How to Clean Latex Painted Walls
How to Prevent Damaging Latex Painted Wall
Most homes have walls that are
painted with latex wall paint. Knowing how to clean
latex painted walls properly is critical to prevent
damaging the paint. The best approach to clean any
painted wall is to start with the least aggressive
method, plain water on a soft cellulose sponge. If
this does not do the job, use a mild, non-abrasive,
very weak solution of dish detergent and water.
Dilute the mixture to avoid harming the paint film.
Most standard glass and
household spray cleaners should not be used on
painted surfaces because they contain strong
solvents that can damage the paint finish.
Don’t get in a hurry to clean
a newly painted wall. Wait at least a month after
you apply any latex coating before washing it. This
will allow it time to fully cure. Low VOC paints
generally require 30 days to cure.
When cleaning deep color
paints there will be some color rub-off, especially
with flat or low sheen finishes. This doesn't mean
your paint is inferior or defective. Once the
surface is dry, the paint will appear uniform.
Any painted wall will be
somewhat affected by washing it if it is not
properly cured or it is cleaned with abrasive
cleaner or strong solvents.
Tips for how to clean latex
- When washing a
painted wall always wear rubber gloves to protect
- Use separate buckets
for the washing solution and the clean water for
- Use separate sponges
or cleaning rags for each bucket.
- Start by spot
cleaning painted surfaces with plain water. If this
is not successful, use a weak mixture of water and
mild, non-abrasive, dish detergent.
- Begin washing at the
bottom of the wall, working upwards toward the
ceiling so the cleaning solution doesn't run down
the dirty wall and cause streaks that are difficult
- Clean by rubbing in
a circular motion to avoid damaging the paint.
- Dry off excess
moisture with a soft cloth.
If the walls are
excessively dirty, use a stronger alkali solution,
such as two tablespoons of ammonia or two
tablespoons of laundry detergent powder in one
gallon of warm water.
See related articles:
How to Dispose of Unused Paint
How to Maintain Exterior House Trim and
How to Paint Aluminum Siding
How to Paint a Brick House