Walls are a big element of the presentation of a house but tend to be something we don’t put a lot of focus on cleaning wise. But like most things cleaning wise, walls are a job that with regular attention and a little preparation you can keep on top of.
Identify your Walls
Not where they are, that much is easy to determine. Rather you need to determine what the surface of the wall is in order to determine what you will use to clean it. Here are some common wall types you will find in most modern homes:
Painted – Most modern paints are designed to be easy clean so typically as long as you are using a soft sponge you can’t go too wrong. Glossy finishes are often a good indicator of an easily wiped surface. Basic detergents work well, even most spray and wipes, but try to avoid anything with an active ingredient in it like bleach [which some spray and wipes cont pain so be careful] as it can react with the paint.
Unsealed wallpaper – Quite old fashioned but older wallpapers really are just paper on the wall and they tend to be really prone to damage and peeling if you put too much moisture on them. Your options are quite limited if you have these types of walls.
Brick – Sealed brick walls allow pretty rigorous cleaning with few concerns. Some are painted over, at which point you treat them the same as a normal painted wall.
Glossy wallpaper – Generally a glossy finish on wallpaper denotes it is sealed so it can be wiped down, using basic spray and wipes or wet sponges. It is advised that you always do a test clean on a small patch if you aren’t sure as making a mistake can prove disastrous.
Collect your Tools
Dusters and microfiber clothes are great for preparing walls for cleaning. These can be the same type you use for other general dusting. Walls tend to be pretty sensitive. You need to limit how abrasive your tools are. Never use a scouring pad or heavy brush on a wall, even on brick ones. Soft sponges will be more than sufficient and wet wipes can also be good too.
Cleaning solutions with any bleach elements are not advised as they will react to pain and potentially damage wallpaper surfaces. Similarly avoid turps or methylated spirits if you can help it because most paints will be stripped by them. Detergents are usually a safe bet as ultimately there is nothing harsh in them but again be careful they aren’t brands with bleach or anything added for extra grease cutting power or you risk damage.
Paper or fabric towels to dry walls are a fine idea since it is vertical and prone to drips or streaks as a result.
Do a Preclean
The preclean is important. Basically it is dusting. But dusting is important! Make sure all webs and dust that is loose is gone because the second water gets on either of those it is a nightmare. A good static duster with and adjustable rod will sometime be sufficient to leave your walls looking fresh and you can opt to stop at that point if you like.
Spot Clean of Marks
Before you do any full wall washdowns you want to focus on the individual marks first. Often a basic spray and wipe with a little buffing with the sponge is sufficient on glossy paint since it tends to be specifically designed to be mark resistant. Fingerprints might not seem too big a deal but as they are oily they can tend to react a little oddly when wiped and smear a bit so getting to them early is worthwhile. Often this process will have a huge impact on your well presentation.
This is the back breaker. Basically it is just a standard surface wipe times a thousand. You treat it the same way you treat any other surface and start from the top and work your way down. Many people like to dry as they go to avoid streaks. Note this can be a huge process, especially if there are a lot of buildups on the walls. If there are smokers or it is a kitchen the walls will be coated, but if you are too vigorous in your wiping you risk damaging the paint so be aware.
If there is mould on the wall, particularly in bathrooms, then you can spray on a mould killer. Be sure to read the instructions and look at the recommended surfaces though as some mould killers are for tiles and that is handled a little differently to walls sometimes which can have unfortunate results. Once applied a wet sponge is sufficient to remove it. A mask to wear while cleaning is sometimes advised too as any that falls in your mouth assures you won’t have a fun afternoon.
So when it comes to wall cleaning you need to know what you are cleaning and take as many steps as possible to avoid damage because repainting is one of the more expensive and time consuming repairs you can make to a property. Ignoring the walls though can definitely make the place look tired and dirty though so don’t use the risk as an excuse to avoid it entirely!
Or, if it seems too much you can call in Clean with Care. We have cleaned every type of wall there is and have been for a long time. Our team members can do anything from a simple dust and skirting wipedown through to full intensive wall washdowns. Get in contact and organise some wall cleaning today.