Cleaning certain walls can pose a challenge when you consider factors like delicate wallpaper or a decorative paint job. While it can be intimidating to tackle the task of cleaning the walls, it is a necessary household chore, and there is some good news – you don’t need any special wall cleaner – household products often do the trick!

Use the right tools

For tools, you will need soft cloths or rags, buckets, a foam brush, and a vacuum with a brush attachment. Gentle products are better to avoid wear and tear of the color and the surface, the buckets will be used for mixing the soap and water solution, and the vacuum will be used to dust the walls.

Avoid abrasive or ammonia-based products

Avoid abrasive and ammonia-based products because these can easily score the finish or sand away color. Start with simple products. Basic household supplies can get the job done on their own. These products include liquid or dish soap, water, stain remover, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide.

Dust the walls

Prior to starting your cleaning project, give the walls a dusting using the brush attachment on your vacuum initially, then wipe them down with a cloth. If there is dust in the baseboards and molding, you can use a damp foam brush to easily swipe through the hard-to-reach places.

Pro tip: if you don’t have a vacuum with an attachable brush, consider using a dry mop head wrapped with a rag.

Washing the walls

Now that the initial layer of dust is removed, wash the walls with warm water and liquid or dish soap. You should always create a test patch before washing the entire wall just in case of potential damage. Wallpaper and matte paint are more delicate paint, so doing a test can avoid any complications.

Pro tip:  Use clear soap to avoid any streak issues on your wall.

Washing techniques

Once you have discovered how the surface reacts to the soap and water solution, time to go to work! The best technique is to start at the top of the wall, work down, and clean the surface with light and circular motions using a soft cloth or rag.

Final Rinse

Give your newly clean walls one last wipe down to ensure the dust and dirt is gone for good – or at least for now. Lastly, dry the surface of the walls with a clean cloth and you’re done!

Pro tip: Open your windows to help air-dry the walls as you go.


Do you have stubborn stains that don’t lift with the cloth? Time to apply baking soda and water. Combine half a cup of baking soda and a quarter cup of water until a paste-like texture is formed. Gently rubbing the mixture into the wall with a rag should remove the stain.

Pro Tip: If you have an extra tricky grease stain on your kitchen wall or wallpaper, use your iron! Place a paper towel on top of the stain, and press your iron (on low heat) on top of the surface for one minute. The hot paper towel should absorb the grease and leave a clean wall beneath.

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