Try as we might, our homes get dirty. We constantly find ourselves vacuuming the carpets, scrubbing toilets, and spraying down windows and mirrors. Even the walls can get grimey over time, especially if there are kiddos or animals running around the house. So, how do you give your home’s interior walls the best clean without damaging the surface or paint? What products are ok to use? And how do you treat problematic areas (like that artistic crayon doodle that your two-year-old niece added to the living room)? Today, we’re addressing those questions and more, so that you can keep your home clean, and your walls looking as if they were painted yesterday. As always, you can count on Horner Painting of Fort Collins if you do need a fresh coat of paint or a minor wall repair!
Prep and Dust
Before you dig in, be sure to move all furniture out of the way, to make it easy to move around uninhibited. Take down any hanging wall art. You can even remove any fixtures that may be in the way (if necessary). Place a drop cloth or spread out cardboard or newsprint to catch any drops that may splash onto the floor. Then, dust your surfaces with a cheesecloth or tack cloth to remove any loose debris before washing — this will make it easier to wash the surface later.
Warm Water, Mild Detergents, Non-Abrasive Cleaners
Oftentimes, you won’t need more than warm water to clean your walls. If you’d like, you can use a mild detergent to wipe away any substantial grime. Start with warm water to see if it is sufficient for cleaning. If not, add a few drops of dish soap to a bucket of warm water, three or four drops per half-gallon should be plenty.
Avoid abrasive cleaners, piping hot water, and harsh detergents. You should only use degreasers on glossy painted surfaces (which are common in kitchens and bathrooms), and only when necessary. Abrasive cleaners, overly hot water, harsh detergents, and degreasers may damage the paint on your walls.
Get to Work
Once you have the right cleaning mixture for your surfaces (or just good ol’ warm water!), it’s time to get started. Grab two sponges, one for applying the solution you’re using, and one to wash it away. You should also have a second bucket of clean water to wipe away dirty water on the surfaces of your wall. You can wring out both sponges into the dirty bucket that contains your cleaning solution.
It’s best to work from the top down, since gravity will do its thing. If you need to, use a sturdy ladder to reach higher walls, and have a helper hold the ladder securely. You can also use a sponge mop with a handle, or even an extended handle, to reach these spaces without leaving the ground.
We recommend working the sponge in a circular motion to best remove stains and dust. Then, you should use your “clean” sponge to remove debris that remains on the wall while it’s still a bit moist, before moving to the next section. Work across your walls and down, finishing with the baseboards (which you can clean while you’re at it!).
With grease stains, food splatters, and those crayon marks the kids left behind, you may need to work a bit harder. Try soapy warm water first. If you can’t remove the stain with that mixture, opt for baking soda and water — you can even use a bit of dry baking soda on the stain, using the texture to remove the stain. Do not press overly hard if you’re attempting to use dry baking soda. For certain stains, you may need to resort to a chemical cleaner. Select a chemical cleaner that says that it is safe for use on walls, and be sure to clean away any remaining residue immediately after removing the stain, since chemical cleaners can discolor or damage paint.
Painting and Repairs
When you find a scratch, ding, or discolored spot on your walls, don’t fret! While you’ll have to repair and/or paint over these surfaces, you can always count on our professional painters to make quick work of your project. We can even color match your paint, if you don’t have the original paint for your walls. Horner Painting proudly provides home painting services, including interior painting services, for folks across the Front Range. We provide service throughout Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Windsor, Johnstown, Wellington, Severance, and Timnath. If you’re ready to make your walls look their best, please reach out to us today!