One chore that always seems to get overlooked (until we look up and see cobwebs) is cleaning the walls. It’s so easy to overlook the fingerprints, dust, and cobwebs even as we stare at the walls within our homes every day.
Maybe we overlook the walls because it seems like a daunting task, but it’s actually a simple task once you get going.
How to Clean Walls
There are three main ways to clean your walls. Each way has its pros and cons, and you may want to try more than one, depending on how much time you have or how long it’s been since you’ve cleaned your walls. 😉
1. Dust the walls to knock down the cobwebs
When I’m short on time (or if I have my Swiffer duster handy – like when I’m cleaning the ceiling fans), I’ll quickly dust the walls, especially in the corners and along the ceiling.
Quickly dusting the walls is also a great way to spot clean and remove any spider webs that travel from light fixtures to the walls or even in door frames. I’ve also noticed them along the brick surrounding our fireplace.
While dusting is great for quick cleanups or spot cleaning, it tends to knock the dust and cobwebs onto the floor, creating more of a mess than it’s worth.
Also, make sure that your duster doesn’t leave a film behind.
The e-cloth dusting set includes a washable pad that just uses water to clean. I made the switch to e-cloth a couple years ago and my cloths are still holding up! They’re perfect for dusting around the house (they do a great job or trapping the dirt and dust) and they clean without needing harsh chemicals. They also don’t leave a film behind, so they’re perfect to use on walls and wood.
2. Vacuum to catch the dust and dirt
It can be annoying to lug out the vacuum and all of its attachments, but if you have a brush attachment (especially if you have an extension attachment), vacuuming is the best way to clean your walls.
As you’re vacuuming the walls in your house, start at the ceiling and work your way down. It’s a good idea to vacuum the ceiling, too, especially around light fixtures. Pay particular attention to the corners and where the ceiling meets the walls.
Use the floor attachment on the vacuum to get the main parts of the walls and ceiling. For the corners, you can use the brush attachment. While you’re at it, use the brush attachment to dust your baseboards, door frames, and even the door!
I try to vacuum the walls in my house quarterly, which just happens to coincide with holiday and birthday parties. 😉 (My full cleaning schedule is available in the Organized Motherhood Resource Library.)
3. Wash the walls to remove fingerprints and dirt
Washing walls can leave marks on the paint, especially if your walls are painted with a latex paint or a flat finish. If your walls are seriously smudged, you may need to repaint.
If your walls are painted with an enamel, semi-gloss, or gloss paint, you may be able to wash them periodically, although the paint may become less washable over time.
To spot clean your walls, I’ve used Magic Erasers with some luck on my semi-gloss walls, but keep in mind that they may dull and wear off your paint, so use them sparingly. Also, you may be able to notice where you used them.
Before washing your walls, vacuum them first to remove as much dust as possible. When washing your walls, use a mild cleaner, or dilute stronger all-purpose cleaners, like Mr. Clean with water. After washing with detergent, wash the walls again with water to remove all traces of the detergent.
Vacuuming the walls is by far the most effective (and least damaging) way to clean your walls. Depending on your situation, though, feel free to use a combination of dusting, vacuuming, and washing your walls to get the company ready clean that your house deserves!