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How to Wash Painted Walls Like a Pro

How to Wash Painted Walls Like a Pro



Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

Washing walls is one of those cleaning tasks that gets overlooked. Not only is it a time consuming chore, but often we don’t know how to do it properly. So we avoid it and procrastinate until it becomes one of those things we just never get around to doing.

Wall washing is easier than you think. Let’s go through the tools and techniques professionals use to clean painted walls so you can get it done as quickly and efficiently.

How Often Should Walls Be Washed?

When walls are never cleaned, the surface can become dull and over time, paint will need updating more often.

The problem with not washing walls every so often is that dirt and dust can accumulate. This not only affects the longevity and appearance of painted walls, but can be problematic for those with a dust allergy.

So how often should walls be cleaned? The general rule of thumb is once or twice a year. But it also depends on several things.

            • Allergies
            • Ubicación
            • Lifestyle
            • Pollen
            • Activity
            • Wall Covering

Allergies

If there are people living in the home with allergies, you’ll want to clean the walls more frequently to remove any possible allergens. Particularly if the home is in a high-pollen area, you may want to wash walls every few months, or when there’s a seasonal change.

Ubicación

If the home is in an urban city area, then the walls will be more exposed to pollution. So cleaning the walls more often will benefit those in the home. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, those with allergies can also be affected by pollutants that accumulate on walls. Aim for every 2-4 months.

Smoke and Steam

If there are smokers or avid cooks in the home, cigarette smoke and stove top steam will dull the walls. Whether it be tobacco or an Asian curry, the residue from all of these things can stick to the walls, making it near impossible to remove if not cleaned regularly. For smoke and steam, clean walls about once a month.

Activity

For homes with pets and children, walls will undoubtedly get visibly dirty and soiled a lot faster than those without. Not only can it make a home look unkempt, but it wears the wall paint down a lot quicker. For active households, clean walls about every month.

Wall Covering

Paint type and wallpaper will also have a lot to do with how dirty a wall gets. Interior paint is typically water-based and will be either flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, or a gloss finish.

Flat paint is the least durable from scuff marks and dirt and used on ceilings and low-traffic areas. Eggshell and satin are generally used on the main walls. And semi-gloss and gloss are used typically on doorways and high-traffic areas because it’s easier to clean.

The most common and easiest to clean material used for wallpaper is vinyl. There are also less-common materials such as silk or linen, jute or bamboo, paper, or non-woven textiles. These can all be prone to a lot of dust accumulation, but we’ll cover wallpaper in another post.

For most painted walls, clean them every 6-12 months, as a base case.

Preparing to Wash Walls

The first thing you need to do before you attack the walls is to stock up on several supplies. This not only makes your life a whole lot easier, it also makes the task less overwhelming to tackle.

*The handle on the Microfiber Wall Wash Mop can be unscrewed and attached to the Duster so you can reach up into wall and ceiling corners without needing a ladder.

Now, the trick to washing walls quickly and effectively is to use minimal water, because this:

    1. Protects Paint: Excess water can damage paint by causing it to soften, bubble, or peel. Using minimal water helps preserve the integrity of the paint finish.

    2. Prevents Streaks: Too much water can leave behind streaks or watermarks on the walls, especially on surfaces with flat paint or delicate finishes.

    3. Avoids Moisture Damage: Walls are typically made of drywall or plaster, which can absorb moisture. Using excessive water may lead to moisture seeping into the walls, potentially causing mold, mildew, or structural damage over time.

    4. Reduces Drying Time: Excessive moisture takes longer to dry, prolonging the cleaning process and increasing the risk of water damage. Using minimal water allows the walls to dry more quickly.

    5. Minimizes Cleanup: Less water means fewer drips and splatters, reducing the need for cleanup of floors, baseboards, and surrounding surfaces.

But how do you properly wash walls if you’re not using much water? The answer is always microfiber.

Microfiber does most of the heavy lifting when cleaning. Its fibers attract and trap almost 100% of dust and germs.

When you add a cleaning solution, it boosts its effectiveness. When you add a disinfectant, it makes it unstoppable.

You don’t need to disinfect walls unless you’re cleaning up bodily fluids or food splatter, like raw chicken. And even then, a multi surface cleaning solution should work just fine when paired with microfiber.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Wash Walls Like a Pro

The idea is to work in sections. If you’re working on a large wall, mentally divide it vertically so you’re working in a space that’s about six feet wide at a time. If you’re cleaning a large home, it might be best to break the wall washing into several days, tackling 2-3 rooms per day.

Step One: Dust

You need to remove any loose debris and dust before washing the walls. Get your duster and attach the mop’s extension handle to it. Then working from the top to bottom in your six-foot-wide sections, wipe the duster down to remove and dislodge any debris.

Dust all the way down to the baseboard. You can either use the duster or a microfiber towel to wipe the baseboard. And dust all of the walls you intend to clean that day before moving onto step two.

It’s also a good idea to wear a face mask here if the wall is particularly dusty.

Step Two: Remove Marks

Next, use the Magic Eraser to remove any noticeable scuff marks and dirty spots. The eraser will easily remove many, if not most marks, leaving the surface ready for washing.

Step Three: Prepare Mop

Remove the handle from your duster and attach it to the Wall Wash Mop Frame. Take one of the microfiber mop pads and attach it to the mop. If the walls are particularly grimey, you can first wet the mop pad and wring it out. But it’s not necessary.

You can also lock the frame of the mop so it’s vertically positioned. This will make it easier to clean certain angles of the wall.

Step Four: Dilution

Get your spray bottle and dilute one tablespoon of Sal Suds cleaner in one quart of water. Set the spray bottle to spread in a mist rather than a direct stream. Then spritz it lightly onto a section of the wall where you’re working, from top to bottom.

Step Five: Wall Washing

Using light arm strength, mop up and down the wall in a scrubbing motion. You don’t need to scrub hard, as this can damage the paint.

For areas with more build-up, you may need to spray more cleaning solution and allow it to sit for several minutes so it has time to loosen the debris. Then work the mop firmly over the area, again in an up and down motion.

The microfiber pads of the mop are effective at lifting most dirt and grime with minimal effort. And the length of the mop handle makes it so you never have to struggle to reach most high ceilings.

Step Six: Observe

This is where you check over the walls to see if there are any missed spots or stubborn grime. Respra, and allow the cleaner to sit before going over the spot again.

Also check if any residue has dripped down to the baseboard or floor, and wipe it up with a dry microfiber towel.

Step Seven: Clean Up

Because you didn’t use a lot of liquid, the clean-up is very minimal and easy. All you need to do is toss the microfiber mop pads, towels, and duster cover into the washing machine together with a mild detergent on medium heat. Always air dry or use low heat dryer settings when drying microfiber.

Wall Washing Made Easy

No more struggling with ladders and buckets of water. All you need is a microfiber mop, towels, and duster, a multi surface cleaner, and a spray bottle.

When you use the right tools and break it down into simple steps, wall washing is so easy, just about anyone can do it.

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