Tips for How to Clean Painted Walls

April 5, 2019

Painting the walls of your property can be a fantastic way to increase its value. But what happens when those vibrant colored walls get splattered with food, dirt, or anything else when you have tenants living there? Suddenly, that extra bit of property value becomes tainted unless you can manage to properly clean up the stain.

Fixing up the walls may be something that you are tempted to let the tenants do themselves, but that can often be a bad idea. This is mostly because many tenants do not know how to clean painted walls without the risk of damaging their beautiful surface. So it is best to read up on how to do it yourself and then go in and make your painted walls sparkling clean again.


Know what type of paint you are dealing with

There are essentially three different types of painted walls that you could come across at a rental property. The paint could either be latex-based, oil-based, or exterior paint. Depending on which one of these it is, how to clean the painted walls will greatly vary.

a man and a woman holding long painting tools are in the middle of painting their white wall yellow they are wearing no shoes and are standing on a protective layer of plastic

That is another reason why cleaning the walls yourself is a much better option than letting the tenant do it because you are probably the only one who knows which paint type was used. Of course, if you are too busy or unwilling to handle small little maintenance issues like this, then you could always rely on Blueground to do it for you. We handle the tenant relationship and maintenance needs, including renewing wall colors, while you sit back and enjoy your additional income.


Cleaning latex-based painted walls

When it comes to how to clean latex-based painted walls, a little goes a long way. You essentially have two different options which both work great for getting rid of any type of mess that might be on your wall.

The first option is to put three tablespoons of distilled white vinegar into an entire gallon of water and then thoroughly mix them together. Then dip a sponge into the liquid combination and proceed to wring it out until there is no more moisture dripping from the sponge. Wipe a section of the wall down with the dampened sponge, dip it back into the bucket, and repeat all over again.

The second option is basically the exact same as the first option, except that the liquid combination changes. Instead of using distilled white vinegar, you can add a few drops of dish soap into half a bucket of water. Then grab your sponge and repeat the same procedure as the first option.

Regardless of which of these two options you end up choosing, it will be perfectly safe for flat, semi-gloss, and gloss walls. Just make sure that you do not use any harsh chemicals like degreasers because these can end up damaging the surface of the latex-based paint.


Cleaning oil-based walls

Unlike latex-based paints, oil-based paints are a bit more durable and therefore able to handle slightly more intensive cleaning procedures. Using the distilled white vinegar and water or the dish soap and water combinations from before are still the best method of how to clean oil-based painted walls. However, sometimes these mixtures are not quite enough to get rid of the mess on your walls.

woman with brown hair and a blue shirt and blue paints is holding a small towel and cleaning the wall while smiling

In that case, you will be able to use a mild degreaser to help get rid of the messes that can occur on your walls, which is especially helpful in the kitchen. As long as you do not go above a mild intensity then your oil-based walls should be fine.


Cleaning exterior walls

The process of cleaning exterior walls is completely different from that of interior walls because the paints designed for outdoor use come with properties that allow it to withstand tougher conditions.

The first step to getting your outdoor painted walls clean is to lightly spray down the walls with water. Then mix some mold and mildew-killing chemical, which can be found in most garden and home improvement stores, with a cup of bleach and some water. Use some kind of sprayer to apply this mixture to the exterior walls and then let it rest for about 15 minutes. Once the chemical mixture has had time to soak in, begin to scrub it with a soft-bristled brush. Afterward, you can spray the wall down with water and it should be looking as good as new.

If these provided methods do not work on whichever type of painted wall you have, then you might not be able to clean the mess off. You may instead have to repaint the wall to get rid of the unsightly stains. If your walls have not been painted in a while, then this may be the best option anyways because it does not cost much and can greatly improve the look of your rental property.

We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.

I accept