How to Wash Your Interior Walls Without Harming the Paint

Washing your walls is a crucial step to keeping your home fresh and clean. Your walls, like everything else in your home, can get soiled. It takes a little longer, but over time they will start to accumulate dirt, grime, stains, and scuff marks. So your walls will need a bath every now and then. Yet some fear what may happen to the paint during a thorough cleaning. You don’t want to harm the walls or lose any of their coats of paint. How can one clean house and still preserve its paint? It starts with the right supplies.



  • Two white washcloths
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Old towel



Making the Soap

Can’t take all the credit for this. My mom passed this one down to me. The “wall soap” that we’re going to make consists of baking soda, which is fairly common, and, yes, dish soap. Why this particular soap? Dish soap is used to clean dishes but in a mild manner so as not to cause any damage. It is also not toxic if any residue is left on your plates.



To make your “wall soap” fill a bucket with as much water needed for the section of wall you want to wash. Add around three to four squirts of dish soap and a fourth to a half cup of baking soda. Then stir it up. I’d also have another bucket with plain water by its side for rinsing later.


Wash those Walls

Go to the area you want to clean and, after soaking your white rag with “wall soap,” begin to rub down the area.



Tip: The reason I suggest using a white wash cloth or rag is that colored washcloths are dyed. You’ve already painted your walls and don’t want to risk the dye from the wet cloth seeping onto them.


It’s an oxymoron but you’ll need to gently scrub your walls. Dirt and grime might take a little less effort than the scuff marks. Like the ones in your clothes, you’ll need to soak the stains for about a minute or two to let the soap and baking soda do their job.



Then give the area one last quick scrub to make sure the cleaning process is complete. After the scrub down, take the other bucket of regular water and wipe the excess soap off thoroughly. And lastly, you can use your old towel to dry the walls. Make sure you remove all the water so the walls dry as quickly as possible.


Sparkle, Sparkle!

That’s all there is to this simple, but effective method. Dish soap and baking soda are in most every household. Yet few realize how far they can go to sprucing up a home. By uniting the power of these cleaning staples, you can get your walls in tip-top shape. It might be a good time to welcome over some guests to wow them with your walls.



Images used with permission, courtesy of Jessica Dotson

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