How To Remove Stains From Walls

Sarah Robinson

Once you’ve got gorgeous freshly painted walls, you’ll want to keep them looking that way. When you dust the walls with a microfiber dusting cloth or use a soft-bristled vacuum attachment, you’ll remove dust and dirt and prevent build up over time. However, you’ll probably want to give your walls a good wipe down at least once or twice a year.

How should I wash my walls?

A simple solution of vinegar and water is great for washing your walls as part of regular maintenance. When you wipe down your walls, make sure you wring out your sponge or cloth very well before you wipe—you don’t want any excess water to drip down. You should also avoid using scrubbers, as these can leave scratches or marks on your walls. Stick to soft sponges or cloths when you wipe down your walls.

Removing Stains from Walls

How to remove stains from walls

If a stain or mark on the wall doesn’t come off with your vinegar and water solution or with soap and water, a cleaning eraser may be the answer. These special sponges are perfect for spot cleaning and can work wonders on stains of any type. Be sure to test it out on a small spot on your wall before you scrub a larger area. Be careful not to scrub too hard, or you could end up making the stain worse.

If you need something a little stronger to clean your walls, consider the type of paint before you apply anything. If you have latex paint on your walls, you should avoid any harsh chemicals, as some chemical cleaners can damage paint finishes. Oil-based paint should be fine with some chemical cleaners, as it’s a sturdier paint.

However, some specific kinds of stains are trickier to deal with than others. These might require special techniques to remove.

How to remove oil/grease stains from walls

It sounds simple, but when dealing with oil or grease stains, the first step should be dish soap and water. Dish soap is designed to cut through grease but is still gentle enough on paint to keep walls safe. For extra tough stains, a special wall cleaner can be used. But before you spray anything on the walls, make sure it’s compatible with the type of paint on your walls. If you’re unsure, do a small test spot before you clean the whole wall.

How to remove coffee stains from painted walls

Coffee Spills

Most coffee stains should come out with just a gentle cleanser, such as dish soap or an all-purpose cleaner. The trick for coffee stains is to apply the cleaner with a soft-bristle brush. Be sure to work gently—if you use too much pressure you could leave marks behind on your wall. Next, wipe off the surface with a damp cloth and allow to dry.

How to remove stickers from painted walls

Kids love stickers and really love sticking them on every surface possible. Once they’ve been stuck to a wall, they can be touch to remove without causing damage to the paint. It may take a few steps, but it can be done! First, gently try to peel it off; start at one corner and work your way around when you hit a spot that doesn’t easily lift off. If there are still parts of the sticker left on the wall, use a hair dryer on the low or medium setting to heat the glue. This should make it easier to get the rest of the sticker off. Vinegar can also help to remove adhesive residue—fold a paper towel and wet it with white vinegar, then hold over the sticker spot for a minute or so. It should loosen the adhesive and allow it to wipe off.

How to remove pencil marks from a painted wall

Toddler Drawing on Walls

If you notice pencil marks on your wall, the first step is easy—simply try to erase it with a pencil eraser or art gum eraser. If this doesn’t work, rub the spot gently with a cleaning eraser sponge. For extra stubborn marks, dip the corner of a damp cloth in baking soda, then gently rub it along the mark. Repeat as needed and then wipe the baking soda off with a clean damp cloth.

If you have an extremely stubborn stain that won’t come off, you may have to paint over it. Depending on the condition of the paint on the walls, you may be able to get away with just a quick touchup of the spot. However, you might also find that it’s better to just repaint the entire wall. If you have a wall stain that you need to paint over, we’re happy to take a look at it for you. Book your free estimate today!