Why (and How) You Should Clean Your Walls, According to Experts

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Image Credit: Brandon Stanley

Have you ever looked at your walls and thought, "Should I be cleaning you?" Then, once the idea pops into your head, you begin to notice various stains, scuff marks, and layers of dust that are making your walls look less than fresh. So yes, you should be cleaning your walls on a regular basis.

"Considering how much we lean against and touch them on a daily basis, keeping your walls clean is just as important as cleaning other household surfaces," Sean Parry, a cleaning expert at the house cleaning company Neat Services, tells Hunker.

Cleaning your walls can also boost your mood by making your space appear fresh and clean and can help with mold elimination, according to Natalie Barrett, the service quality supervisor at Nifty Cleaning Services. "Probably the worst enemy to every home is the mold that stains and attacks the walls," she tells Hunker. "While this fungus is present in almost every building, having too much of it can pose serious health risks for the home dwellers."

Now that you know you should be cleaning your walls on a regular basis, the next question is: What are some tips for cleaning walls? According to the experts, you'll have to adjust your technique depending on the type of wall you're working with.

Painted Walls

Danielle Smith Parker, the founder of Detroit Maid, offers Hunker the following tips for cleaning painted walls:

  • Dust walls before washing them. You can use the brush attachment on your vacuum and run it over walls to remove surface dust and dirt. A Swiffer Sweeper or duster will also work.
  • While cleaning painted walls, use two buckets — one for the cleaning solution and one for the rinsing water — and change out the water when it begins to look dirty.
  • Be sure you wring out your sponges before using them on the wall. You want a damp sponge, not a wet one.
  • Work in sections instead of tackling the whole wall at once.
  • If you have a stubborn stain, make a paste of baking soda and water, rub it over the stain and let sit for a few minutes. Rinse with water and a clean microfiber cloth.

If you're dealing with crayon marks, Barrett adds that you can use mayonnaise to get them out. Simply place regular mayo (not the fat-free version) on the spot, leave it for 15 minutes, wipe it off with a damp microfiber cloth, use soap and water to fully clean the area, and then dry it off with a towel.

Wallpapered Walls

When it comes to cleaning walls covered in wallpaper, Parry offers the following pieces of advice:

  • Like with painted walls, dust before you clean.
  • Before using your cleaning solution on the walls, perform a patch test in a small, not noticeable area to make sure your solution doesn't damage the wallpaper.
  • If you're dealing with a bad case of mold, a store-bought product suitable for the wall surface is usually your best bet. Remember to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to avoid any accidents.
  • For ink, crayon, and marker stains left behind by unruly kids (or adults!), use a liquid solvent cleaner such as WD-40.
  • To remove grease stains, simply use warm, soapy water.

Tiled Walls

For tiled walls, such as those in your bathroom, Barrett has the following tips.

  • If you're working with the tiled walls in your bathroom, start by running a hot shower over your ceramic tiles to open up their pores. This will make it easier to get dirt and debris out of their surfaces while you clean them.
  • With printed pattern tiles, scouring pads are too rough. A safer alternative is a sponge or a microfiber cloth.
  • If you have a marble wall, do not use vinegar or abrasive tools. Instead, follow these cleaning instructions.

Once you start cleaning your walls, you'll never want to go back!


When Anna Gragert isn’t trying to create a groundbreaking third-person bio for herself, she's writing for places like Teen Vogue, Glamour, Bust, Nylon, and now, Hunker! Follow Anna on Twitter or Instagram for more.

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