How to Clean a Wall: A Comprehensive Guide

Cleaning a wall might seem like a simple task, but it can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. From choosing the right cleaning supplies to protecting your furniture and floors, there are several things to consider before you even begin cleaning. And once you do start cleaning, there are different methods and techniques to use depending on whether you’re working with interior or exterior walls.

Dirty walls can impact the overall appearance of your home or office space, and may even threaten your health if they harbor mold or other harmful substances. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is often five times worse than outdoor air pollution, with dirty walls being one contributing factor.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about cleaning a wall. We’ll discuss essential supplies to gather, how to prepare the area for cleaning, and different methods for cleaning interior and exterior walls. By following our tips and tricks, you can achieve a spotless finish and restore the appearance and cleanliness of your walls.


Cleaning walls may seem like a straightforward task, but it can quickly become overwhelming without the proper knowledge and tools. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various methods for cleaning both interior and exterior walls, from simple soap and water to powerful pressure washers. We will also provide tips on gathering supplies, preparing the area, and drying the surface to ensure a job well done. Whether you’re a homeowner looking to spruce up your living space or a professional cleaner seeking best practices, this guide has something for everyone. So let’s dive in and discover how to clean a wall!

Gathering Supplies

When it comes to cleaning your walls, having the right supplies is crucial. Not only will they make the task easier, but they’ll also ensure that you do it safely and effectively. Here are some of the essential items you’ll need to gather before you begin.

Cleaning Supplies
Of course, you’ll need cleaning supplies to clean your walls. The type of cleaner you use will depend on the type of wall you have and the type of dirt or stains you’re dealing with. Some common options include soap and water, vinegar, ammonia, and sugar soap. You’ll also need sponges and a soft-bristled brush to apply the cleaner and scrub away any grime.

Protective Gear
Cleaning supplies can be harsh chemicals that require protective gear. Often, people forget about their safety when cleaning and end up exposing themselves to harmful fumes or chemicals, which can cause skin irritation. Therefore, protective gear is essential when cleaning your walls. Rubber gloves, goggles, and a mask or respirator are all necessary items to have on hand.

Safety First
Before you start cleaning, ensure you take all safety precautions to protect yourself and others. Make sure the room is well ventilated by opening windows or using a fan. Additionally, avoid standing on furniture or using unstable ladders to reach high places. Stay safe while cleaning, and don’t rush the process.

Now that you’ve gathered your supplies and taken the necessary precautions let’s move on to preparing the area for cleaning.

Preparing the Area

When it comes to cleaning a wall, one of the most important steps is preparing the area. Not only does this help to protect your furniture and floors, but it can also make the cleaning process faster and more efficient. Here are some essential tips for preparing your space:

Move Furniture

Before you begin cleaning, move any furniture away from the walls. This will give you plenty of space to work and prevent any damage or scratches to your belongings. Make sure to use caution when moving heavy pieces and enlist the help of a friend if necessary.

Cover Floors

Next, cover your floors with drop cloths or old towels. This will protect them from any cleaning solution or debris that may fall during the process. Avoid using plastic or vinyl coverings, as these can be slippery and create a safety hazard.

Remove Debris

Lastly, remove any debris or objects from the area that could get in the way of cleaning. Depending on where you’re working, this could include picture frames, light fixtures, or other decorative items. Be sure to set them aside in a safe place until you’re finished cleaning.

By taking the time to properly prepare your space, you’ll be able to clean your walls more effectively and avoid any unnecessary damage or mess. Remember to take things slow and work carefully – a little preparation goes a long way!

Cleaning Interior Walls

Soap and Water

When it comes to cleaning interior walls, sometimes a simple solution of soap and water can do the trick. This mild solution is gentle enough for most paint finishes and won’t damage your walls like harsh chemicals might.

To start, mix a small amount of dish soap with warm water in a bucket. Dip a clean microfiber cloth into the soapy water and wring it out so that it’s not dripping wet. Then, starting at the top of the wall and working your way down, gently scrub the surface with the cloth. Be sure to rinse the cloth frequently and change the water in the bucket if it becomes too dirty.

For stubborn stains or scuffs, you may need to use a bit more elbow grease. Try using a soft-bristled brush in addition to the microfiber cloth. However, be careful not to scrub too hard, as this can damage the paint finish and leave unsightly marks on your walls.

Once you’ve finished cleaning, go over the surface with a clean, damp microfiber cloth to remove any remaining soap residue. Then, allow the wall to air dry completely before touching or painting.

Overall, using a mild soap and water solution along with a microfiber cloth is an effective and safe way to clean interior walls. It’s also an affordable option that doesn’t require any special equipment or harsh chemicals.


Vinegar is a natural and effective cleaner that can help you get rid of dirt, grime, and bacteria on your walls. To use vinegar as a cleaning agent, mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle. This solution can be used to clean various surfaces around your home, including your walls.

One of the benefits of using vinegar as a natural cleaner is that it is safe to use around children and pets. Unlike harsh chemical cleaners, vinegar does not contain harmful toxins that can cause respiratory problems or other health issues. In addition, vinegar is an affordable alternative to expensive cleaning products.

When using vinegar to clean your walls, it is important to test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure that the solution does not damage the surface. Once you have determined that it is safe to use, simply spray the vinegar solution onto the wall and wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth or sponge. For tougher stains, you may need to let the solution sit for a few minutes before wiping it away.

Vinegar is also a great natural deodorizer and can help neutralize unpleasant odors in your home. You can add a few drops of essential oils, such as lemon or lavender, to your vinegar solution for a fresh scent.

In conclusion, vinegar is a versatile and natural cleaning solution that can be used to effectively clean your walls and other surfaces in your home. Its affordability, safety, and effectiveness make it a popular choice for many homeowners looking for a more sustainable cleaning option.



Ammonia is an effective cleaner for removing grease stains from walls. However, it is important to take proper safety precautions when using this chemical.

Firstly, always wear rubber gloves when handling ammonia to protect your skin from irritation and burns. Secondly, ensure that the room is properly ventilated by opening windows or using a fan to prevent inhalation of the fumes, which can cause respiratory problems.

To use ammonia as a cleaning solution, dilute it with water according to the instructions on the bottle. Apply the solution to a sponge or soft-bristled brush and gently scrub the stained area. Rinse the wall thoroughly with water after cleaning.

Remember to store ammonia in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and keep it out of reach of children and pets.

While ammonia can be an effective cleaning agent, it should be used with caution due to its potentially harmful effects. Always follow the instructions on the label and take the necessary safety precautions to ensure a safe and successful cleaning process.

Sugar Soap

Sugar soap is a heavy-duty cleaner that can tackle even the toughest dirt and grime on your walls. Made with a mixture of natural substances, including sodium carbonate, sodium silicate, and a blend of surfactants, sugar soap provides a powerful and effective way to clean your walls.

To use sugar soap, you’ll need warm water and a sponge. First, mix the sugar soap with warm water according to the instructions on the package. Then, dip your sponge into the solution and use it to scrub your walls. The abrasiveness of the sponge combined with the cleaning power of the sugar soap will make short work of any dirt or stains on your walls.

One of the benefits of using sugar soap is that it doesn’t leave any residue behind, so you don’t need to rinse your walls after cleaning them. This can save you time and effort, as well as water. Plus, because sugar soap is a natural cleaner, it’s safe to use around pets and children.

However, it’s important to note that sugar soap is a strong cleaner, so it’s essential to wear gloves and protective clothing while using it. Additionally, you should avoid using sugar soap on painted surfaces, as it can strip away the paint.

Overall, sugar soap is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a heavy-duty cleaner to remove stubborn dirt and grime from their walls. With warm water and a sponge, you can achieve a spotless finish in no time.

Cleaning Exterior Walls

Pressure Washer

Pressure Washer

Using a pressure washer can be an efficient way to clean exterior walls that have accumulated a lot of dirt and grime. However, before renting a pressure washer, it’s important to take some safety precautions.

Firstly, it is recommended to rent the pressure washer from a reputable dealer or home improvement store. This ensures that you get a machine in good condition and with all the necessary accessories.

Secondly, make sure to read the user manual carefully and follow the instructions provided. Some pressure washers require specific settings for different types of surfaces, and using the wrong setting could damage your wall.

Thirdly, safety gear should always be worn when using a pressure washer. Eye protection, gloves, and sturdy footwear are essential to prevent injuries.

Finally, before starting to use the pressure washer, ensure that the nozzle is properly adjusted. The adjustable nozzle allows you to adjust the pressure of the water spray, so you can select the right level for the job at hand. A narrow spray pattern will provide more pressure, while a wider spray pattern will cover a larger area.

By following these safety precautions, you can safely and effectively use a pressure washer to clean your exterior walls.



When it comes to cleaning exterior walls, using a detergent can make the job easier and more effective. But not all detergents are created equal. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a detergent for your wall-cleaning needs:

Low-pressure setting

Using a pressure washer on high pressure may seem like a good idea for removing tough dirt and grime, but it can also damage the surface of your walls. That’s why it’s important to use a low-pressure setting in combination with a proper detergent. This will help avoid chipping off paint or damaging siding.


The environment is an important consideration when it comes to cleaning solutions. Using a biodegradable detergent will ensure that any residue left behind won’t have a harmful impact on the environment. Look for a detergent that is labeled as eco-friendly or biodegradable.

Scrubber attachment

A scrubber attachment for your pressure washer can be a helpful tool for removing stubborn stains from your walls. This type of attachment typically has bristles or a rotating brush that helps to apply the detergent and agitate the dirt and grime. Be sure to choose a scrubber attachment that is appropriate for your specific pressure washer model.

Overall, choosing the right detergent for your wall-cleaning needs can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your cleaning efforts. By considering factors such as low-pressure settings, biodegradability, and scrubber attachments, you can ensure that you’re getting the best possible results while also being mindful of the environment.


Bleach is a powerful and effective cleaner that can be used to remove stubborn stains, mold, and mildew from walls. However, it is important to take proper precautions when working with bleach due to its strong chemical properties.

When using bleach to clean walls, it is essential to wear protective gear such as gloves and eyewear to avoid skin and eye irritation. Additionally, it is crucial to dilute bleach properly in order to prevent damage to the wall or surrounding surfaces.

To remove mold and mildew from walls, mix one cup of bleach with one gallon of water and apply the solution to the affected area with a sponge or spray bottle. Allow the solution to sit for several minutes before rinsing thoroughly with water. For tougher stains, a stronger solution may be necessary, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution ratios and safety precautions.

It is also important to note that while bleach is an effective cleaner, it can discolor certain surfaces and fabrics. Avoid using bleach on colored walls or fabrics, and always do a patch test before applying bleach to a new surface.

By taking proper precautions and following recommended dilution ratios, bleach can be a valuable tool in removing mold, mildew, and other tough stains from walls.

Dry the Surface

After washing your interior or exterior walls, it’s important to properly dry the surface to prevent water damage and discoloration. Here are some tips for drying your walls effectively:

  • Use towels: The most common way to dry walls is by using towels. Simply press the towel against the wet surface to absorb the moisture. Make sure to use a clean and dry towel to avoid leaving streaks or water spots on the wall.

  • Turn on the fans: Another way to speed up the drying process is by turning on the fans in the room. Ceiling fans or portable fans can help circulate the air and evaporate the moisture faster. This is especially useful if you’ve just washed the walls in a humid environment.

  • Be patient: While it’s tempting to rush the drying process, it’s important to be patient and allow the walls to air dry naturally. Avoid using heat sources like hair dryers or heaters, as these can damage the paint or wallpaper. Instead, open the windows and let the fresh air do its job.

Remember, proper drying techniques are essential for maintaining the appearance and integrity of your walls. Take your time and follow these tips to achieve a flawless finish that will last for years to come.
Cleaning a wall may seem like a simple task, but it requires proper planning, technique, and equipment. Whether you are dealing with interior or exterior walls, different cleaning methods work best for each type of surface. With the right supplies and preparation, you can achieve a spotless finish without damaging the walls or putting yourself at risk.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can confidently tackle any wall-cleaning project. Remember to prioritize safety by wearing protective gear and ensuring proper ventilation during the cleaning process. With a little effort and attention to detail, you can transform dirty, stained walls into a clean and welcoming space.

Take pride in your home or office space and keep your walls looking their best with these expert tips. Happy cleaning!

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