Kim Komando, America's Digital Goddess
 

Dirty Walls

The most important thing to remember when cleaning walls is to start at the bottom and work your way up. If you start at the top, dirty water runs down the wall leaving very dirty streaks, however if you start at the bottom, any runs are much easier to wipe off a freshly cleaned wall.

 Semi gloss and gloss paints can easily be cleaned (this is what most kitchens and bathrooms have on the walls), a flat finish can only be cleaned if it is a light color. Dark colors tend to show marks very badly, and will usually look much worse than before being “cleaned”.

  • Before washing, dust or vacuum walls to remove loose dust and soil.
  • Use a drop cloth when washing walls.
  • Most painted surfaces can be cleaned with a mild solution of warm water and liquid dishwashing detergent and then rinsed with clear water. You’ll need two buckets – one for the cleaning solution and one for the rinse water and two big sponges.
  • Working in overlapping sections, apply the cleaning solution to the walls by rubbing gently in a circular motion.
  • Rinse with a separate sponge reserved specifically for the rinse water. After you’re done with one section, proceed to the next area, making sure that the cleaning edges overlap.
  • When you’ve done several areas, dry off the excess moisture with a terry cloth or towel.
  • If the walls are very dirty, you can use a stronger solution to dissolve the dirt. Use a TSP (Tri Sodium Phosphate) solution, especially before painting.  Caution: TSP will dull all surfaces, and may remove paint, particularly flat finishes.
  • Test your chemical in an inconspicuous corner first to make sure that the paint colour and finish are not damaged by cleaning. When using TSP, wear protective eyewear, rubber gloves, and a long-sleeve shirt. Always read the label for proper usage and safety precautions.