How to Clean Spackle

Spackle is a plastic-like paste used to fill cracks or holes in plaster or drywall. Ceilings are also often spackled to provide texture. Spackle is messy, whether you're applying a small patch or covering a large surface. It gets on tools and on the floor. Because spackle dries hard quickly, it's important to clean it up right away. Cleaning up dried spackle requires a bit more work.

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Spackling is messy.

Concrete and Tile Floors

Step 1

Wipe up spackle that is still wet with a damp sponge.

Step 2

Wipe the area dry with a dry, clean towel to eliminate any spackle residue. If, after drying, a white film remains on the surface of the floor, wipe it up again with a fully rinsed-out sponge.

Step 3

Scrape up dried bits of spackle stuck to the floor using a plastic putty knife. Avoid using a metal putty knife -- it can scratch the floor.

Step 4

Cover any dried bits remaining with damp paper towels. Leave the paper towels for several minutes and allow the moisture to soften the spackle.

Step 5

Scrape the softened spackle with the putty knife and wipe up any residue with the sponge.

Wood Floors

Step 1

Wipe up any spackle that is still wet with a dry towel. Do not use water on wood floors.

Step 2

Clean up any remaining residue with window cleaner or vinegar.

Step 3

Drop wood oil onto dried, stuck-on spackle and allow it to saturate and soften the spackle. Oil will not impregnate and compromise wood floor boards like water.

Step 4

Scrape the softened spackle with a plastic putty knife and clean the residue with window cleaner or vinegar.

Carpet

Step 1

Allow spackle dropped on the carpet to dry since dry spackle is easier to remove from carpet than wet spackle.

Step 2

Vacuum the carpet to crumble and suck up as much spackle as possible.

Step 3

Spray carpet spot remover on remaining plaster.

Step 4

Blot up the plaster, using paper towels.

Tools

Step 1

Run the blades of spackling tools under water immediately after using to rinse away the plaster while wet. Use fingers to rub away as much spackle as possible.

Step 2

Scrub the tools with water and a plastic-bristle scrub brush to remove wet spackle from crevices.

Step 3

Scrape the tools with a plastic putty knife and continue to scrub them with water and a scrub brush to remove dried spackle.


Mason Howard

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.