This is a question that every homeowner ponders — especially if there are smokers, pets, or young children in the house. It’s just a fact of life: Walls get dirty. Dirt needs washing. If you’re like many others, your house’s walls are painted. So, will washing your painted walls damage the paint or otherwise look unsightly? The straight answer is it could. However, it all depends on what kind of paint is on your walls, what solutions you use to clean them, and how dirty they are in the first place.
What Kind of Paint Is on My Walls?
Before you gear up to wash your walls, look at what kind of paint is on them. Before you start cleaning, you’ll need to look at the sheen— a qualifier that identifies how shiny or flat the paint is. Generally, the shinier the paint, the easier it is to clean. The flatter or more matte, the trickier clean-up may become.
The paint in your bathroom or kitchen is most likely satin or eggshell; finishes that fall right in the middle of the glossiness spectrum. They are usually utilized in high-traffic areas. The gloss in the finish hardens and appears shiny, akin to “closing the pores” of your walls. It keeps the paint from absorbing all of the everyday dust, grease, and grime.
Walls in the bedrooms and potentially the living room may be painted with matte or flat paint. There’s no getting around it — flat paints are among the toughest to clean.
What Cleaner Should I Use?
It probably feels natural to reach for the bottle pine-scented heavy-duty cleaner when you want to wash painted walls — but beware! No matter what kind of paint you’re dealing with, washing it is a gentle endeavor, not a hard-scrubbing task. Here are a few tips when it comes to cleaning:
Use a soft sponge, warm water, mild dish soap or white vinegar, and some baking soda for the tough spots. Refrain from using a scrubby or steel wool, or any textured scrubber for that matter.
When you’re cleaning a semi- or high-gloss paint, add a few drops of dish soap to your water. The doors, baseboards, and other trim should clear up quickly and be restored with little effort.
For walls with eggshell or satin finish, add a few drops of dish soap to your water or go with two-to-three tablespoons of white vinegar instead. The trick to preserving your paint is to wring out your sponge well. Don’t be shy — wring it out until it’s practically dry! You’ll have better luck getting the wall clean and leaving the paint behind. While these finishes are durable, they are still prone to scratching. Using a sponge is your best course of action when it comes to preserving them.
Flat and Matte Paint
Start with your vacuum cleaner and a brush attachment to eliminate dust and loose dirt. Dip your sponge into your water with a bit of gentle soap. Don’t use harsh chemicals or any type of abrasive solution — your paint won’t be able to take it. Gently rub the wall with your sponge. Next, take a dry, lint-free cloth and dab it dry. If the wall is still dirty, you can try to gently clean it a second time. The second time around will be even harder on the surface than the first, so a tender touch is key.
Whether you’re looking to touch up your walls or are interested in professional interior painting or commercial painting services for your property in South Jersey or Philadelphia, contact Padlo’s Perfect Painting today!