How to Clean Non-Washable Paint Walls

Non-washable painted walls are usually paint with flat paint or the dreaded "builder paint" in new homes, which will often wash right off the wall with even a mild cleaning. Low quality satin or semigloss paint may also be permanently streaked by cleaning attempts. While there's no way to clean deep stains and heavy grime from non-washable painted walls without ruining the surface, there are ways to minimize the damage; and if you're careful, you should be able to clean small scuffs and marks without leaving any evidence.

...
Non-washable painted walls can be cleaned if you're careful.

Step 1

Dust or vacuum the wall first, even if it doesn't look dusty. Cleaning will rub even invisible dust into the porous painted surface, leaving a dirty-looking mark.

Step 2

Rub scuff marks and small blemishes gently with a dry dirt eraser sponge designed to remove stains and marks from painted surfaces without the use of water.

Step 3

Mix a mild cleansing solution in a clean bucket, such as one part white vinegar to three parts cool water, or 2 tbsp. Borax to a gallon of water. Fill another bucket with clean cool water for rinsing.

Step 4

Clean the wall using the cleaning solution and a clean rag or sponge. Start at the bottom and work up to the ceiling working in approximately 3-foot wide sections. Use very light pressure while cleaning.

Step 5

Squeeze excess water from the rag in your rinsing bucket and rinse each section as you go, working from the ceiling to the bottom of the wall.


Stevie Donald

Stevie Donald has been an online writer since 2004, producing articles for numerous websites and magazines. Her writing chops include three books on dog care and training, one of which won a prestigious national award in 2003. Donald has also been a painting contractor since 1979, painting interiors and exteriors.