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How to Clean Walls with Flat Paint

How to Clean Walls with Flat Paint

December 22, 2023
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Maintaining the beauty of walls with flat paint can be a challenging task, but with the right approach, it's definitely achievable.

Whether you're dealing with everyday dust or more stubborn stains, this step-by-step guide on how to clean walls with flat paint, brought to you by experts in professional apartment cleaning services, will equip you with the knowledge to keep your walls looking immaculate.

Materials You Need to Clean Flat Paint Walls

Materials You Need to Clean Flat Paint Walls

Before you roll up your sleeves to freshen up your flat paint walls, it's important to take a moment to gather the right tools and materials.

Essential Cleaning Supplies:

  • Mild detergent: Opt for a gentle dish soap or laundry detergent formulated for delicate surfaces. Harsh chemicals can strip away the paint's finish and leave unwanted residue.
  • Soft sponges or cloths: Avoid abrasive materials like scouring pads or rough cloths, which can scratch the paint. Choose soft sponges or lint-free cloths to gently remove dirt and grime.
  • Bucket: Fill your bucket with warm water for dipping your cleaning cloths.
  • Water: Clean water is essential for rinsing away soap residue and preventing streaks.
  • Rubber gloves: Protecting your hands with gloves is crucial, especially when using cleaning solutions.

Optional/Additional Tools:

  • Soft-bristled brush: For tackling stubborn stains or reaching into crevices, a soft-bristled brush can be helpful.
  • Microfiber cloth: Microfiber cloths excel at absorbing dust and polishing surfaces, leaving your walls sparkling clean.
  • Vacuum with a soft brush attachment: Removing loose dust and cobwebs before cleaning is essential. For this task, consider using a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment.

Tips on Choosing the Right Materials:

  • Avoid harsh chemicals: Our seasoned experts at EuroMaids recommend you steer clear of bleach, ammonia, and other harsh chemicals, as they can damage the paint and leave permanent marks.
  • Importance of gentle cleaning tools: Using abrasive materials like scouring pads or rough cloths can leave scratches and dull the paint's finish. Instead, opt for soft sponges, microfiber cloths, and soft-bristled brushes to ensure gentle cleaning.

Preparation Steps: Setting the Stage for a Successful Flat Paint Walls Cleaning

Preparation Steps: Setting the Stage for a Successful Flat Paint Walls Cleaning

Before you start cleaning flat paint walls, you’ll want to take a few simple yet important steps to prepare your space and ensure a safe and effective cleaning process:

  • Start by moving any furniture away from the walls to give yourself plenty of room to work without causing any damage.
  • It's a good idea to lay down some drop cloths or old towels on the flooring. Cleaning can get a bit messy, and these cloths will protect your floors from any spills or drips.
  • Take some time to dust or vacuum the walls. This might seem like an extra step, but it's actually crucial. Loose dust and cobwebs can mix with your cleaning solution and leave streaks.
  • Remember to do a spot test with your cleaning solution.

Always wear gloves when handling cleaning solutions. This isn't just about keeping your hands clean; it's about protecting your skin from irritation or allergic reactions. Also, don’t forget to open the windows and doors for good ventilation, especially if your cleaning solutions have strong odors. This can help you maintain a healthy environment as you clean.

How to Clean Walls with Flat Paint in 5 Easy Steps

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean flat paint walls, tailored to address various types of stains and to ensure the longevity of your paint.

Step 1: Mixing the Cleaning Solution

The ideal cleaning solution for flat paint depends on the type of stain you're tackling. Here are some effective solutions that our team at EuroMaids recommends:

  • Oil-based stains: Mix a few drops of dish soap or laundry detergent with warm water. This gentle solution effectively lifts oil-based stains without harming the paint.
  • Pen and pencil marks: For stubborn marks, create a paste by combining baking soda with a little water.
  • Crayon: Rub a magic eraser gently on the crayon mark to remove it. However, be careful as magic erasers can be abrasive, so test it on an inconspicuous area first.
  • Permanent marker: Unfortunately, removing permanent marker from flat paint can be challenging. You can try using rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab, testing it on a hidden area first. If unsuccessful, consult a professional cleaning service.
  • Water-based stains: For spills and water-based stains, dampen a microfiber cloth with water and gently blot the area.
  • Vinegar and dish soap solution: A cup of white vinegar and a drop of dish soap for general spot cleaning. Increase proportionally for larger areas. This solution is effective and safe for matte and flat paint.

Step 2: Starting from the Top

Always start cleaning from the top of the wall and work your way down. This methodical approach prevents drips and streaks from dirtying areas you've already cleaned. Use a soft sponge or cloth dipped in your cleaning solution, and make sure it’s not too wet to avoid excess moisture trickling down the wall.

Step 3: Gentle Scrubbing

Gentle Scrubbing

When tackling stains, use gentle scrubbing motions to avoid damaging the paint. Flat paint is especially prone to getting damaged with harsh scrubbing, so be gentle and patient. If you’re using a baking soda paste or rubbing alcohol for tougher stains, apply it directly to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then gently rub it off.

Step 4: Rinsing the Walls

After scrubbing, it’s important to rinse the walls with cool clean water to remove any residual cleaning solution. Use a clean, damp cloth for this purpose, ensuring that it’s not overly wet to avoid water seeping into the paint.

Pro Tip "Two-Bucket Technique:" Use one bucket for the cleaning solution and another for rinsing to keep the process organized and effective.

Step 5: Drying the Walls

Immediately after rinsing, dry the walls with a soft, dry cloth. You can pat the walls dry to help prevent watermarks. This ensures that no moisture is left behind, which can damage the paint over time.

Step 6: Touch-Up Paint Application

After cleaning, if there are stubborn stains or scuff marks, a small amount of touch-up paint can be used. Thoroughly mixing the paint before application and feathering the edges can help you achieve a seamless blend with the existing wall color.

How to Keep Flat Painted Walls Clean Longer

How to Keep Flat Painted Walls Clean Longer

To keep your flat painted walls clean for a longer duration, here are a few simple yet effective strategies to implement.

  • Regularly dust your walls using a soft cloth or a microfiber duster to prevent dust accumulation.
  • In high-traffic areas, consider using washable wall coverings or paint finishes to simplify cleaning.
  • Avoid touching walls with dirty or greasy hands, and instruct children to do the same.
  • In areas prone to moisture, like kitchens and bathrooms, use exhaust fans to reduce humidity and prevent mold growth.
  • Address spills and marks promptly to prevent them from setting in, making routine light cleaning a habit rather than a chore.


Keeping your flat paint walls clean and vibrant is an essential part of maintaining a beautiful home. By following the steps and tips provided in this guide, you can effectively clean your walls and tackle various stains with confidence.

Remember, regular care and gentle cleaning techniques are key. If you find the task daunting or require professional help, don't hesitate to reach out to Naperville's leading cleaning company, EuroMaids! Our expertise in handling delicate surfaces ensures your walls get the best treatment that flat paint walls require. For a hassle-free cleaning experience and to learn more about our services, get a quote today!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can you tell if you have matte walls or flat paint?

To determine if your walls have matte or flat paint, look at the wall's finish in good lighting. Matte paints have a low sheen and absorb light, giving a non-reflective finish, while flat paints have no shine at all and can sometimes feel slightly chalky to the touch. If you're still unsure, try finding a discreet spot to test how the paint reacts to a small amount of water; flat paint tends to absorb water more quickly than matte.

How do you remove crayon from painted walls?

To remove crayon from painted walls, gently rub the marked area with a soft cloth dabbed in a mixture of baking soda and water, or you can use a non-gel toothpaste. Gently scrub in a circular motion and then wipe clean with a damp cloth. If the crayon marks are persistent, a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball can be effective, but always test on a small area first.

Does flat paint wipe clean?

Flat paint can be wiped clean, but it requires gentle handling. Since it doesn't have a glossy finish, it's more susceptible to absorbing stains and getting damaged by harsh scrubbing. Use a mild detergent and water solution and a soft cloth for cleaning, and always pat dry immediately.

Can flat paint be cleaned with bleach?

We don’t recommend using bleach on flat paint as it can be too harsh and may cause discoloration or damage to the paint. Stick to milder cleaning solutions like diluted dish soap or vinegar for safe cleaning.

Can flat paint be cleaned with alcohol?

Isopropyl alcohol can be used sparingly on flat paint for tough stains like permanent marker. However, use it with caution. Always test it on a small, inconspicuous area first and use it sparingly to avoid damaging the paint. After application, rinse the area with water and pat it dry right away.

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