you have high walls.

Once you have finished cleaning the walls, go over them with a clean, fully dry sponge or towel to help the walls dry faster. Allow enough time for your walls to dry thoroughly before replacing furniture and wall art.

Spot Cleaning

If a stain on your wall occurs, the sooner you can address it, the better. To start, gently dab the spot with a water-damp sponge or cloth to remove any extra debris and see if the sponge can remove it without any cleaners.

Next, you can try dipping a damp cloth or sponge into baking soda and apply that to the stain, and gently scrub to work out the stain. You can also mix baking soda and water to make a paste and use it that way. If that method doesn't work, you can try a more stringent cleaner (after doing a test spot to ensure you won't damage the paint or finish). Once cleaned, wipe the area with a clean sponge or towel to remove any leftover cleaning residue.

Painter1 in your local area gently spot-cleaning walls with a sponge.

Spot Painting Your Walls

If you have done what you can with the cleaners and can't remove a stain, or if you scrubbed too hard and removed some paint, you may need to touch it up with spot paint. If possible, use the original can of paint used on your walls. If you need to purchase new paint, get the same color and the same type and finish as the original.

When applying the paint, use the same means of application, like with a brush or roll-on. Blend it onto the previous paint by feathering it on and ensuring there are no thick spots or drips.

Taking the time to clean your walls extends the paint job and keeps things looking bright and clean. A quick gentle wall cleaning can freshen a room up and even save you time and money down the road. If you need to do some spot painting, or even if you want to repaint all of your walls, Painter1 is prepared to take care of all your painting needs. Check out our website today to learn more!