How To Clean Walls Without Removing Paint In 11 Easy Steps (with Pictures)

Walls get filthy over time which is just the actuality of issues. Dust, debris, and bacteria accumulating on the partitions do make them soiled. Apart from, if you have obtained small little ones in the residence, they may possibly have drawn something cute that needs to be eliminated. And then you have got stains and scuffs. How do you offer with all that? How do you properly clear a wall with no damaging the paint?

Do you have to use pro-quality tools for this? The response is no, you won’t need any dear goods or instruments to get this done—just some daily kitchen area items/cleansing solutions, a hose, and a vacuum. Now, various finishes call for distinct therapies. That is why we’ll start with a stage-by-stage guide on how to clear latex-painted partitions, then shift on to oil-dependent partitions, exterior partitions, and end with flat and shiny partitions. Let us get commenced!


 Time Needed 2–3 Hours
Estimated Cost Between $50–80
Complexity Beginner level

Until you are an knowledgeable painter, you will most likely use the mistaken strategies to cleanse your partitions. Even for a seasoned vet, it is not usually an simple activity to clear walls effectively without fading the unique paint. The crucial below is to use the correct resources and goods for the occupation. We’re speaking about vinegar, a low cost dish detergent, cleanse h2o, and bleach, to title a number of. Here’s a comprehensive record:

Tools Required Materials/Products Needed
A pair of protective gloves Bucket of clean water
Scrubbing brush (soft) Distilled vinegar (white)
Vacuum cleaner A sponge and microfiber cloth
Garden hose + sprayer Towels and rags
Mop/broom (with soft cloth) Dish detergent + degreaser
Dusting agent Liquid bleach/Jomax

How To Clean Walls Without Removing Paint (11 Steps)

Latex-Painted (Water-Based) Walls

Like acrylic paint, latex paint is drinking water-dependent. It is a fantastic selection for greater locations. Latex is an atmosphere-friendly paint and extremely easy to keep clean. Furthermore, it doesn’t yellow more than time (which simply cannot be mentioned about most finishes) and dries instead quick. It is not quite sturdy, though, which signifies you shouldn’t use severe degreasers or bleach on it. Here’s how you cleanse it properly:

1. Prep the Wall First

And by that, we mean you need to have to take away any pictures, soundbars, mirrors, and what ever else you have acquired hanging on the wall. If there’s a Tv, vase, or cupboard in the way, go forward and take away them as properly. Next, set a fabric at the base of the wall so that it captures drips of drinking water, cleaning soap, and vinegar.

2. Get Your Solution Ready

Alright, now let’s operate on the cleaning product. For latex, the best solution is dish detergent mixed with drinking water. Get a bucket of drinking water, make confident it is 50 %-entire, and insert 3­–4 drops of the detergent. Or, if you want to use a various approach, go with vinegar. Yet again, only incorporate 3 to four drops, but this time, blend it with a gallon of water. For painted partitions, white vinegar functions especially properly.

3. Wet the Sponge and Get to Cleaning

With the cleansing item prepared, use a sponge or microfiber cloth to thoroughly clean the wall. Dip it in the mixture, and then give it a nice squeeze. Wring the sponge so that it’s practically fully dry. If you mess up this part, the wall will be covered in h2o streaks that are hard to correct. So, gently wipe the filth, dust, and grease off, dip the sponge back again into the detergent/vinegar blend, and repeat.


4. Follow Safety Measures

Pay extra attention to the gentle switches and stores on the wall. Put on a pair of protective gloves, just in case, and go quite slowly with the sponge close to these places. Once more, the sponge requirements to be wrung out dry. Then change off electrical power in the property and only then get to cleaning. And if the stains do not come off with water and cleaning soap/vinegar, your only choice is to repaint the wall(s).

How To Clean Walls Without Removing Paint In 11 Easy Steps (with Pictures)
Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

Oil-Based Painted Walls

Up coming up, we have acquired oil-primarily based paint. It will take a lot longer to dry and needs more finesse when used to a wall. At the very same time, it’s obtainable in a wide selection of finishes and is, general, more consistent. On best of that, oil-dependent paint is tougher and sturdier. That signifies you can clear it not only with a detergent or kitchen area products like vinegar but also with a degreaser. Here’s how to do it:

5. Make Sure the Wall Is Dry

Just like with latex-primarily based partitions, the wall requirements to be good and bare cover the bottom with an old cloth/rag to take up the droplets. And ahead of you start off making use of the cleaning combination, get a dry microfiber fabric and clear the new layer of dust. That way, it will be a lot simpler to deal with the stubborn grime and grease afterwards. More importantly, the wall ought to be a hundred% dry, as oil-based paint repels h2o.

6. Check the Degreaser Instructions

To perform it protected, you can start off with the identical resolution as we did previously: a detergent/vinegar and h2o blend. Nevertheless, it is generally not as effective on oil-primarily based walls. So, consider a minute to examine the directions on the degreaser bottle. There shouldn’t be everything hard in there, but you will understand how to use the cleansing solution properly and efficiently. Spray bottle grease detergents are very straightforward to use on painted partitions.

Keep it a few of inches away from the surface area and spray absent. Really do not protect the whole wall with the resolution instead, spray smaller locations and clear them with a sponge. Scrubby, difficult-bristle sponges won’t operate here. Nor must you use any severe substances. And be further cautious close to shops.

How To Clean Walls Without Removing Paint In 11 Easy Steps (with Pictures)
Image Credit: polina_tankilevitch, Pexels

7. Go Slow, Apply Moderate Pressure

This one’s self-explanatory: even though oil-based mostly painted interior walls are far more resilient than latex-painted walls, you need to nonetheless be gentle. This may possibly consider a while (up to 3 several hours, based on the measurement of the wall), but there isn’t genuinely a way to velocity up the procedure. On the other hand, if you cleanse your partitions at minimum when a calendar year, you will be accomplished significantly quicker and with less soap or degreaser employed on the wall.

8. Rinse and Dry the Wall

Ending up, rinse the wall with clean h2o and dry it with towels, rags, or a microfiber cloth. As pointed out, oil-dependent paint is hydrophobic. So, be additional vigilant right here and make sure you really don't leave even a couple of h2o drops on the surface area. Use dry rags/towels, really don't dip them into drinking water.

Exterior Walls

Alright, now that we uncovered how to properly thoroughly clean interior partitions (h2o and oil-dependent), let us get a swift appear at the cleaning strategies for exterior walls. In numerous ways, the technique is the exact same. Nevertheless, there are even now some suggestions and tricks that you can use:

9. Wet the Wall

Get started by wetting the exterior wall. The correct resource for this is a garden hose. If it’s geared up with a force regulator, established it to average so that it doesn’t hurt the paint. And if you do not have a hose, just fill a bucket with water and pour it onto the wall. You may have to repeat this as soon as or 2 times to go over the whole floor.

10. Prepare the Cleaning Solution

What’s the very best product for exterior walls? Is it dish soap, or a degreaser? Effectively, not very. To give an exterior wall a appropriate cleaning, you ought to use anything stronger. Bleach, for case in point, will be a fantastic choice. Blend one particular entire cup with a bucket of h2o. To attain long-long lasting final results, add a ½ cup of Jomax (or any other property cleansing concentrate) into the answer.

This way, you are going to be in a position to not only eliminate grease, grime, and stains but also get rid of all the mildew and mildew. How do you utilize this combination onto the walls, however? Think about investing in a yard sprayer. These are available for $15–25 and do a wonderful occupation of cleaning huge areas.

11. Scrub It with A Brush

Give the bleach-Jomax-h2o combination 15–20 minutes to do its point. Then, grab a soft-scrubbing brush and eliminate all the remaining grime, grease, and dirt. Last, but not least, use the hose to rinse the wall and allow it dry. Check out the pressure regulator after again—it should be set at low or reasonable. And if the dust/allergens are offering you a challenging time, use a dusting agent on the wall. It will make it significantly less difficult to cleanse the surface area.

How Do You Clean Flat/Satin Paint?

Not all paint finishes are the same: some are a lot more tough, although other individuals (like satin and flat paint) are extremely susceptible to harsh cleansing goods. So, do not use “heavy-duty” degreasers and substances on these walls. Vinegar, dish soap, or any gentle detergent ought to get the work done. Even when employing a sponge soaked in cleanse, lukewarm drinking water, be gentle with the area and really do not scrub it way too aggressively.

Oh, and remember to squeeze all the liquid out of the sponge before pressing it from flat-paint partitions. Twist and compress it a pair of occasions to get it as dry as feasible, and only then get to cleaning. The very same techniques use to eggshell and matte finishes as well.

The Best Glossy Paint Wall Cleaning Technique

Shiny paint finishes, in contrast, are very tough and can very easily handle “rough treatment”. This is exactly why you’ll see glossy or semi-glossy paint on rest room and kitchen area walls. These are known as large-visitors areas, and gloss has verified to be excellent for partitions that are exposed to stains, grime, and fingerprints. Scratching can still be an problem here, however.

Which is why you should use a soft sponge or brush. Normally, you may stop up with a blotchy wall that seems awful in any atmosphere. If that transpires, leave the paint dry for at minimum four hours and attempt to paint it in excess of to protect the mess. It’s not recommended to go with a stain complete right here, simply because it won’t include the imperfections fairly like paint will.

Spot-Treating the Wall: A Quick Guide

Sometimes, no issue how complete you are with the cleansing, there is a single stubborn stain that just doesn’t want to go away, like an ink/crayon stain. For this, you can use a mop or a sponge. The idea is to scrub more aggressively, and if dish cleaning soap doesn’t work, baking soda or powder must support you get rid of the location. Like with any painted wall, use a moist sponge to eliminate filth and dust.

Up coming, sprinkle some soda on the sponge and scrub the stain one far more time. Baking soda is a really efficient compound. But, if it fails, go with powder instead. The distinction among these two: baking powder is made up of acid that’s quite strong in opposition to stubborn stains. On an oil-primarily based or glossy paint, you can also use a degreaser. Rinse the spot and dry it with a thoroughly clean fabric.

Tips For Keeping the Walls Clean

So, we just successfully cleaned our partitions without leading to any damage to the paint. The query is—how do we avoid them from getting filthy again? The solution is standard routine maintenance. Target your interest on dust, debris, mold, and ink stains. The best unit for this is a vacuum cleaner. Attach a gentle brush to it and cautiously go in excess of the walls. Then, seize a mop/broom (coated in cloth) and wipe down the walls.

You can also use a moist microfiber fabric. Do this at minimum as soon as in three months, or much more typically if you live in a humid spot or if you have got heavy smokers in the property. Typical routine maintenance will preserve you the headache of scrubbing the partitions when the grease is way too stubborn and, perhaps, harming the paint. Also, do not use tons of drinking water, as that can guide to drips on the walls. These terrible marks happen when cold and dry air clashes with scorching and moist air.

Here are some far more standard guidelines to help you with the cleansing:

  • Make a habit of starting at the top of the wall with the sponge/cloth, not the bottom
  • Rinse the wall with water after cleaning it with a detergent/chemical
  • Don’t forget to always dry the walls (with a clean cloth)
  • Prepare two buckets: one with clean water, and the other with the solution
  • Put protective gloves on and be careful around outlets
  • Don’t use colored sponges, cloth, or towels on painted walls


We vacuum our carpets, mop flooring, and wipe counter tops. But can you bear in mind the last time you did anything to clean the walls? It doesn’t take tons of knowledge or work to do that, however. All you require to do is devote at least 1 hour of spare time, comply with the recommendations closely, and get it gradually. Grease, grime, tar, and children’s drawings—these are just some of the items that we want to cleanse and protect up.

These days, we realized how to “fix” inside (oil-primarily based and latex) and exterior partitions. Up coming, we took a swift look at how to take care of flat and shiny walls. If you like the unique coloration or end and would rather cleanse them, this is how it is completed!

Featured Graphic Credit rating: Happy Writer, Shutterstock