How to Clean Painted Walls From 12 Stubborn Stains


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Did some intimidating stain land on your painted wall? Do you think re-painting is the only choice? Well, cleaning the wall might not be your favorite thing, but few hacks can save you the trouble of re-painting!

If you have kids in your house, they would try out their creativity on the painted walls. You will surely notice crayon or ink stains. The kitchen walls can be affected by grease stains with regular cooking. Yes, some of them are unavoidable. 

Certain household ingredients are very effective in cleaning those stains without damaging the paint. Yes, whether it is a glue stain from stickers or coffee stain, we have it all. Even water stains can be repaired following some easy steps of priming and re-painting the affected area.

Check out How to Clean Painted Walls From 12 Stubborn Stains and add them to your cleaning routine! 

1. Crayon Stains

If you have kids or toddlers at your place, crayon or pencil marks on the painted walls would be an everyday affair. If you notice pencil marks anywhere, try to erase it out with pencil or art gum erasers before trying out the DIY methods. 

Dip the corner of a damp cloth in baking soda, rub the affected areas gently and repeat. Clean the baking soda with a clean cloth. If the marks are extra stubborn, make a baking soda paste with water. Apply it to the affected area, scrub it gently with a sponge and the marks would surely vanish. 

2. Coffee Stains

Unlike fabrics, coffee stains aren’t a nightmare if you spill them on painted walls. Most of these stains come off with a gentle cleanser like dish soap or an all-purpose cleaner and must be treated with a soft bristle brush. 

Scrubbing it with full force is not the correct choice here since it can make the temporary stains permanent and can also damage the paint. Once you are done, wipe off the surface with a clean cloth and let it dry. 

3. Remove Stickers 

Stickers can get messy if not cleaned on time and yes, the glue can damage the paint as well. Kids love stickers and they do run around sticking them on every possible surface and those shiny, painted walls are too distracting for them!

Gently try to peel it off from the corners and work your way around until it is off. If you hit a spot that is not lifting off, you can use a hairdryer to melt the glue.

Applying vinegar with a paper towel can also do the job. It loosens the adhesive and makes it easier to come off without damaging the paint. Finally, wipe it off with a clean cloth and you have a sticker-free wall at least for a few hours! 

4. Clean Black Mold 

The most common type of black mold on walls is mildew. These are nothing but spots that can spread over a large area if left unchecked. You can get rid of these black spots with vinegar and baking soda. 

Dilute distilled vinegar in the ratio of 1:1 and add some baking soda to it to make a paste. Apply the paste on the affected areas and let it sit for an hour. 

You can also bleach the darkened areas and if the black color lightens in a few minutes, its mildew. The baking soda treatment ensures no damage to the paint whereas bleaching won’t be a failsafe option for painted walls. 

5. Clean a Wax Stain

Though wax stains would be rare on painted walls, it is still a good thing to know the remedies in case the walls are stained by wax. 

Just like melting the glue from stickers, use a hairdryer to melt the wax. It is recommended to use maximum heat and grab some paper towels for the melted wax. Once hot enough, wipe the area clean and your job is done. 

6. Clean Pen Ink Stain

Just like those crayon marks, your very own graffiti artists can paint the walls with ballpoint pens as well. Trying some abrasive cleaner or scrubbing aggressively can damage the paints. Let’s check out some other options:

  • Use magic erasers, yes, they work well and comes handy in messy situations. 
  • Try baby wipes! These little things work very well on stains and a gentle wipe can do the work. 
  • Make a baking soda paste with water. Let it sit on the affected area for a few hours and then wipe it off. 
  • Very similar to baking soda paste, applying white toothpaste can also work. Just keep it for a few minutes and the ink would be gone. 
  • For tenacious marks, use rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab. Once the spot is gone, gently wash it with dish soap and warm water. 

These easy hacks work well and yes, they will cause no harm to your paint! 

7. Clean Permanent Marker Stain

These would be tougher than crayons and ink stains and baking soda treatment won’t work. Apply some hair spray that contains alcohol in the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes. Wipe it out with a white cloth and repeat the process until the stain is gone. 

8. Remove Cigarette Smoke Stains

Smoke stains from cigarettes, and other tobacco products, even candle smoke can get messy and stain our walls. If not treated on time, the stains can even become permanent. 

Mix vinegar and ammonia in a 1:1 ratio. Pour the mixture in 1-2 liters of warm water. Use the rough side of a sponge to scrub the affected areas with the mixture. Repeat as per the requirement. Once gone, use clean water to wash the walls and finally, dry it out with a clean, dry cloth. 

9. Remove Grease Stain

Grease stains can be very intimidating if they choose to latch with your painted walls. From meal preparations to frying, grease stains are very common in kitchen walls and if the dust particles stick in, it’s just Ewww! 

White vinegar and warm water mixed in equal parts can help you drive the grease and dirt away. Allow it to sit in the stain for a few minutes then wipe it clean with a damped cloth. 

The mighty baking soda paste in warm water and a nylon scrub can cut through the oil stains and give you a clean wall.

Ammonia, which is a strong cleaner, can help you with this but make sure it is highly diluted like two cups in 1 gallon of hot water. 

10. Remove Food Stain

Food stains aren’t that common and they hardly land up on walls but if you aren’t having a good day, the mishap can occur. 

For mild stains, a simple baking soda paste would do the work. For stubborn stains, you need to put a pinch of baking soda, some apple cider vinegar, and ammonia in about 2 liters of warm water. Put on gloves while you are working with the mixture and make sure to wipe the area dry with a clean cloth once the stain is gone. 

11. Soak Hair Dye Stain

You will find another effective use of magic erasers here. Just rub the affected area and the stain would disappear. You can also work with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover with a cotton cloth and gently scrub the area.

For stubborn stains, use hair bleach but be careful, this should be your last option since it can damage the paint. Remember, these methods would provide the best results when the stain is fresh! 

12. Clean Water Stains

Water stains are those unpleasant, damped portions of your wall or ceiling which is most likely the result of a plumbing leak or leak from an electrical appliance. These stains need to be addressed quickly so that they don’t damage the entire wall. 

First, spot the leakage and seal them completely and make sure there is no further leak. Next, bleach the affected area with 1:3 bleach and water mixture. I know, the paint would be gone but we will make up for it. Desiccate the spot and make sure it is well dehydrated. 

Finally, covered the stained area with some primer. Use an oil-based primer for base priming to prevent mildew and let it dry before applying the latex paint. When it is all set, apply the final paint coating and your wall is stain-free and new! 

This was all about cleaning stains from painted walls. These methods are effective and in most cases, they won’t damage the paint. So, if you are having second thoughts, don’t worry. These are safe and ready to sneak into your cleaning routine! 



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