You have put a whole lot of thought and effort into painting your home. So you certainly don’t want the paint to become damaged or ruined just because you tried to clean the interior walls. Walls can pretty grimy over time, especially in the kitchen where you prepare meals that come with smoke, grease, and heat rising from the oven or stove.
Walls in homes with children can also be prone to increased levels of dirt and messes. Kids love to draw on the walls and smear all kinds of things on them from sticky and clammy little hands. When things like this occur, it becomes even more important to be able to wash your walls and know how to do it without affecting the paint job.
The last thing you want to do is call in a painter, to come in and re-do the work that you either did yourself or paid someone else to do for you all because you were simply trying to make your walls look clean and new again.
So, in order to answer the question as to whether or not you can wash the painted walls in your home without ruining them, you need to know what you’re doing and so you can avoid making a mess of things.
Know Your Paint
If you don’t know what type of paint you have on your walls, you’re basically rolling the dice on whether or not you will end up damaging it from washing. So, it’s kind of important that you know what you’re dealing with here, try to find out what you have on your walls.
If you have an enamel or semi-gloss wall paint you can wash it without any worry. It will withstand any amount of cleaning you need to do it. But with other types such as eggshell or flat finish or stain, you run the risk of peeling it from the wall if you use a harsh or abrasive cleaning solution or cleaning tool.
Once you know your paint you can decide on the best plan of attack for cleaning the walls without any damage.
Before you do anything to wash your walls, you must first dust them. You may not notice it from a casual passing glance, but your walls probably have a layer of dust, dirt, and possibly even pet hair clinging to the surface. Removing this top layer of grime will allow you to wash the wall for the most efficacy.
You can do this with a dry cloth or use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner but just be sure to be thorough and complete about wiping away all of the dust that’s layered on top of the paint.
Washing Your Walls
So now it’s time to get to work and how you go about doing will make a big difference. We already know that you should be cautious about the kind of paint you intend to wash but it’s also important to keep in mind what it is you plan to wash or better yet, wash off.
Liquid cleaners are the best option for things like surface stains and smudges but some are harsher than others so take it slow and start simple as to the strength of your chosen cleanser. If possible, start with warm water and see if that works. If not, go with something that has a little more oomph such as a mild dish soap that you might have in your kitchen and that warm water.
Perhaps that wasn’t strong enough, now you can graduate to a combination of ¼ cup baking soda, ½ cup of vinegar, one cup of ammonia, and one gallon of warm water. I assure you that this mixture will be just as good, if not more effective, than anything you can end up dropping six or seven bucks purchasing at your local Target store.
The Right Technique
Whichever option you go with as to the level of cleaning power in your cleanser, there’s a right way and a wrong way to wash the surface of your interior walls. You will take your sponge or cloth and start at the top, working your way to the floor. You’ll need one sponge or cloth to wash the wall with and another to rinse with. Keep them separate int two different receptacles.
Once you’ve wiped the wall down with the cleaner, wipe it again with the rinse. Don’t saturate the wall too much or you could cause some moisture damage. When you’re done, you must take a dry cloth and wipe the wall down completely so it’s fully dried. This will help you avoid streaking the finish of the paint and keep your home looking fresh and clean.