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Cleaning Tips for Flat Painted Walls

Whether dark or light, painted walls need cleaning too from time to time. But with the trend in recent years heading far away from the easy-clean silk paints in favour of ultra-flat, chalky finishes causes some trepidation. You don’t want to ruin that beautiful matt look, or even make it look worse by just smudging the dirt around.

Flat paint is certainly much quicker to show scuffs, handprints and other accumulated dirt and does not hold up will to moisture. Due to its absorbency, excessive scrubbing and the use of chemical cleaning materials can result in an uneven, discouloured appearance.
So what to do?
Well, with a few basic products and tools you can refresh your flat painted walls and have them looking cleaner and brighter in no time.

As always – the prep is important
Start with dusting down the walls – don’t use a cloth as the matt surface tends to ‘grab’ fibres from the cloth and will just give you another problem to solve. The brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner is the best way – you might want to give the brush a good clean first to make sure you don’t add any new smudges to your walls. And make sure it is fully dry before you use.
Before you get started on the actual cleaning, do try your cleaning solutions on a small, out of the way area before to commit to tackling a whole room.
It’s also a good idea to protect your floors with plastic cover sheets to prevent any water damage, move furniture away from the walls, and cover any electrical sockets to avoid any mis-haps.
Once you are happy you solution is working and your test area shows improvement, work your way around the room, starting at the top of each wall and working your way around.

Onto the cleaning…
If your walls are just slightly soiled, you can simply use a sponge and warm water, which may suffice.
If you are not happy with the result, then move on to adding a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, and half a cup of cleaning vinegar per litre of water. Repeat your cleaning action, working top to bottom and pay particular attention to heavily soiled areas. Be sure to squeeze out your sponge well to avoid soaking the walls too much. Then use a second sponge with warm, clean water to rinse away any residue.

Still seeing some stubborn scuffs?
Use a dampened sponge dipped in a little baking soda and gently run the offending areas. Tip (if your walls are light, avoid using highly coloured sponges, as you might find a little colour transference occurs. You can also try a ‘magic eraser’ or melamine sponge.
Both of these measures can begin to wear the paint, so it’s a good idea to have some touch-up paint to hand, to blend these areas back in. Use paint sparingly and ‘paint out’ the application to blend in to the rest of the wall.
Note: any oily stains will be difficult to remove completely from flat paint, so clean them as best you can, and use your paint to touch up. If your children have been getting creative and somewhat liberal with their crayons, you can try first using your hair dryer to warm up the offending scuff and removing with paper towel and a tiny bit of dishwashing liquid. Then try rubbing a small amount of either WD-40, mayonnaise, or tooth paste with a small brush before rinsing with your sponge and warm water. This will probably still leave you with a slight discolouration, but it can, at least be painted over more successfully.

Maintenance
As with everything if you keep on top of keeping your walls clean, they will last longer and avoid you having to do a full clean too often – not to mention having to re-paint the whole room. It’s a good idea to keep a small sponge on hand with your cleaning solution made up in a spray bottle to wipe scuffs as they happen – particularly around light switches and external corners.

If you have better things to do than clean walls, call us fors professional cleaning assistance. Our team of SOAPSTARS know all the tricks in the book for keeping your home fresh and sparkling clean. We always commence every new service with a deep clean, and as part of our regular service, we will include keeping on top of the high touch areas of your walls.
Contact us any time to book a consultation.

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