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Washing Walls and Ceilings

Category Walls
An important, if not fun, part of home maintenance is washing the walls and ceilings on occasion. This is a guide about washing walls and ceilings.


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March 24, 2006

My whole apartment (5 rooms) is all paneling, so every spring I like to wash it with Murphy's Oil soap. I use to get my clothing and hands caught on the nails that hold all my pictures, so this year I went to the dollar store and bought a sponge mop that has a wringer that doesn't get your hands wet. This with a bucket of warm water with Murphy's worked great.


I didn't hurt my hands, my hands also didn't dry out from the soap water, and I didn't have to keep bending down to wash the bottom of the walls. It was so much easier and faster. In 5 days I had 5 rooms done and spring isn't here yet. Now I can go out and play this spring.

By Debbie from Berwick, ME

Comment Was this helpful? 2
March 24, 20061 found this helpful

Wow...I never thought of! I have the same problem with cleaning my walls and hate doing it because of the scrapes! I will be sure to remember this tip!!!! Thank you!!!

Reply Was this helpful? 1

July 5, 2007

I'm not sure if this has been posted before but I recently found a use for the Swiffer floor dusters. Use it on your walls and ceiling to get the dust that sets and collects on them. I was surprised at how much it actually got off the walls and ceiling. It's easy on the back as well. And only a few minutes gets it all done.


By Joely from Ceres, CA

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
July 5, 20071 found this helpful

This is wonderful idea. I love to have a clean house but dread "spring cleaning" type jobs like washing walls. Your tip would save tons of time! Thanks, I will be trying this soon.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 15, 2005

Our baseboards are in dire need of a good cleaning and I just hate to do it. They are painted with white semi-gloss paint and they show everything. Having a Saint Bernard and 3 cats doesn't help either. Does anyone know an easier way to clean them than the "on my hands and knees" deal. Thanks so much.


Jenny in KY

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 17, 20050 found this helpful

Use a sponge mop and put a squirt of mop-n-glo in the water and the next time all the gunk will wipe off easily.

Next time you paint, use glossy paint on baseboards for easier cleanup.


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By guest (Guest Post)
January 17, 20050 found this helpful

You can buy a tub cleaner. It is a plastic wand with a sponge and scrubber attached. I clean my kitchen floor under my table with them. My chair legs have the rubber caps and it leaves black marks on the floor. This way you don't have to get down on your hands and knees. I also agree with the gloss paint.

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 13, 20050 found this helpful

Would 409 cleaner give them a kick? I'll do anything not to have to get down on all 4's to clean them. I use a mop too, but it does get the ground in stuff up.


Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 9, 20070 found this helpful

try mr clean magic erasers,they clean almost everything.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 14, 2005

I read a few of the tips on washing walls but still had a question or two. Can I use a mixture of water with either bleach or sunlight dish soap? How much should I use? I have the worst luck washing walls! My mother used to use Tide. Her walls were fine, but I am thinking I used too much Tide? I tried the mop idea before too, but it left a worse mess than I had in the first place. :-( I really don't like the idea of ammonia either. Any advice would be helpful.

Lori from Kentville, Nova Scotia

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 14, 20050 found this helpful

buy a tried and true product called TSP ask for it

in home depot, lowes or stores like that it does not

cost much and it WORKS. my girlfriend smoked and walls had a tar coating sticky and yucky ....she never opened windows.

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 15, 20050 found this helpful

After trying different products, I have gone back to the one from my early years of marriage, Mr. Clean. I use it on the woodwork, walls, in my mop water, in the showers, etc. I use it for practically everything. I dilute it with water using a very small amount of Mr. Clean.

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 15, 20050 found this helpful

I use a wet swiffer. There is no mess and it smells good.

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October 17, 20050 found this helpful

Hello, I'm new and I saw your post.

I use the new Mr Clean Magic Erasor sponges.

It's white and you just wet it down with water. It works like magic. However they do wear out pretty fast.

I also agree that TSP is a good product.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 14, 2009

I need to know the easiest way of washing walls an ceilings? What do I use to get stains, finger prints, and dirt off? What is the best cleaning solutions and methods? Thank you.


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November 15, 20090 found this helpful

I'm marking so I can find again and see the responses. I'm dreading doing the kitchen; would love any hints.

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November 15, 20090 found this helpful

A quick easy recipe for a cleaning walls if they are wood or sheet rock,(dry walls). B ucket,hot water,sponge mop, & elbow grease, old saying.

2 tablespoons ammonia, 2 tablespoons liquid detergent (like Dawn or Ivory for your dishes), and 1/2 bucket hot water

You can double this recipe. Good luck.

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November 15, 20090 found this helpful

TS[ (TriSodium Phosphate) available in the paint department...

http://www.natu  xtra/inftsp.html

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April 6, 2013

I have a bad back and find it hard to clean the walls. Any suggestions on the easiest way to do them?

By Candace

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April 8, 20131 found this helpful

I use a well wrung sponge mop, it's a real back saver!

Reply Was this helpful? 1

March 11, 20150 found this helpful

Can you use Murphy oil soap on walls?

By Marie

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By 0 found this helpful
July 16, 2010

How do you wash oil based painted walls?

By Cindy from Lorain, OH

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July 20, 20100 found this helpful

There is a product called Dirtex which I love. It's a small box of power/crystals you mix with water and wipe your walls with. You can buy it at hardware stores or larger home improvement stores. It's wonderful stuff, and no smell or harsh chemicals.

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July 28, 20100 found this helpful

If you are talking about regular plasterboard walls painted with an oil base paint, just about any household cleaner will do. You can use Mr. Clean, Dawn, Pinesol, ammonia (which I find too stinky!) in water these are just products that I can think of, a couple of cap fulls in about a 1/2 -3/4 gal of water is good. Many people swear by vinegar and water, but I think actual soap/detergent based products are better for walls, especially if they have smoke or accumulated dirt or cooking grease on them. You can also use bleach in water, but I would only do that if there is mildew. For washing walls, you don't need anything special.

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January 11, 2007

Tips for cleaning walls. Post your ideas.

Swiffer Mop

Use your Swiffer mop to wash down your walls! Simply moisten the pad with your washing solution and got to town!

By cybrlee

Add A Water Softener

When washing walls, whatever cleaning solution you choose be sure to add a water softener, like 20 Mule Team Borax. This makes the dirt come off much easier.

By Ardis Ilene Barnes

Wash From The Bottom Up

No one has mentioned washing walls from the bottom up to avoid streaks & drip marks.

By GraNita

Make Two Passes

If you wash walls from the bottom to the top, you'll have dirty water dripping onto your newly-cleaned wall. Streaks can be cleaned with a second top-to-bottom pass.

By Kendo_Bunny

Mr. Clean Magic Sponge and Woolite

Wash all walls in your house once a year and use a Mr. Clean magic sponge on any tough spots. This will keep your walls looking great, and eliminate painting as often.

I use a capful of Woolite in a bucket of water. Dry each section with a clean rag and look at the dirt that comes off. I learned this tip in Real Simple magazine.

By Liz from Ontario

Use Two Buckets And Other Tips

When washing walls, please ladies, you need TWO buckets of water. One bucket is your cleaning solution. The other is your rinse water. Use at least six to eight rags. Terry cloth is best. Toss all the rags in the cleaning solution. When one is soiled, toss it into the rinse water. The rinse water is all that needs to be changed. The cleaning solution stays clean. Only clean rags go into the cleaning solution.

Use a no-rinse cleaner. The rags that have gone into the rinse water are rinsed out and reused if necessary. Clean from the bottom up, and don't forget the mop boards around the edges of the walls. They are dirtier than the walls because they collect so much dust. By Ardis Barnes

Washing Walls Techniques

There's an easier way. First buy a wall washer from a janitor supply place or use a Swiffer with a thick hand towel folded to fit as a pad, held on by elastic bands. Use one bucket with 1/2 cup each of vinegar and ammonia with a Tbsp. of baking soda. No need to rinse and no streaks unless the place is greasy , then use TSP from any hardware.

By siris

Recipe For Cleaning Walls

The best I have ever found is from the "Queen of Clean" herself. Please correct me if I am wrong but I never measure anything so I'm probably off. Wash in a circular motion, starting at the top and work your way down so you don't leave nasty dirt streaks. Believe me, this works! I have never seen my walls so clean. I have used washing soda and baking soda and they both work wonders.

Lemon Ammonia

When washing my walls I use lemon scented ammonia with water. Half and half. This really cuts through grease and doesn't leave a film.

By Barbara Montag from St Cloud MN

Use A Sponge Mop

Use a long handled sponge mop to clean your walls. It makes it easier to reach the high parts of your walls and it also can be used on ceilings. Be careful using a sponge mop on thick, popcorn textured ceilings or rough wall surfaces. It will quickly tear up the sponge.

Make washing down walls for fall or spring cleaning much easier. Try this: Get a new or very clean cat litter pan and a sponge mop that has a long handle. Add cleaning liquid to the litter pan. The sponge mop fits nicely into the shallow pan and the handle on the mop lets you reach to the top of your walls.

By Laura from Elberta, AL

Editor's Note: Watch out for any nails or picture hangers in the wall because they will tear the sponge mop.

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