How to Clean Walls Quickly & Effectively?

A common question we’re asked by our clients is what’s the best (and quickest) way to wash your walls? It’s not a job that needs to be done every time you clean your home, but it’s a great way to really freshen up your home when you do those deep spring cleans, end of tenancy cleans or when you get that urge to really give your house a good scrub!

Where to start…

  1. Get the right tools and products

This will make the job sooo much easier, so here’s what we recommend gathering

  • A gentle liquid detergent
  • A bucket or two of warm water (some prefer using one bucket, others prefer one for cleaning and one for rinsing, it’s totally up to your personal preference).
  • A sea sponge for washing (not as long-lasting as man-made sponges, but they’re much more gentle on paint so you don’t scratch or chip it).
  • An old toothbrush (to get into those nooks and crannies)
  • Rubber gloves
  • A small step ladder, depending on how high your walls are (remember, BE CAREFUL don’t try balance on furniture)
  • A duster
  • Several old towels (for the floor, to catch drips and protect your carpet/floors)

Know what type of paint is on your walls

Usually walls are painted with a gloss, semi-gloss or satin finish meaning they can be cleaned gently but easily.

Be careful if your walls are flat paint because flat paint CANNOT be washed it must be repainted (if you try to wash it, it will disintegrate and be removed in the cleaning process).

If you have wallpaper, check it isn’t old-school paper wallpaper which cannot be washed. More commonly nowadays wallpaper is usually made from vinyl material meaning it can be washed much the same as gloss painted walls. How to check? Test with some water on an inconspicuous area of the wall first.

  • Prepare the walls before washing

Remove all mirrors, pictures frames and hanging objects. Move furniture away from the walls, about a metre or so will be plenty of room for you to get in there.

Remove curtains to keep them safe, but it will also allow more natural light into the room to help you see the areas that need attention and dry it once washed. Roll your old towels up and lay them on the floor up against the walls and skirting boards, to catch drips.

  • Dust first!

It’s much easier, and will save you time and elbow-grease, to get rid of any dust or cobwebs with a dry tool like a duster, as opposed to trying to wipe it all up with a wet sponge. Go over the walls with a feather duster, getting into all the corners and catching any cobwebs. Feel free to go over the ceiling if you think it needs it too.

  • Start at the bottom and work your way up the wall

It’s not like painting where you work downwards, start at the bottom and work upwards.Using a damp cloth or an old toothbrush to clean along the skirting boards – these can be pretty gross, so make sure to rinse and dust, dirt or grime off your cloth/brush frequently

  • Clean in a circular motion

Now when you move on to the wall itself, don’t scrub up and down because this can easily damage the paint. Instead, move the sponge (which you’ve soaked in warm water and cleaning solution, and rung out so it isn’t dripping wet) in circular motions, starting at the bottom of the wall and working your way up.

TOP TIP: When using a sponge and cleaning solution, wear your rubber gloves! This will protect your hands from drying out and cracking.

  • Take on a metre or so at a time

Don’t try to clean the whole wall at once, work in sections about a metre or so wide at a time. Starting at the bottom work your way up and once that section is done, move along to the next. This will also mean that you’re not dripping dirty water onto clean and drying parts of the wall you’ve already cleaned.

This may seem like an overwhelming chore, but rope in any housemates or family members (even your kids) and chuck on some music – the job will be done in no time. If you can’t fathom having enough time, call in the experts! We’re happy to help get this job done for you – get in touch


Does going the extra mile seem like a whole lot of extra time and energy… more than you want to give to cleaning your house? Let us help!

At Wellington House Cleaners, our staff take pride in our work and always stress the little stuff. We not only clean the large surfaces and obvious areas, our team can get right into the tricky spaces, so your home looks and feels squeaky clean and germ free!

Get in touch today for a FREE no-obligations quote!

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