How to Clean Walls with Vinegar

Woman in a plaid shirt and blue jeans scrubbing a blue/green wall with a sponge.

Making cleaning decisions can get tough as different wall surfaces react differently to regular cleansers. Then you have to decide to either go with the sometimes-toxic commercial cleaners or use a natural product like vinegar.

Vinegar is a safe and safer product to use when you need to clean larger areas like walls. Plus, it is a powerful cleaner that can take off germs, stains, dust, nicotine stains, and fingerprints.

To learn how to use vinegar as a wall cleaner just continue to read our article. It provides you with the information you need to know about.

Some Pre-Washing Tips

To start your vinegar cleaning off right, there are a few tips you can try to make things easier on you:

1. Add Essential Oil – Not everyone enjoys the vinegar smell. It can be powerful and overwhelming when you apply it to a large area like your walls. You can add in lavender, lemon, mint, or your favorite essential oil to cover that vinegar odor and keep your room smelling fresh.

2. Don’t Use Color – What that means is that if you use a colored cloth or sponge there can be some color transfer. It is best to stick to white cloths and sponges in order to avoid that issue.

Will Vinegar Damage Painted Walls

Teal colored wall with paint cans next to a ladder leaning up against the wall.

Do a test first. Even though vinegar is a safe product to use, it is always important to do a test in a hidden location before you start. You never know when a wallpaper or coat of paint may react badly to the vinegar solution.

Getting The Room Ready

You may think that this is not a big job. For those people who do not have a lot of items on their walls, it isn’t. Yet, for those that do, it can be time-consuming to get them ready for cleaning.

Just follow the following steps to get your rooms ready for cleaning:

  1. Protect Your Floors – If you have hardwood floors, expensive carpets, etc., you need to cover the floor with a drop cloth. Washing walls will create spills and drips so protect your expensive flooring.
  2. Open Windows and Doors – Even in the winter you should have good ventilation and airflow as you clean. Use a fan if it is too cold to open the windows.
  3. Unplug Power Cords- This serves two purposes, not only does it get those cords out of your way so you do not trip, it protects you from getting an electric shock.
  4. Remove Decorations– This just makes it easier to clean when you do this first. The walls should be clear even of shelving. Don’t forget to move any furniture pieces away from the walls so you can move freely.

How to Clean Walls with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Cleaning bucket and spray bottle, along with a glass bottle of vinegar and a jar of baking soda sitting on a wooden table

This part of the process is the simplest to do. The toughest part will be getting the water to vinegar ratio correct.

Step 1 – Mix Vinegar and Water

The exact amount you will have to play by ear but start with a weaker solution because you can always add more vinegar if you need to. Some people say to use about 3 Tbsp of vinegar with a gallon of water to start then add more if that is not strong enough.

Step 2 – Use Some Baking Soda

If the vinegar is not strong enough to get deep stains out, add about 1/2 cup of baking soda to enhance the mixture’s cleaning power.

Step 3 – Use a Clean White Cloth or Sponge

Dip into the mixture and wring to get rid of any excess moisture. You want to clean the walls not soak them. The latter can damage your wallpaper or coats of paint.

Step 4 – Wipe from Top to Bottom

Purple gloved hand holding a yellow sponge and cleaning a white wall.

You can divide the wall into columns if you want or divide it into rows and work that way. Whichever is easier for you to do. Once you do that, start from the top and work your way down.

Step 5 – Use a Circular Pattern

Again, this is up to you and what works best for you, but a circular pattern helps reduce any damage to the paint or wallpaper. Do not put a lot of pressure on the wall but wipe gently so you avoid damage as well.

Step 6 – Rinse and Dry

This is best done when you clean by sections. Leaving moisture on paint or wallpaper can damage both so you want to get the mixture and moisture off as soon as possible.

Step 7 – Use a Fan

This is for those times you need to dry the walls very quickly.

Step 8 – Put Everything Back

This is the second toughest part of cleaning the walls, but it must be done.

Cleaning walls can be a tedious chore but if you want a clean, healthy, germ-free home it is a chore that has t be done. Doing this regularly will make subsequent times a lot easier as there will be fewer germs and less grime to remove.

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