How to Clean Apartment Walls

View of a set of apartment fronts

If you own or rent an apartment, you are probably aware that walls can accumulate a variety of stains, dust, and grime over time, depending on how often you clean them. When it comes to cleaning your walls, it can be a daunting task, but it can also be extremely rewarding; you’ll be surprised at how much brighter your entire apartment will appear after you’ve completed a thorough wall-cleaning session.

Whilst washing your walls is a fantastic deep cleaning task, it is best completed in the late spring and early fall when you can open a window or a door to aid in the drying process.  Regardless of how time-consuming it may be, it is an essential task to keep your apartment looking (and smelling!) at its best and can help to extend the life of your paint.

With a few simple tips, you can take on walls that are painted, unpainted, or wallpapered and make your apartment look new! Continue reading our article to learn some useful tips and steps for cleaning the walls of your apartment.

Easiest Way to Clean Walls and Baseboards

Man kneeling down on the floor cleaning baseboards and walls

Materials Needed

  • 1 Bucket
  • Hot Water
  • Detergent
  • Baking Soda
  • Microfiber Rag/Cloth
  • Sponge Mop

Steps to Clean Walls and Baseboards

  1. Fill the bucket half full of hot water and a few drops of mild detergent, and then let it sit for a few minutes.
  2. Next, immerse the sponge mop in the bucket, ring it out, and then start using it to clean the walls and ceiling. Then, stick the microfiber cloth on the flat-head mop and dry the wall completely.
  3. Then, wipe the stain with a slightly wet microfiber cloth dipped in a small amount of baking soda, scrub the stains and remove any excess baking soda with a dry cloth.

When it comes to cleaning your walls and baseboards, this is the best and most straightforward method.

TIP: Baking soda is a strong ingredient and has a tendency to remove paint sometimes. So, before start cleaning the whole wall with the baking soda, apply a little bit on a hidden corner to make sure that paint is not coming off.

How to Clean Walls with Flat Paint

Woman in a plaid shirt wearing purple gloves, holding a bucket of cleaning supplies, cleaning a white wall with a sponge.

Before starting the cleaning process, make certain that the walls in your apartment are painted with a flat finish before beginning these cleaning techniques. This term does not refer to the texture of the walls; rather, it refers to the fact that the walls have a matte appearance. The fact that flat paint does not reflect light makes it an excellent choice for hiding imperfections in ceilings and accent walls. If your walls have a gloss of 0 to 10%, it is safe to assume that they have flat paint if they do not reflect any light at all, even when viewed from a certain angle.

Steps to Clean Walls with Flat Paint

Step 1 – Begin by rubbing the stained wall with a clean, damp sponge or cloth. Water can sometimes be sufficient to remove stains, allowing you to avoid the use of any cleaning products altogether. If you deal with wall-stains as soon as you notice them, you will have the best chance of success with water.

Step 2 – If plain water is not cutting the stains, try mixing some vinegar into a damp sponge or cloth and gently start scrubbing the walls with it.

Step 3 – If vinegar is unable to completely remove the stain, an eraser sponge should be used on the stains. This mild cleaning product should be able to remove the stain without causing any damage to your flat paint walls.

Step 4 – When dealing with particularly stubborn wall stains, use a mild foam cleanser which can be easily found at any store nearby. For the best results, make sure to follow the instructions printed on the container.

Step 5 – The final cleaning technique you should experiment with is the use of diluted detergent. It should take about one tablespoon of detergent to one gallon of water to complete the task. Gently scrub the wall with the rag after dipping it into the solution to remove the last of the stain.


How to Clean Flat Paint Walls Without Streaks

Hand with a grey rag wiping a grey streaked wall.

For many reasons, cleaning painted walls can cause streaks, including dirt and grime that already exists. When you mix water with these deposits, they will stick more to the wall and leave streaks. Using too much water or strong cleaners can also cause streaks, especially when you let liquid drip from the wall. Rubbing too hard, especially on smooth finishes, will remove some paint and cause a scratched appearance.

Step 1 – Preparing the Wall

Begin by dusting and vacuuming your walls. Lambswool duster or vacuum cleaner fitted with a bristle-brush attachment are suitable substitutes. To clean walls effectively, start at the ceiling and work your way down.

When cleaning, always place towels at the base of the wall to catch any solution that may spill. Towels soak water to prevent baseboards and the floor from getting damaged.

Step 2 – Cleaning the Walls

Dip the sponge in the water and squeeze the sponge. Especially smooth, satin and eggshell finish walls work best when using as little water as possible, so please squeeze out the water fully. You can use more water when painting glossy walls.

Start from the top of the wall and move to the floor so that it can be easier to catch when dripping occurs. If you start working from the bottom, the dripping water from the top will leave streaks on the already cleaned parts.

It is important to rinse the sponge thoroughly to prevent dirt from spreading along the wall and causing additional scratches. To protect the painted surface, wipe the surface with gentle circular motions.

Step 3 – Removing Stains

To remove stubborn stains, apply a paste made of baking soda and water. Try testing your paste on an inconspicuous spot to ensure there are no watermarks or other damage on the wall. If the test results are fine, you can move tother areas of the wall as well.

Spread the paste using a circular motion using a sponge. To remove the paste, dampen a clean sponge with water and wipe. Prevent water spots by using a clean towel to dry the wall.

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