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Spring Cleaning Tips: Washing Walls

Washing the dirty walls around your house can be a huge chore. Not only is it a time consuming project, it’s physically exhausting. If you want to spiff up every nook and cranny, washing walls requires an enormous amount of reaching, stretching, contorting, and bending to clean off the layers of dust, dirt, grime, cobwebs, finger smudges, and/or greasy soot that have accumulated. Luckily, there are a few tricks that can make it easier.

Cleaning Solutions

Your choice of cleaners is very important and should be based on the type of wall that you are cleaning. A solution of clear ammonia and water works very well. It has a terrible odor, but ammonia is cheap and has superlative cleaning capabilities. Nevertheless, if you can’t get past the smell, there are other options.

Most painted walls can be cleaned with warm water and a gentle, non-sudsy detergent. Still, you should always test the cleaning solution that you will be using on an inconspicuous area of the wall. Make sure that the solution is removing just the dirt, not the paint.

Cleaning Strategy

When washing walls, dripping and streaking is inevitable. To avoid rewashing something that you have already cleaned, you should always start at the top of the wall and work your way down. Don’t forget to catch corners, trim, and baseboards as you go.

To get to those hard to reach places, use a sturdy stepladder or a small portable ladder. Make sure that you choose a ladder that is both stable and appropriately sized. If you will be working in a stairwell, use a ladder that is made for uneven surfaces. Try to center the ladder directly in front of the wall that you will be washing. Over reaching or leaning too far to one side could cause you to lose your balance.

Cleaning Tips

Here are some final tips that can be used to make the job of washing walls a little easier.

  • Rid the walls and baseboards of cobwebs and dust bunnies before you begin washing.
  • If you are using ammonia or another strong-smelling cleaning solution, make sure the room is well-ventilated.
  • Change your cleaning solution often. When you are washing walls, the water gets dirty very quickly.
  • To avoid streaking, wipe the walls with a dry towel after they have been cleaned.
  • To avoid ruining the paint job on your walls, stay away from abrasive cleaners and steel wool. Use a toothbrush for small stains that need gentle, but abrasive action.

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