How to Properly Clean Your Painted Walls

Whether you see it at first glance or not, your walls in your Charleston Home become covered in oil residue, dirt and dust without you even knowing it.

In fact, your walls are not as clean as you may think. Try removing a picture that’s been hanging on the wall. Yep, that square is what clean looks like. That’s what your wall looked like on the day it was painted. Time to re-paint? Depending on how long ago you painted, and the particular color, you may be able to get a fresh look by cleaning the walls. And you’ll be pleased to know it’s much easier.

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Before You Clean

Determine the paint’s finish so you’ll know how hard you can scrub. Some sheens are hardier than others. Semi-gloss and satin, to a lesser extent, will stand up to heavy-duty washing, but you’ll need to be gentle with eggshell and flat paint finishes. They’re apt to rub off if you scrub too hard. And never use an abrasive cleaner — period. Next, you need to remove surface dust so you won’t streak the walls. The easiest way is to vacuum, using the brush attachment. Lastly, spread rags or newspaper on the floor to soak up the excess water.

Better Slow and Safe, than Sorry

The best way to test the hardiness of the paint is to start with a gentle liquid cleaner. If it doesn’t live up to the task, move up a notch with a mixture of warm water and dishwashing detergent. If you’re still not happy with the results, take a cup of ammonia, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1/2 cup of vinegar in a bucket of warm water. If you come upon a stubborn stain, spread a paste of baking soda and water over it,  leave it a minute or so, then give it a final rub and rinse clean.

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The Wash and Rinse Cycle

Now that you have found the optimal cleaning liquid, you need to concentrate on the task at hand, working carefully and methodically to avoid leaving streaks on the walls. Gather two buckets and two sponges, one set for washing, the other for rinsing. You’ll also need several towels. Wet the first sponge in the washing liquid, wring it out until it’s just damp, and work from ceiling to floor in straight sections. Follow the same procedure with the rinsing sponge, using plain water. Then dry the section with a towel before moving on to the next.

Cleaning your walls may not be the most exciting job in the world, but keep at it. You’ll be rewarded with a fresh, clean room that looks almost as good as if you’d painted it. Are your walls too far gone, and you think you might be in need of a new coat of paint? Contact the pros at Charleston Realty Painting and they can help!

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