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Common Areas

Is That a Footprint? Top Hacks for Cleaning Your Walls

March 16, 2022

When it comes to cleaning, there’s one aspect that we usually overlook. We work through our checklists for each room but then forget about the most visible areas: The walls! 

Walls are high-traffic areas that everyone uses and abuses in your home. Walls in our mudrooms or passageways are generally the worst. Multi-purpose rooms would be a close second, and rounding out in third place is Every. Damn. Hallway!  

If you have kids, you know that every wall of the house has at least one handprint, and surely the odd footprint. Homes with no kids still get grease and dirt buildup, while pet-friendly homes will have drool, hair, and other unspeakable messes. 

Need I say more?  Keep reading if you want the dirt on spotless walls, the @GoCleanCo way.

Please note that some of these products are affiliate links. Consider these brands our friends with benefits. When you buy from these links, we make a small commission at no extra cost to you. We use this commission to pay our staff, produce content, and of course, buy our cleaning supplies. Pretty neat, huh?

Step 1 – Take Notice

You should get in the habit of addressing the walls every time you clean a room. Here are some things to know as you observe (in horror) just how dirty your walls are:

  • Our method is still to always deal with one room at a time, but take notice of the walls and door frames in that room. 
  • The most noticeable spots will be mid-wall, from dirty little kid hands. 
  • Liquid splashes always find a way to dribble down walls, especially in bathrooms.
  • Make sure to move furniture away from your walls. When you do this you will often notice a line on your wall, where the couch or piece of furniture was sitting. 
  • Body oils stick to furniture like glue and will then transfer to your walls.

Step 2 – Hot Water And Powdered Tide

Okay, if you’re in the #cleaningarmy, then you’ve got plenty of Powdered Tide (USA) (Canada) on deck. We’re going to use just a pinch of it to get those walls looking fresh and clean. Here’s what you do:

  • Fill a bucket with hot water and a teaspoon of powdered Tide. A sink works in a pinch, but portability will make this job easier as you work your way around the house. (Tide is a degreaser and will lift the grime from your walls.) Make sure to swap out the water and powdered Tide mixture whenever the water is dirty. 
  • Microfibre is the best type of cloth to clean with because it lifts and holds dirt, grease, and grime. (Pro Tip: Make sure not to wash your microfiber cloths with fabric softener or dryer sheets. Ideally you can do a quick load of just cloths. We love  Grab-A-Rags (USA) (Canada) for big messes.)
  • Use plenty of elbow Grease! Get after it, but be careful. Scrubbing too long and too hard on a painted wall can cause paint to fade or take it off entirely. Don’t use a mop for this or you will need to go over the area again with a damp cloth to pick up lint and hair. (We have tried this and it just doesn’t do the job right!)

Step 3 – Scuffs CAN Come Out

When you first glance at your walls, you’ll start seeing scratches and scuffs that you never paid attention to. But don’t start screaming at those messy rugrats just yet. Scuffs can and will come out. 

Bar Keepers Friend (USA) (Canada) (our fav) and a damp microfiber cloth will buff out most surface scratches on most walls, even Sharpie Picasso drawings. You will need to rinse these areas with water to get the residue off. Always do a test patch in an inconspicuous area if you are concerned about your coloured walls. And again, scrubbing too hard could take the paint off, so be gentle yet diligent.

Step 4 – Light Switches Are Nasty

Fingers touch light switches on a daily basis. Yet they rarely (if ever) get properly cleaned. Neutralize these germ hot spots by adding in some bleach when you clean. Just be careful not to drip bleach on your carpets! 

Step 5 – Look Up!

We always teach our new cleaners to look up.. It may be a new habit to form, but it’s essential. Dust accumulates not just at eye level. The tops of door frames and pictures gather dust, too. Make sure you’re hitting these areas with a dust wand or cloth.

The entire house will seem substantially cleaner after you’ve cleaned your walls. The first time you do this, it may be a big job, but if you work it into your regular checklist, you won’t have to do your entire walls every time. Spot treatment may be all that is necessary. You’ll be surprised how much lifts off your shoulders when the walls around you are free of dirt and grime.

– Katie W @ GoCleanCo

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