How to Remove Water & Oil Stains on Walls

Water and oil stains are unattractive on any surface, including countertops, floors and walls. The stains are also a challenge to remove from walls, since any cleaning solution may also remove paint or other finish from the walls. The key is to work slowly and use a solution that won't penetrate the wall's surface. Once the cleaning process is complete, it is important to rinse the wall thoroughly to remove any cleaning solution residue before painting the wall. If left on, the residue will fade through the new layer of paint.

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It is important to remove any water or oil stains from your walls before painting them.

Removing Water Stains

Step 1

Place plastic sheeting or drop cloths on the floor under the water stain you want to remove to keep the cleaning solution from damaging the floor.

Step 2

Mix 2 cups of dishwashing liquid and 1 cup of color-safe bleach or prewash spray in a bucket. Stir the mixture with a soft scrub brush. Wear latex gloves to keep your hands dry and protected.

Step 3

Dip a soft cloth or rag in the mixture, wring out excess and blot the water stain with the cloth or rag. Re-dip the cloth or rag and continue blotting the stain until it is gone.

Step 4

Dry the wall with a clean cloth or rag.

Removing Oil Stains

Step 1

Place plastic sheeting or drop cloths on the floor under the oil stain you want to remove to keep the cleaning paste from damaging the floor.

Step 2

Mix 2 cups of cornstarch and 1 1/2 cups of water in a plastic container. Stir the mixture into a paste using a soft scrub brush. Wear latex gloves to keep your hands from getting wet.

Step 3

Apply the paste to the oil stain using the scrub brush. The paste needs to cover the stain completely. Rinse any paste off the scrub brush with warm water from a sink. Let the paste dry on the stain for 2 hours.

Step 4

Brush the paste off with the scrub brush. Wet a clean cloth or rag with warm water from a sink. Blot the wall with the wet cloth or rag.

Step 5

Dry the wall with a clean cloth or rag.