Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

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Easy Way To Clean Your Walls!
Do You Know To Clean Your Walls? It’s a Lost Art!

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?

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls
Do You Know How To Clean 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?  

YEP!

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

Bucket

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. 
Trick For Cleaning Your Walls
Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

TIP:

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.

You can use a Cleaning Cloth just as if it were a Sweeper or Swiffer replacement in the floor mop and put the edges, 

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls
to clean your walls.  I’ll explain mo how to do this to make your cleaning EASIER!Do You Know ow To Clean Your Walls?

And use as you would the other mop to clean your walls.  

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls
Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

To clean walls using a floor sweeper or mop , and a Cleaning Cloth that has been rinsed with the cleaner of your choice,

Such as Pine-Sol  (1/4 cup Pine-Sol to 1 gal of water or to your preference)

or

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!

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls
Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

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.

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls
Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

SUGGESTED:

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.

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls
Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

With the extension rod, or pole, you can reach and clean those high areas too.

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls
Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

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.

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls
Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

Next Step

After the walls are finished, working with a clean cloth, wash off the light switches and the electrical plugs with the

Ammonia or Pine-Sol solution that you have chosen to use.  

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls
Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

Clean well all the door jams, doors and any other stationary parts, as they catch lots of finger prints and dirt.

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls
Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

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!

I have a WALL CLEANING CHEAT SHEET for you HERE

Do you know how to clean your baseboards? I’ll show you how HERE

You can find MORE tips and useful ideas like this in my Lost Art of Homemaking Series   or my Lost Art of Self Reliance 

My AWESOME readers have shared their tips with us and you will find them below – do NOT miss them:) 




 

 

Tips –

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

Recognize A Blessing And Be A Blessing Today


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129 Comments
  1. Janine Huldie says

    Great advice and huge thank you to Jody for sharing here today! Have a great weekend and hope you are on the mend now, Carrrie still 😉

    1. Dara says

      Another tip:Nicotine off walls-scrubbing bubbles-or generic equivalent!

      1. Carrie Groneman says

        Now THAT’s a GREAT tip Dara. I’ll add this to the list on the post for everyone to have access to. Thank you so much for sharing!

        1. Brenda J Meola says

          What about hairspray over spray on semi gloss paint?

          1. Carrie Groneman says

            Hey Brenda, I searched for you to find the answer of how to clean hairspray on painted walls; I have that same problem and so glad you asked me to figure this one out. While looking I found this site that has some really good information and ideas of how to clean all the gunk off. It’s here: http://www.sistersshoppingonashoestring.com/get-hairspray-residue-off-bathroom-walls Thank you so much for coming by and please visit again!

          2. Donna Comley says

            Downy Fabric Softener takes hairspray off walls and doorknobs without damaging the paint or finish.

          3. Carrie Groneman says

            I did not know that Donna! I’m so glad you shared that with us so we can use that awesome tip. I love Down Fabric Softener for un-wrinkling clothes, so this is another reason to love it:)

          4. Sharyn Winick says

            my dad had me wash the walls with a bit of kerosene in the water. At the time we were all smokers and walls were discolored. The kerosene did the trick for nicotine so I’d guess it would work on hairspray.

          5. Carrie Groneman says

            Hello Sharyn, that is an interesting tip:) For taking off hairspray we use some acetone (fingernail polish nail remover) on a non-lint towel as linked in the post, and use a little elbow grease if needed on the wall. So glad you stopped by with your experience and hope you enjoy more posts on A Mother’s Shadow in other Lost Arts, Musings and the topics.

        2. Lynn Shelton says

          Would the scrubbing bubbles work on cheap paneling? I live in a rented house so I have to be careful at what I do. Also, I can’t stand the smell of wood cleaners. But love pine sol. Grew up with the stuff. Thanks Carrie and Dara.

          1. Carrie Groneman says

            Hi Lynn! Thank you for asking this question. I searched around since I’m not sure on this and I found a few that said yes they used scrubbing bubbles for paneling and a few that said not to – so that was confusing. I did find this link though that I hope will help you: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/easiest-cheapest-way-clean-paneling-make-shine-90068.html If you have any more questions, or if I can help, just let me know and I’ll keep looking. Thanks again for coming by:)

        3. Joanna says

          Hi there, I absolutely love this idea. Can you please provide the amount of each item to use?

          1. Carrie Groneman says

            Joanna, thank you for asking this question! I have updated the post with the increments for the ammonia and the Pine Sol. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    2. Irene says

      I found that if I use the swiffer dry cloths first, most of the dust/spider webs/etc. come off before cleaning with a wet cloth

      1. Carrie Groneman says

        Fabulous idea Irene! That really is a good tip to take off the dry dirt and debris before using the wet cloth on the walls. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, and making the cleaning even more efficient.

  2. Tasha says

    I don’t wash walls very often…that duty was always assigned to our oldest [kid] whenever he got into big trouble! He’s become so good at it that you could have collaborated with him on this post…he would have had a few tips and tricks to share I’m sure! 🙂

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      PLEASE send them! I would LOVE to include any tips and tricks; anything helps. I miss my kids doing the baseboards for the same reason, lol.

      1. Pat Mason says

        Use dryer sheets for baseboards. They work great on dust removal.

        1. Carrie Groneman says

          GREAT tip Pat! I really appreciate your help so we can make cleaning easier and faster in any way possible. Thank you for your time and tips here.

  3. Melinda says

    You have to clean the walls????
    Thanks Jody. I knew my mother and Granny did it, but I assumed houses were so modernized these days, they were self cleaning. 😉
    Carrie, thanks for having Jody over.
    Sisters are wonderful!

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Oh, Melinda, you crack me up! That’s a good one and when your house does clean its own walls, pretty please tell me how to get mine to do it. I’m so lucky to have Jody; I’ll pass this on to her. Thanks Melinda.

  4. Mary Bellebuono says

    Oh did i ever enjoy this one, now i must first mention that the older i get the harder it is for me to do these chores, along with this my short 4’6 height really causes problems for me.. I have a hard time cleaning my over head fans for this same reason, i am a young 73 but also have back issues and getting over four broken ribs. I would just like to find someone to help me wash my windows !!!!!!!!!!
    Great tip on cleaning walls, how about the ceiling ??

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Wow! You are a tiny gal, and I’m so impressed with all you do! Take care of yourself with your back problems and those ribs my friend. I would like to find someone to do my windows also, lol. Jody will be teaching us how to clean the ceilings and the fans in her next installment in the series. Sure appreciate your stopping by Mary.

  5. Julie says

    Hi Carrie, haha now if only your sister could come to my house and clean for me!
    Thanks for sharing this great cleaning tip at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.
    Enjoy the week.
    Julie xo

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Julie, I’m with ya! I wish Jody would ‘practice’ on mine! hahaha. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Jess says

    These are great tips and actually this was something my mother just did not too long ago! 🙂

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  7. Steph says

    This make the job look so doable! I’m pretty short, so a big reason I often skip this job is that it requires stools or ladders or climbing on things that probably shouldn’t be climbed to use just a cloth in my hand. Thanks for the inspiration – I’m going to give this a try!

  8. Jessica says

    This certainly makes this chore seem manageable. Somehow I doubt that the pine sol will get this pesky crayon off the walls, though. 😉

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Maybe the Mr. Magic Eraser will work??? Thanks for stopping by!

      1. fred says

        Lestoil will take it off. I learned this after reading Harold and the Purple Crayon to a three year old.

        1. Carrie Groneman says

          Great tip Fred! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come by often.

    2. Tea says

      Try baby wipes for the crayons on the walls. Hope this helps you.

      1. Carrie Groneman says

        No way!!! I will be trying this for sure very soon. I appreciate your tip, Tea and for your time to give us this awesome tip!

    3. Melanie says

      I know this thread was a while ago but, WD-40 is the fastest Crayon Removal I have found. And if by some accident of fate you should end up with something like tar on your wall… It’ll take that off as well (AND leave the paint on the walls!!)

      1. Carrie Groneman says

        WOW! Now that is a new one, and it’s always good to have WD-40 on hand for so many uses, and this is a GREAT way to use it also! Thank you Melanie for sharing with us.

    4. Dawn says

      Magic eraser does work on crayons and sharpie markers.

      1. Carrie Groneman says

        What a GREAT tip Dawn! That really helps to know with kiddos in the house, whether they are ours, grand-kids, or visitors, it’s good to know that for future reference! Thank you for the information:)

  9. Ashley says

    Great tips! I have to admit, I don’t clean my walls very often! Miss you lots Carrie! Sharing your post on Twitter!

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      I’ve missed you too Ashley and glad to see you again!

  10. Nikki Frank-Hamilton says

    I love this idea, I hate washing walls because I need a ladder and a bucket. Then when I’m just getting things done I need to get down and move the ladder, then when I get back up I need to change the water or I drop the cloth! UUUUUUGGGGGGGGG! This would be so much easier. And putting a washcloth on my swiffer? Brilliant! I haven’t used mine in ages cause I refuse to break the bank for swiffer soap and pads! But I still have the mop itself! Yeah! Thanks for linking to #WAYWOW

    1. Judy says

      Awesome idea since I have cathedral ceilings in my kitchen that are extremely hard to reach around the cupboards since our fire.. the swifter idea is going to work great!!

      1. Carrie Groneman says

        It is so easy-peasy with this trick! And you’ll love the other tool also. Thanks for checking in and I hope you enjoy the other cleaning posts also.

  11. Lynne Slaton says

    What about washing / cleaning the walls that are wallpapered?

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Hello Lynne, I’ll have to see if we can address that one! What a good question because many walls do have wallpaper. Thank you for bringing that one up.

  12. Virginia says

    i always use a round sponge mop and a bucket. Works very well.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      That’s another great idea Virgina, thank you for letting us know how you clean your walls. It’s always so nice to have options. Please let us know more of your tips for cleaning.

  13. Laura says

    Do you recommend this for matte (flat paint) walls?

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Hello Laura and thank you for asking that question. I would definitely see if you can find any instructions for your particular paint brand on the can itself, calling a paint store, or even googling the brand. If none of that works, you might try cleaning the walls in a non-conspicuous area to see how it affects the walls. I hope this helps and happy cleaning:)

  14. Tracey says

    Hello!
    While washing my walls with my swiffer, I discovered that the dry swiffer cloths work much better than a wet rag of any kind! It was amazing, and soooooo much time was saved! I couldn’t believe how well they worked! No more messy water for me! Try it and let me know what you all think!

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      That is a great tip Tracey! Thank you for coming by to give us more options and tips to make cleaning the walls easier and quicker. Anything faster for this job is better!

  15. Christine says

    How often would you suggest wall cleaning?

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      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. Thanks for asking such a great question Christine.

  16. [email protected] says

    Uff…washing walls is my least favourite job in the house… I pass the vacuum cleaner up and down the walls, but it does sometimes leave marks and my walls are all super white. But this is way better and I easier than holding up the vacuum cleaner. It’s a great tip, Carrie, it cleans better too I bet!!! On parts like the stairs, which are high it’s a great way to reach the top! Thanks for sharing this! Have a great weekend!!!

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Thank you so much Katrin for stopping by and it really does work slick and fast on the walls, you’ll have to give it a try next time you wash them. I appreciate your visit!

  17. Linda Sims says

    Okay 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!

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Hello Linda and I’m so glad you stopped by with a question. 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 and please let me know if you have any other topics you’d liked covered in my Lost Art Series.

    2. Nancy says

      Swifter with microfiber cloths and Murphys Oil Soap OR AMISHMILK. If not shiny enough try lemon or orange polish. Apply THIS coat. Let rest and run over with a clean old thirty on your swiffer. I rubber band and can turn it when it gets too oily.

      1. Carrie Groneman says

        THAT is a GREAT tip Nancy! Thank you for sharing and I will definitely be giving your trick a try next time. Please drop by anytime with tips; we’s love to hear them.

  18. Pili says

    Hi, Carrie! I remember my parents used to clean the walls, but can’t remember when I forget about it. I must confess I don’t clean walls too often…
    Hugs,
    Pili

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Hello Pili, I hope this tutorial helps a bit if you need a refresher, or a reminder why you don’t want to do them, lol. Thank you for stopping by.

  19. Nikki Frank-Hamilton says

    Ran across this post again, and I’m so happy I did. When I was hanging the Christmas decorations I ran into a bunch of spider webs, UG! LOL the worst thing? I left them there, I didn’t want to deal with them, then this post popped back up, I think it’s a sign to clean my walls when I take them down. Hmmm, now I think I’ll leave them up for a bit! LOL

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      HAHA, you’re my kind of gal Nikki. My sister wrote that post for me and I’m trying to get her to come over and help aka wash my walls, lol.

  20. Viva reasoner says

    Will this work for soot on walls from using a ventless gas log? I don’t want a smeary mess.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      I’m not sure on this one. I would recommend googling and seeing what cleaner would cut the soot. I remember as a kid one house I lived in had a coal furnace and there is a definite soot that comes from certain fuels. Sorry I can’t be of more help, but thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you find other posts that will be helpful to you and that you enjoy.

  21. Angela says

    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 and with 4 people in my family you can count on a steady supply of these socks, lol.

    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.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      What great ideas Angela! Thanks for your fabulous suggestions. I really like the one of re-purposing old socks in these ways of cleaning your walls and in polishing furniture – brilliant! Please come by and share some more ideas with us.

  22. Sara says

    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. 🙁

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Hello Sara! 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. I hope this helps you out Sara.

  23. Sandy says

    What is the product ratio? How much pine sol and ammonia to water? Thanks.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Hello Sandy! It’s 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) Thank you for your question and HAPPY CLEANING! I hope you visit again soon.

  24. Shelley says

    Does this work for flat painted walls too? Thank you!

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      It will Shelley. Just try it on an inconspicuous place to make sure it won’t be a problem on your paint and if it’s not, then happy cleaning! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you visit often.

  25. Renee says

    What about textured walls? This method would never get the dirt and grime out. Believe me, I’ve tried.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Renee, I have a special tip at the end of my post (the TIP section) all about cleaning textured walls and how to use a sock or thick rag on your hand. If you can’t see it easily, or have further questions, please contact me again, and let’s get those walls spic-and span!!!

  26. Kim says

    Didn’t know that Pine Sol or ammonia was ok to use on painted walls. It won’t take the paint off? I’ve been wondering how to clean the handprints and splatter marks let by little ones. Thanks!

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Hello Kim, PineSol recommends using 1/4 cup of PineSol to 1 gallon of water https://www.pinesol.com/cleaning-surfaces/how-to-clean-walls/ and for ammonia I can only speak for my own experience that I’ve never had an issue.
      For getting the hand prints off I use those and for the tough jobs I love Magic Eraser. But on all of these, make sure to test in an inconspicuous area first. Thank you so much for asking, we all learn that way!

  27. Andrea says

    If u find the drippy lines are still there when the walls are dry, a tip is to start washing from the bottom to the top.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      That’s a fabulous tip Andrea! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and share that with us. Anything that makes the work quicker and more successful is better right!

  28. Gail Elwood says

    What brand “mop” do you use? I know it isn’t Swiffer because the design is different and it is more sturdy. I tossed the Swiffer I had years ago because it was too cheaply made.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Hello Gail, I double checked with my sister and she can’t find the brand on the sweeper type of tool she used, but she found it at Walmart and Target. I will be on a quest to get the exact name to put on this post. THANK YOU for bringing this to my attention!

  29. Mary Ashman says

    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! 🙂

  30. Genny says

    *Be sure to begin at the bottom and work towards the top to avoid drips

    Opposite, because gravity. Begin at the top, whatever drips down you will eventually get to.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Hello Genny, you have great advice here and thank you for bringing this to the post! Come by again with any other suggestions or questions.

  31. Sheryl says

    UK reader – we don’t have Pine SoL! Is it just a disinfectant? And as for ammonia would normal bleach do or is that too harsh?

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Hello Sheryl, yes PineSol is a disinfectant that also cleans grease and heavy stains. So if you can find something comparable, that would be terrific. I would not use bleach on my walls personally, I do think it would be too harsh and would potentially damage/stain/discolor the paint. If you cannot find ammonia, possibly vinegar would also work in its place. Thank you so much for contacting me and watching my site.

  32. Bee Warren says

    Hi. Here is an article regarding using harsh chemical cleaners like Pine Sol. Sharing for educational purposes…
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/10/25/why-you-want-to-avoid-using-chemical-disinfectants.aspx

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Thank you Bee for sharing this with us. I do want all of my readers to have all the options possible and this is another one to consider.

  33. Deborah Hopper says

    I came to the right place, I love all the good tip’s, how do I remove cigarette smoke from the walls, I am going to quit due to the fact I hate to smell smoke and it’s really bad for my health, I used tsp for my walls it did nothing but make my walls look bad, help, Thanks.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Thank you Deborah for coming by and for your question. I just found this while searching for your answer since I haven’t had this situation myself yet. Check out this site: http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf001194.tip.html I also read that some people had great success when cleaning with straight ammonia or vinegar. I wish you success in quitting. YOU CAN DO IT! Me and all your AMS friends here are right behind you all the way cheering you on. Keep us posted on how you are doing and thanks for stopping by.

  34. Pam says

    Kids rooms or large busy traffic areas use the magic eraser mop it’s much quicker.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Now, I will have to look into that Pam! Thank you for bringing up the mop, I didn’t even know that Magic Eraser made a mop – something new every day. Please stop by again soon!

  35. Carlee Johnson says

    Looking forward to more posts on cleaning anytime I can find an efficient way to clean my house the better I like the posts.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      I am so glad that you found this series in the Lost Art Series Carlee! We are working on more tips and tricks to help with cleaning, so watch for those coming in the near future.

  36. Paula says

    I realized cleaning walls was a good thing when I had to clean the smell of nicotine off rather recently painted walls and ceilings in otherwise good condition.
    TOOL OF CHOICE: Flat microfiber mop. You can wring it before so it doesn’t drip too much and rinse during the process if getting too dirty before you’re finished.
    CLEANING PRODUCT: Lavender scented Pinesol and the whole placed smelled awesome afterwards and not too strong.
    Enjoy!

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Paula, this is a GREAT idea and thank you for sharing your idea with us! This is a problem for many to deal with and now we know how to take care of it. I sure appreciate your time!!!

  37. yolynda says

    I have stucco ceilings in most of my house and my arms really get tiered cleaning the ceilings I need some advice on this as well as getting certain things off the walls and ceiling such as soot from an electrical fire we had plus sour crout on a wall long story their and grease as well but with sour crout I’ve tried everything i could think of including the paint scraper which I wanted to repaint anyway but this has gotten ridiculous what can I do.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Yolynda, boy, that is a tough situation to clean. I googled this, since I’ve never had this before and here are some resources I found: http://www.ehow.com/how_5635041_remove-soot-stains-stucco.html
      http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-hints-tips/cleaning-organizing/how-to-clean-stains-off-stucco2.htm
      I hope these help and can give you a few ideas. Thank you for coming by and I wish you EASY CLEANING my friend.

  38. Juanita says

    For all those who are challenged with ceiling cleaning. My house is all wood paneling with white 12″x12″ ceiling tile. What we’ve always done is use a floor cleaning mop; those kind that the handle in the middle allows you to pinch the cleaning pad/sponge like butterfly wings to wring out. That and a 5 gal. bucket with hot water and Spic-an-span. Stand on the floor and use the mop to reach. Flush and rinse. Just be careful you get the pad flat on the tiles so you don’t gouge them. Hand clean around the edges where the wall & ceiling meet. Works wonders and beats the heck out of a scrub cloth and working with your hands totally over your head continuously.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      This is genius Juanita! I love this and thank you SO much for sharing your tips with us. When I do the ‘how to clean ceiling’s I’ll add YOUR idea here with YOUR name so it can be referenced there also. I really appreciate your time to give us this cleaning idea!!!

  39. Alisha says

    Vinegar water helps take stuff off the walls too. I also use orange and lemon essential oils in the mix.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      What a fantastic idea Alisha! Vinegar is a wonderful cleaner, you are right. And I love the idea of adding in the oils for a fabulous clean smell to the house. THANK YOU so much for sharing your tips with us!!!

  40. Billie J Clack says

    I have a large mirror half a wall up X 11 1/2 foot. I use my own mix, 1 cp vinegar to a gal hot water, 1/2 cp ammonia, and 1 tsp corn starch, a drop of dawn. I use the fuzzy T handle to wet & clean and a 12 inch squeegee to dry. I will use the fuzzy T bar to clean my walls as I have several just for that purpose. You will need a large rectangle bucket, then hand wring out the fuzzy. It works pretty good.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Now, that is clever! I will have to give that a whirl very soon! Thank you for sharing that mixture with us so we can try it. Homemade solutions are always the best and that one is really great.

  41. Marsheila Foskey says

    Do shower walls (tub enclosure) count as “walls” in our homes? If so I use Scrubbing Bubbles & a sponge mop to clean it. SO much easier on your back.
    Fabuloso also works well & makes your bathroom smell wonderful.
    Thanks for all the great tips.
    I too was one that didn’t know you needed to clean other walls in my home.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      What a great tip! Thanks for sharing with us, anything to save our backs, makes for a happy day:) I’m so glad you stopped by and that you enjoyed this post.

  42. Michelle C. says

    I use my Rubbermaid spraymop. I just remove liquid reservoir. The microfiber pad head works great. But, how would the pinesol /ammonia be on walpaper. I usually use a vinegar mix.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      I haven’t tried that one yet. That’s is a great question and maybe a future post! Thank you for asking that and if anyone here has tried it, please chime in:)

  43. Camille Willman says

    After cleaning the walls with PineSol, do I need to rinse them before I repaint? Thank you.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      I think it would be a good idea to rinse and dry them, but I am not an expert in this area, so I’d check with a paint store, or the paint source from where you purchased the product. Happy Painting!

  44. Joyce Binns says

    I still have pop corn ceilings. How do I clean them?

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      My advice on those types of ceilings Joyce is to get hold of a professional because of the chemicals that are in the ‘popcorn’. Thank you for coming by Joyce:)

  45. Melissa Moxie says

    Ahhh… Downy Fabric Softner for hairspray on walls. I am so glad I found your post. Time to clean my walls. Nice post Carrie.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Isn’t that the most unique idea? Thanks for stopping by Melissa and I appreciate the compliment:)

  46. Annette McClanahan says

    How to clean nicotine from walls?

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Hello Annette, I’m glad you asked that question. I found this solution on: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/rid-nicotine-stains-walls-92410.html
      I hope it helps. Thank you for stopping by and happy cleaning!
      1
      Dust the walls by wiping them with a microfiber cloth or damp chamois cloth. Alternatively you can vacuum them with a hose and upholstery brush attachment to get into corners and crevices.
      2
      Fill a 1-gallon bucket with hot tap water. Add 3 tablespoons of dish soap and 1/2 cup baking soda. Stir to mix.
      3
      Dip a sponge into the homemade cleaning solution, wring it out and then wash the walls from the bottom up. Dry each section with a microfiber or chamois cloth immediately after washing to prevent the wall from absorbing too much water.
      4
      Pour 1 cup of undiluted white vinegar, ammonia or lemon juice into a bowl. If using vinegar or ammonia, open the windows or turn on a fan.
      5
      Dip a sponge into the vinegar or ammonia. Wash the walls, starting from the bottom up and scrubbing gently in a circular motion.
      6
      Rinse the sponge in clean water, wring it out and wipe the walls down. Dry them with a microfiber or chamois cloth.

  47. fecruz says

    vinegar smells bad. can i mix downy

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Hello, thank you so much for asking this question. I personally would be a bit nervous about adding downy as it could possibly leave a film on your walls??? But you might want to try a little on a corner and see how it works for you. The reason for using vinegar is that it cuts grease, dirt and grim on your walls, baseboards and other areas to clean, sanitize and deodorize; even though it does kinda smell bad, I agree. Maybe you could try the vinegar solution and just see if it’s ok, and wear a mask if needed, like the hospital ones, or at the doctor to help take away some of the odor? Let me know how it works for you please and I appreciate your friendship to A Mother’s Shadow

  48. Nina says

    I’ve lived with wood paneling for over 35 years. At time change the walls get washed and treated.
    1. Any time I’m stuck avoiding other work because I’m not in the mood, dust the walls with giant/long synthetic magnetic colorful wand duster. Vacuum can be used too–use the floor brush
    Rule: always dust a wall before cleaning.
    2. Use much water and a little vinegar– don’t like smell? Use plain water
    3. Use Pledge dusting product. Pledge truly leaves less residue for future dust to cling to. Their products saved me two days spring and fall. Getting four days back for your life each year adds up.
    I discovered the Pledge dusting products were the best because the next time it became time to clean the walls, the cleaning rags were less soiled.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Wonderful tips and we appreciate those! Thank you for stopping by and I hope you find other resources here at A Mother’s Shadow

  49. Barbara Roth says

    The Large Bona Mop with large cotton terry cloth refills can do the large parts of the walls quickly..
    Was thinking about a slightly damp mop…. Love the Swiffer sock ideas too. Have never cleaned walls… just dusted and painted them. Need to get busy with fall cleaning.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      That’s a great trick! Thank you for sharing it with us. I’m with you on fall cleaning —- I need to get going on it myself:)

  50. Mildred Miller says

    Great tips! We do many of those also, I love the brain dump though. I think I need to start doing that, maybe I can get to sleep faster at night that way.

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      I’m so glad you like this post and all the tips. Good luck with your walls and have a great time doing it:)

  51. SHANNON says

    Yessss! LIFE Changer! Thank you for the tips! I purchased the LInkyo floor mop like you recommended and it’s amazing zing! SAved me so much time and didn’t my entire seconds floor this weekend. SHAring with my friends

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      I’m SO glad you like it!!! Isn’t it awesome and so helpful, I agree! It holds without swiveling on itself or bonking you on the head, heehee. Anything to make cleaning less painful – in any fashion – is a go in my book too. I appreciate your time to let me know how happy you are with this and please look around and see all the other things on A Mother’s Shadow, I have LOTS of great topics you might enjoy:)

  52. Christina Armstrong says

    My paint on my wallls are flat paint and every time I clean them the paint comes off. Any suggestions for cleaning them?

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Hello Christina, That is one of the MOST frustrating things that can happen when painting, I know. For me in my experience, the best solution…. is to repaint with GOOD QUALITY paint. We really like Sherman Williams paint. In fact we are selling our home right now and painted 10 years ago with Sherman Williams. We had several realtors come through to review it and give suggestions so it would be most desirable on the market and they all said the paint looks fantastic. In the meantime, when I had that same issue in apartments that were not mine and I didn’t want to invest the money and time in, I washed the walls because I wanted a clean home. If you are renting, maybe your landlord would give you GOOD paint in exchange for your labor to paint? If they would, you could have a paint party and invite neighbors, have some food or treats, turn on some great music and get the job done quick and with pride too. *Put people in charge in areas, or sections who KNOW HOW to paint so it’s done RIGHT:) Thank you for stopping by with your question and I hope you enjoy many other posts and recipes here on my site, A Mother’s Shadow.

  53. Therese Desantis says

    All these tips are truly amazing. You are the best of the best for sharing them with us. I really needed some help and you make my life a lot easier with your post. Thank you so much!

    1. Carrie Groneman says

      Thank you so much! I glad you found this post so helpful and very happy you took the time to let me know you enjoyed this post! I have many more that I hope you like also:) Let me know please if I can help you find something else that would be beneficial. And if you haven’t signed up for my email, I hope you will soon. Friends, Carrie

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