how to clean walls with flat paint

How to Clean Walls with Flat Paint

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Clean Walls with Flat Paint

Ah, the joys of life! Kids with their magical ability to create scuff marks on every flat paint wall they come across. Muddy dogs have a secret mission of leaving their paw prints as a decorative touch. And let’s remember those oh-so-endearing clumsy husbands who can turn a simple task into a paint disaster in seconds flat. It’s as if our home is full of high-traffic areas making walls the ultimate canvas for chaos! But fear not; the Upstairs Downstairs cleaning experts have your back with these tips on how to clean walls with flat paint.

We’ve gathered some invaluable tips to help you handle these everyday messes and restore your flat paint walls to their pristine glory to keep your space looking fresh and inviting. Say goodbye to scuffs, paw prints, and clumsy mishaps.

Let’s dive in and reclaim the walls in our kitchen, living rooms, bedrooms and pesky halls, one wipe at a time!

Understanding Flat Paint

Before delving into the cleaning process, it’s important to understand the unique characteristics of flat paint. Flat paint, known for its non-reflective and smooth finish, is more delicate than other paint finishes. It has a porous surface that can easily show scuffs, marks, and wall stains, making it crucial to adopt a gentle cleaning approach to avoid damaging the paint.

kid marking flat paint walls

The Best Way to Get Scuffs off Walls

When it comes to cleaning flat paint walls, adopting the right methods is key. The first thing you will want to tackle is to remove wall accessories and any furniture that will be in the way during cleaning.

Now that you have access to your entire wall, let’s jump into the methods to effectively wash your walls without causing any damage:

Gather the Right Tools and Materials

Before you begin, you might be wondering what to use to clean flat paint walls with? You will want to gather the following tools and cleaning supplies to ensure an easy process:

  • Rag or duster: Before using a cleaning solution on your wall, you will want to remove any dust from the wall and corners.
  • Soft microfiber cloths or sponges: These will be gentle on the delicate paint surface.
  • Mild dish soap or specialized flat paint cleaner: Avoid using harsh cleaning products that can cause discoloration or fading.
  • Clean water: It’s important to use clean water to avoid leaving any residue on your walls.
  • Bucket or spray bottle: You will need a container to mix your cleaning detergent.
  • Soft brush attachment or eraser sponge (optional for stubborn stains): This can be used for more persistent marks or scuffs when all else fails.
  • Ladder or step stool (if needed): Ensure you can reach all imperfections on the walls safely.

Preparing the Cleaning Solution

Next, mix a small amount of mild dish soap or flat paint cleaner with warm water in a bucket or spray bottle. Avoid using abrasive or harsh cleaners as they can damage the delicate paint. It is crucial to use cleaning supplies specifically formulated for flat paint to ensure the best results. Test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area on the wall to ensure it doesn’t cause any adverse effects.

For a DIY cleaner with everyday household items that will save you a trip to the store for flat paint cleaner, try this:

  • Dishwasher liquid, 3 squirts is more than enough.
  • 2 TBSP of white vinegar
  • 4 cups of warm water
  • Your bucket or spray bottle to store it in

Mix all of the above ingredients, and you have created the Best DIY Wall Cleaner; this mixture is also great for giving light switches a quick wipe after you finish washing your walls.

For tougher stains, grab some baking soda. You can make a more potent cleaning agent by mixing a half cup of baking soda with a quarter cup of water, forming a paste that you can gently rub on the wall with a microfiber cloth to lift tougher stains.

Techniques for Cleaning Flat Paint Walls

Now that you’re set with tools and a cleaning solution follow these techniques to clean your flat paint walls effectively:

Before applying any cleaning fluids or water to the targeted wall, you first need to eliminate any dry debris or dust stuck to the surface. You can accomplish this by using a duster or a dry towel and gently sweeping over the wall to collect the dust and debris.

Now that we have a “clean” canvas, begin by dipping a soft microfiber cloth or sponge into the cleaning solution and remove any excess liquid. Gently wipe the walls with the damp cloth in a circular motion, starting higher and working your way down to avoid water drips. Don’t apply excessive pressure or scrub too vigorously, as this can damage the delicate surface of the paint.

microfiber cloths

For stubborn stains or scuffs that are not easily removed with gentle scrubbing and wiping, moisten a soft-bristle brush or cloth with the cleaning solution. Gently scrub the grimy area, being careful not to apply too much force. Always test the brush on a small, inconspicuous spot before proceeding to ensure it doesn’t damage the wall finish.

Remember to work in small sections, rinsing and wringing out the cloth or sponge regularly to prevent spreading dirt or grime. Change the cleaning solution if it becomes visibly dirty to avoid reapplying dirt to the walls.

Drying and Final Touches 

After you have cleaned the walls, it’s essential to ensure they are thoroughly dried to prevent moisture damage. Use a clean, dry sponge or microfiber cloth to remove any leftover moisture from the walls. Pay special attention to corners and crevices where water may accumulate. Give the walls time to air dry completely before touching or placing any objects against them this will avoid leaving fingerprints or smudges.

If You Need Assistance with Wall Scuffs

Now that you have learned the best techniques and tools on how to clean walls with flat paint, it’s time to put your knowledge into action! Take the initiative to maintain the pristine appearance of your flat paint walls and enjoy a fresh and inviting space.

If you prefer professional assistance, Upstairs Downstairs cleaning services are here to help. Our expert housecleaning team is equipped to handle the task, ensuring a thorough and efficient cleaning process that will remove unwanted scuffs.

Contact us today for a free estimate, and let us take care of your flat paint wall cleaning needs!


Is flat paint harder to clean?

Yes, flat paint can be more challenging to clean due to its porous nature and tendency to absorb liquids and stains more readily. It requires gentle cleaning methods and avoiding harsh abrasives or vigorous scrubbing to prevent damage.

Why does my flat get so dusty so quickly?

Flat paint surfaces can accumulate dust more quickly than other finishes due to their wall texture; the porous nature allows dust particles to adhere easily. Additionally, the lack of a sheen or gloss on flat paint does not reflect light, making dust particles more visible on the surface.

Does Magic Eraser work on flat paint?

While Magic Erasers can be effective in removing stains and scuffs from various surfaces, it is generally not recommended to use on flat paint. Magic Erasers are abrasive and can remove the paint or leave behind a shiny spot, so caution should be exercised when using them on flat paint walls.

How long does flat paint last on walls?

The lifespan of flat paint on walls can vary based on various factors, such as quality of paint, conditions of the environment, and the level of wear and tear. Generally, flat paint can last 5-10 years before it starts showing signs of fading, wear, or discoloration, but proper maintenance and care can help prolong its durability.

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