Did your mom or dad ever teach you to clean your walls? I grew up washing the walls of our home every spring and fall. My kids grew up doing the same.
Did you know you learn this, what is now becoming a lost art?
WHY would you wash your walls?
Walls collect finger prints, grime, dust and dirt – even smoke, but they are often overlooked. However, when the walls are clean, you will feel like your house was redone! Ok…maybe not quite, but you will be amazed at the clean smell, how bright it looks and the difference in the overall feel of the home.
It’s not difficult at all, and to make it even easier, I have the BEST TRICK E.V.E.R to make it simple and fast!
At the end of this post many amazing readers share their tips and I answer questions, so make sure to stay till the end:)
To begin, you will need these basic supplies:
A floor mop with a detachable washable pad(s), and I really like using this one HERE
WHAT you are probably saying to yourself? Has Carrie lost her mind? A MOP on your WALL?
Consider how easily you can sweep, mop, wipe down your wall, using a great sweeper-mop type tool!
I found this one that I really like because:
- it’s really sturdy
- LOVE the side attachments and how it clamps down tightly and holds in the pads/cloths
- it swivels to allow you to get into tight areas around your ceiling as I will show you
- the pads that come with this are really high quality and washable!
- the extension pole, or rod, makes it possible for a short person to reach any height, or for you to get to most vaulted ceilings with a reasonable sized ladder
Pine-Sol makes your whole house smell amazing!
Ammonia great for disinfecting and getting rid of odors as you clean
Mr. Magic Eraser I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these! I use them ALL the time. I’d marry them….but you know, lol
Cleaning Cloths These are microfiber, thick and should last through lots of cleaning
Walls are a big part of deep, or general cleaning.
- It is best if you first move all of the furniture away from the walls in the room that you are cleaning to have full access from ceiling to floor.
- Take down pictures and have the walls completely bare.
- First dust the walls before you clean them with a water solution. This avoids streaks and a ‘mud’ effect.
Another idea is to use a sweeper like this for the job. Simply use your own cloth and push into the holes or slots already formed into the top of the sweeper.
And use as you would the other mop to clean your walls.
Such as Pine-Sol (1/4 cup Pine-Sol to 1 gal of water or to your preference)
Ammonia. (1 cup of Ammonia to 1 gallon of water or to your preference)
Now, we are going to clean EVERY BIT of the wall area easily and effectively, so you don’t waste your time!
Take off the Cleaning Cloth and rinse periodically as needed, making sure you have a clean cloth to work with as you clean you walls, this is really important.
To do this correctly:
Begin at the top edge of one wall and bring the mop/sweeper down towards you; either the full length of the wall, or half way, whatever is easier for you.
1- Clean half way down until a portion of the wall is clean.
2- Then do the bottom half.
3- Move to the next section and repeat.
Continue either process
All the way around the room, taking care not to miss any areas.
With the extension rod, or pole, you can reach and clean those high areas too.
While you are it, don’t forget the ceilings:) If you have an extension pole or rod. Use extreme caution if you are using a ladder of any type.
After the walls are finished, working with a clean cloth, wash off the light switches and the electrical plugs with the
Clean well all the door jams, doors and any other stationary parts, as they catch lots of finger prints and dirt.
For black scuffs on your walls Mr. Magic Erasers work really well – however it can take the gloss out of your glossy and semi gloss paint on your wall.
Meaning you can see every spot you have cleaned. You may want to avoid using these on walls that are not white. Test on an inconspicuous spot to see how a Mr. Magic Erasers will work on your paint before using on a main area as this is not the case on all paint. You will love the feel and the smell of your home once you are finished the walls!
Do you know how to clean your baseboards? I’ll show you how HERE
My AWESOME readers have shared their tips with us and you will find them below – do NOT miss them:)
The product ratio is recommended by PineSol to use 1/4 cup of Pine Sol to 1 Gallon of water. Recommended by HowStuffWorks the recipe is: Mix 1⁄2 cup vinegar, 1 cup clear ammonia, 1⁄4 cup baking soda, and 1 gallon warm water. Caution: Wear rubber gloves, and work in a well-ventilated area when using this powerful solution. (http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-hints-tips/cleaning-organizing/how-to-clean-your-walls-and-ceilings.htm–
*Be sure to begin at the bottom and work towards the top to avoid drips
Mary shares: In our family we use a cleaning mixture of baking soda, ammonia and vinegar added to a gallon of the hottest water your hands can handle, although using rubber gloves is advised because ammonia can be harsh on sensitive skin. This mixture all but cleans by itself, so be careful where you set your rag down. It is advisable so rinse the walls after washing and you will notice they are even more clean if you do rinse. this is safe for painted surfaces, and some of us have tried it on other surfaces as well. Try it on patio furniture, tires, kids play equipment kitchen cupboards, the possibilities are endless although I would not use it on wall paper, wood furniture or laminate surfaces. The precise measurements can be found on arm & hammer baking soda and bo peep ammonia. Try it, you will be AMAZED!!! Oh, it leaves such a fresh, clean smell to your home, you will look forward to spring cleaning! :)
Angela Shares: I keep a bag of “CLEAN” mismatched or damaged socks, at all times and use these for both cleaning furniture and as a generic Swiffer® Sweeper® Floor Mop. I take a few of them and layer them over each other so I get a nice thick cleaning pad, which takes off more gunk off the walls without having to go over the same thing twice. I have a bag in the laundry room that I just toss socks with holes or are fading in their color or got too small. FOR FURNITURE I take two socks and put them on my hand like I am making a sock puppet and then spray my furniture polish on to the socks instead of on the furniture because I feel it gives it a deeper and a buffed shine.
Sara asked me: Any tips for dealing with textured walls? I think the builder was going for “orange peel” but ended up with “rub your skin on this wall and bleed.” It tends to destroy paper products and tear towels after prolonged use. :(
My answer: Those heavy textured walls are really difficult I know we used to have them when our kids were young and getting crayon out of them was really a chore…the easiest solution would be an air compressor to blow out all the dirt and a power washer to clean the walls. But, since that would really be a mess, here’s some tips for you: Use the brush attachment on your vacuum and clean the walls getting in all the cracks and crevices really good to get the dust so you don’t have mud when you wash. Then get two buckets. One with clean water and one with warm water with a little bit of all-purpose cleaner or even mild dish soap. Now, put on an old cotton sock on your hand. This will clean without leaving bits and pieces on the wall like a sponge will. Now dip into the soapy bucket and begin at the BOTTOM of the wall and give it a good wash; working towards the top. If you want, or need, get in there with a soft bristled scrub brush, tooth brush or even finger nail brush if there are some tough areas. The reason you want to start at the bottom is because of the drips from this type of cleaning; this just makes life so much easier and the drips are easily caught. USING EVEN STOKES OF YOUR CLOTH, BEGIN AT THE BOTTOM AND GO TO THE TOP TO PREVENT STREAKS. Now, after the washing, comes the rinsing. Rinse out your sock really well and repeat the process, but with clean water, again with the bottom of the wall first, working towards the top. AGAIN, USING EVEN STOKES OF YOUR CLOTH, BEGIN AT THE BOTTOM AND GO TO THE TOP TO PREVENT STREAKS.
Linda asked: I live in an old house with real wood paneling at least 50 years old. What is the best way to clean them? The ceilings are paneled as well. I want them to gleam!
I replied: I haven’t had to work with wood paneling in quite a few years, since I was a young teenage actually, so I can’t say I’m an expert in any fashion. I searched a bit and I think I found you a really credible website with some terrific information that should help you in several ways in dealing with wood paneling. The link I found is: http://www.housecleaningcentral.com/en/cleaning-tips/living-area/clean-wood-paneling.html I hope this helps
Christine asked: How often would you suggest wall cleaning?
I replied: A good guide is spring and fall. Weekly or at least twice a month, if you have kids, or a lot of people coming in and out, I like to use the magic erasers (make sure to test in a non-conspicuous area and follow manufacturers instructions), a pail of water with a bit of vinegar in it and wipe the high traffic areas and get all the finger prints, marks and goo off to keep it nice and clean appearing. Even if I can’t paint often, or have ‘NICE, Expensive’ things in my home, if it’s clean – or pretty clean, lol, (it’s good to be able to feel like you live in a home, you don’t want a museum atmosphere, that’s for sure) I find I’m more comfortable and so are those who come to visit.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015, 2017
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