Done! Your new walls look amazing. Now, how do you keep them looking that way?
This article will touch on a few ways of getting rid of the easy stain to the stubborn ones. The approach you take will depend on the type of stain you’re dealing with so you’ll need to act accordingly to get the best results.
To start, a simple solution of soap and water is great for washing your walls regularly. Use a sponge or soft cloth and wring well well before you wipe to avoid any excess water dripping. Avoid using scrubbers as they can leave scratches or marks.
For the little more aggressive general purpose cleaning you can try starting with:
1. one quarter cup of baking soda
2. two spoons of lime juice
3. three spoons of vinegar
4. three spoons of baking soda
Mix with 1 gallon of warm water and use a damped towel to clean most surfaces.
Removing loose dirt
Dust off any excess dirt before starting to clean painted walls, otherwise you will just spread the dirt around. Use a lint-free cloth for areas you can reach and a soft broom draped with a rag over its bristles or a dust mop for higher areas. Once you have all the loose dust removed, fill the bucket with the soap/water solution use a sponge or microfibre cloth to wipe down the walls. Rub gently as too much pressure may take the layer of paint off and damage the wall further.
Removing general grime.
White vinegar is an old cleaning favorite, is well up to the task of cleaning any stubborn stains or particularly grimy walls. Used in conjunction with the added ingredients above, mix with a bucket of warm water and use your soft sponge to tackle any stains. No need to rinse off either!
Remove oil and grease stains
Painted kitchen walls can get a tad greasy. I know, Captain Obvious, right! 🙂 An addition to the above techniques, a gentle store-bought degreaser should do the trick. Just follow the instructions to avoid streaks or damaging the wall. When in doubt, we always recommend good ‘ole white vinegar.
Removing crayon, pencil, ink stains,etc.
Fast… that’s the secret to removing crayon, pencil and ink stains… act quickly. These type of stains, when fresh and new, can be removed quickly using a cleaning wipes or even baby wipes if you have them. Cleaning erasers also work well. Pencil marks can usually be removed with rubber erasers or gum erasers as, well, that’s what they were design to do. A wet cloth mixed with baking soda can be used as a pencil mark eraser tool. For oil-based items such as ballpoint ink, you can try foaming shaving cream. Wipe with a wet cloth after. Hairspray and nail polish remover will also work but try in a small inconspicuous area first to see if it damages the finish.
Permanent marker… not so permanent!
The key again is fast… Try rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) and soak a cotton ball with it. Dab the permanent marker stain until it is gone. Rotate the wad of cotton so that you are using an unstained piece with each dab. If that doesn’t do it then try using hair spray or nail polish remover and wipe away the resulting runs. If none of these methods work, then take a dab of toothpaste and rub it on top of the marker stain. Let the toothpaste settle for a few minutes and rub it off with a warm wet towel.
Mildew… a fungus feeding on grime or on the actual wall material. To remove, mix up a solution of one tablespoon of white vinegar in a quart of water and spray this solution onto the mildewed area of the wall. Leave for a few hours and then clean off with water and detergent. You can also try enzyme-based laundry detergent. Follow the pre-treating directions to soak the stain and then clean off with water.
Lastly… what NOT to do or use!
Don’t soak your wall in water for too long. So, if you’re using a mop, get a second one as a dry back-up and dry the wall off in sections as you go. The same goes if you’re using cloths – use a damp one to clean and a dry one to dry off the wall.
Stay far away from anything containing alcohol (except isopropyl on certain occasions) or harsh chemicals. These types of ingredients can break down paint surfaces and leave the walls in worse shape than when you began. If you’re unsure about even the mildest way of cleaning, always test it out first. Find an inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn’t contain any ingredients that will harm the paint finish.
The biggest take away from this article… act quickly. The longer the stain or mark has a chance to set, the more difficult it’s removal will be! (full on Yoda there!) Thanks for reading and see you again for our next article…