How To Clean Wall Paint: 3 Ways For 3 Types Of Wall Paint

Keep The Walls Of Your Massachusett’s Home Looking Like New

Cleaning 3 Different Types Of Interior Wall Paint

Cleaning wall paint is slightly different depending on if your walls are painted with a latex-based paint or oil-based paint. Each requires their own cleaning method for best results.

You can also find out how to clean flat wall paint, a common question for our area.

Let’s see which method Mike and Jess choose for their walls.

How to clean wall paint

The characters in this post are not real nor are they meant to represent any real person(s).

“I’m starting to see them everywhere Mike, we need to do something, now.

“I agree because I’m seeing them everywhere now too,” Mike responds. “Jess’ right,” he thinks, “our walls have little marks everywhere and that means they need cleaning.” 

“Alright hon,” he continues, “let’s look up ‘how to clean wall paint’ on Google and see what we can find. There’s gotta be some instructions out there.” They both walk over to the computer and sit down in front of it. Mike pulls up Google and begins the search.

What Type Of Paint Is On Your Walls?

“It says here we should find out what type of paint we have on our walls.”

Mike thinks for a second before saying “I’m pretty sure it’s a latex/acrylic paint. Our house is fairly new and oil-based paints aren’t used nearly as much anymore. We should still test it to see though.”

Jess goes to grab either an acetone-based solvent or denatured alcohol will Mike finds the cotton swabs. They meet back in a corner of the family room to test out the paint. 

Mike dampens the cotton swab with the solvent and rubs it on the wall quickly, using a little bit of pressure. 

They look on the swab to see color, meaning the paint came off a bit. “Seems like I was right,” Mike says happily, “We’ve got ourselves latex-based painted walls.” If no color had been found on the swab then the couple would have oil-based paint on their walls.

Now they can get on with learning how to clean wall paint.

1. How To Clean Latex-Based Painted Walls

“To clean our walls it looks like we’ll need:”

  • Warm water
  • Non-abrasive, all-purpose cleaner
  • Sponge (2)
  • Bucket (2)
  • Towel

“The first thing you will want to do is mix warm water and a non-abrasive, all-purpose cleaner in one bucket. You can find the instructions on the cleaner. Then you’ll fill the other bucket with water. After that, wet your sponge in the bucket with the mixture in it, wring it out, and wipe down the walls. You’ll then rinse the walls using this same method with the other sponge and the normal water. Finally, dry your walls off. Working in small sections can help lessen streak marks.”

Cleaning crayon off of wall paint

*If this doesn’t work, try mixing a paste of baking soda and water. Rub it on the stain with a non-abrasive pad, rinse with water and sponge, then dry.

Jess and Mike use this method to clean their walls, but there’s one stain that just won’t come off. They go back to the computer to see if the article they read had any other advice.

Wall cleaning supplies

“For tough stains follow this recipe: 1 cup of ammonia, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 gallon of water. Make sure it won’t damage the walls by testing it in an out-of-the-way spot first.”

The couple looks at each other, with Jess being the first to break the silence “You know, I don’t think the stain is that bad. I mean, you can’t really see it unless you look for it. Let’s just leave it.” “Sounds good to me,” Mike replies.

“You know,” he continues, “I’m kinda curious what the difference is between cleaning latex and oil walls. I’m going to keep reading.”

2. How To Clean Oil-Based Painted Walls

“What we would need is:”

  • 1 teaspoon liquid detergent
  • ¼ teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1-quart warm water
  • Sponge (2)
  • Bucket (2)
  • Towel

First, you will want to make a mixture using the above amounts of liquid detergent, white vinegar, and warm water in one of your buckets. You will then fill the other bucket with water. Then, you’ll dip one sponge in the bucket with the mixture in it, wring it out, and lightly rub your walls. After that, rinse your walls with the other sponge and water. Finally, dry off your walls with a towel. Working in small sections can help keep streak marks from showing up.

Cleaning wall paint with sponge and mixture

3. How To Clean Flat Wall Paint

This one can be a multi-layer process, starting with the simplest solution. 

Start with lightly washing your walls with a damp cloth, just water. If you need a little more oomph, use a mixture of water and white vinegar. Scrub gently! You can also use a store-bought foam cleanser for especially stubborn stains.

*Test it out in areas where it won’t be seen if it starts damaging your walls.

“Interesting,” Mike says. He stands up and joins Jess in the family room, admiring their handiwork. The walls are clean and look amazing, with no more smears, smudges, or scuffs. Now they have one less thing to worry about.