How To Clean Walls

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

Easy tips and effective step-by-step instructions for how to clean the grease stains, sticky residue and stubborn marks on your home walls.

Children and pets kicking about in the same home is guaranteed to result in dirty, dusty walls. There are lots of different ways you can achieve clean, streak-free walls with minimal elbow grease. Whether you’re wanting to spot clean your walls, tackle stubborn stains, freshen up the whole home or clean your walls because your lease is ending or you’re selling your home, these wall cleaning tips will have you sorted.

How to clean walls at home

Create A Cleaning Routine

I don’t regularly clean my walls, instead if I see that one of the walls looks dirty, I simply grab my ‘wall cleaning equipment’ and give the wall a wipe down. It is a great idea however, to add this task into your fortnightly or monthly cleaning routine and pick a different wall each time to clean. This way over the course of a year you would have cleaned all the walls in your home.

This affordable Cleaning Checklist is an easy way to do this. It’s available to purchase and print instantly (so you can kick start your new cleaning routine asap!), and includes daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual cleaning tasks.

My Wall Cleaning Equipment

Here is a summary of what I like to keep on hand to ensure I can tackle any stain or stubborn wall mark that comes up in my home.

Routine Wall Cleaning

A good multi-purpose wall cleaner is essential for routine wall cleaning. I used to use diluted sugar soap to clean my walls – and this worked really well – but I have since discovered The Pink Stuff Multi-Purpose Cleaner which I think I prefer. I recently used this spray to clean a bit of wall that my cat Millee had been rubbing her face on, and it cleaned up so well!

Multi-Purpose Wall Cleaner

Here are a few multi-purpose wall cleaning options to choose from, including a budget-friendly DIY recipe:

  • Diluted sugar soap in a spray bottle (1/2 sugar soap and 1/2 water)
  • The Pink Stuff Multi-Purpose Cleaner
  • DIY Natural Wall Cleaner Recipe: 1L water and 1/4 cup vinegar or 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar

This wall cleaning recipe is one of many available in my DIY Cleaning Recipes eBook.

It’s also important to not use too much soap on the walls as the residue is hard to remove and will attract dirt and dust.

My Very Clever Wall Cleaning Device

An old white sock, that’s it, nothing very fancy at all! Spray your multi-purpose wall cleaner onto walls with one hand and wipe over with a sock on the other hand. This quickly and easily picks up all dirt on the walls and I find it easier to glide the hand flat over the wall.  Alternatively you can use a microfibre cloth.

Clean wall with sock and sugar soap

Spray the cleaner at the top of the wall and work your way from side to side down the wall, catching all drips as you go.

How To Remove Sticky Residue From Walls

For any sticky marks you find on the wall simply use tea tree or eucalyptus oil and a textured sponge/cloth. I like to use this White Magic Eco Cloth as the rough texture helps to pick up the residue.

Essential oils for cleaning dirty walls

Removing Grease From Walls

A little lemon juice will do wonders for removing grease from your walls. The acidic properties in lemon juice assist in cutting through grease and grime on walls. Simply add a good splash of lemon juice to your wall cleaning solution and clean away!

Stubborn Marks

If you’re needing to remove ink, pen and shoe scuffs from the wall (the joys of children hey?), simply wipe over the stubborn marks with one of the following solutions:

  • The Pink Stuff Cleaning Paste is amazing on stubborn stains – especially dirt that is captured in a dent in the wall, as the particles in the cleaning paste effortlessly pick up the dirt. It’s also great for hard water stains around the bathroom sink and tub, stubborn marks on the walls, cleaning the ceramic stovetop, pots and pans – I couldn’t live without it now!
  • Baking soda scrub recipe – mix together 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 tablespoon water to make a paste. This recipe (and heaps more!) is available in this instantly downloadable DIY Homemade Cleaning Recipes eBook.

Using a cloth dab The Pink Stuff Cleaning Paste or the baking soda scrub onto the dirt area, leave for a few minutes, then wash with wall cleaning spray.

DIY Homemade Cleaning Recipes eBook

Spot Cleaner For Walls

My beautiful fur-babies leave a lot of little marks on the corners of my walls from leaning against them or rubbing on them as they walk past. The bottom of my stairs is a common place that gets these dirty spots. The kids also put their hands on this wall as they go up the stairs.

Spot cleaner for home walls

If it’s just a spot clean here and there that you’re needing to do on your walls, then this White Magic Eraser is fabulous – and really quick and easy! It removes stubborn marks without the need for any multi-purpose cleaners or chemicals. Simply add water and scrub away those marks.

The Pink Stuff Multi-Purpose Cleaner is probably still my go-to for very stubborn stains though.

Chemical free sponge for cleaning walls

What walls in your home are in need of a good clean?

Pin this image below to Pinterest!

How To Clean Walls In Your Home

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Amber Rhodes March 3, 2015 - 2:04 PM

These are great tips. My walls are terrible! Four kids will do that I suppose! Amber

Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 6, 2015 - 8:45 AM

It is very easy for the walls to get grubby quickly, i find mine still do even with older ones in the house.:) ~ Kate

Karin March 3, 2015 - 5:10 PM

any advice on getting felt pen off wallpaper please.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 6, 2015 - 8:44 AM

Hi Karin, I would try using some sugar soap and if that doesn’t work hairspray. Let me know how you go.:)

jasmine March 3, 2015 - 6:48 PM

love your website Kat, thanks for the natural cleaning solutions. i need to write the recipes and put them where i can see them so i use them! thanks for the cleaning inspiration. i need it, i do my daily routine but need to do those extra things like cleaning walls and scrubbing the white tiles in my bathroom! jasmine

Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 4, 2015 - 9:25 AM

it’s these little jobs that just get forgotten, or if not forogetten left because we don’t have time. Glad you like the cleaning recipes 🙂

Lucy @ Bake Play Smile March 4, 2015 - 2:42 PM

I love how you use an old white sock! It just proves you don’t need any fancy equipment! I’m off to make a batch of your natural cleaner – what a fab idea!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 4, 2015 - 3:36 PM

You’ll love it Lucy, save you money. And the sock… what can I say, best cleaning tool!

Kylie - Mummy Tips March 7, 2015 - 8:32 AM

For large wall surfaces I use a microfibre mop (one that has a flat head) with sugar soap, it makes a tedious task into a quick one 🙂

Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 9, 2015 - 9:00 AM

Great idea, Kylie.:)

Amanda March 7, 2015 - 4:30 PM

I use a squeegee mop to do the walls. I keep one just for walls.. You can do a larger area that way a lot quicker than by hand.

Kathleen @ Cleaning Company Melbourne March 19, 2015 - 8:18 PM

It’s quite funny to know that a tea tree oil can be use for cleaning the wall. Also I have baking soda in our house most of the time they are just being wasted when not in use. Truly your tips are amazing and very useful. I will try these tips in times of needs.

Keep up on posting great post. It’s my first time reading your blog and all I can say is perfect you have a clean beautiful design and informative.

Congratulations. Cheers! 🙂

Rachel Keyte July 1, 2015 - 10:31 AM

I find eucalyptus oil is great for removing sticky and greasy patches too. Haven’t thought to try tea tree oil, but will keep that in mind for when I run out of Eucalyptus – I always have both in the house. Thanks!

Kaz January 6, 2016 - 8:57 AM

Thanks for all of the great advice. Do you have a page listing all of your cleaning recipes? A printable?

Elaine Neville January 6, 2016 - 9:41 AM

Hi Kat, I just read your post to clean a couple of walls I looked up at my ceiling and started to giggle. It is 14 foot high. Maybe I need knee high socks lol. I am now on a mission to find a couple of socks and attach to my broom, spray the socks and clean. I love your daily posts.

Kate - Kat's Assistant January 11, 2016 - 12:08 PM

Ooh yes that may be a bit of a challenge LOL.:)

Kate - Kat's Assistant January 11, 2016 - 12:07 PM

Thanks Kaz. I love using my homemade All Purpose Cleaner. Here is the link for you:

Kate February 15, 2016 - 7:56 AM

Hi Kat,
Just wondered if you had any idea what I should use to remove duct tape residue from the chrome on our new shower sliding door please? (Our builder put some on and I don’t want to scratch the chrome getting it off!) Thanks…

Becca February 15, 2016 - 5:47 PM

Thank you for this!! I’ve finally been able to remove all the glue residue from our walls thanks to your tips!

Charmaine March 29, 2016 - 10:10 AM

I have been following your daily cleaning tasks for sometime now and I absolutely love them. Even my walls, I dread the thought of having to clean all of them but just doing sections at a time makes it so much easily haha especially with two littlies, 4 & 2, my walls are a bit of a nightmare. So thank you for your advice, I think the natural cleaning stuff might be a winner after I finish my sugar soap. I love anything that’s home made Inc cleaning products

Marlea March 29, 2016 - 12:01 PM

I live in an older house with a sand finish type paint which shreds my sponges and holds dirt amazingly well. I’ll give the sock a go but any other suggestions would be appreciated.

Maz March 29, 2016 - 1:17 PM

If it’s really rough maybe a soft dustpan brush or broom instead of cloth?

Candice March 30, 2016 - 7:10 AM

For walls I also put a washcloth on my swifter after wringing it out in my cleaner and wipe down all the way up!(ps I just retired last year after having my own cleaning business the last 17 yrs! I love cleaning!)

Janet May 1, 2016 - 11:10 PM

Tackling my walls this week. Cant wait to try these homemade recipes. 🙂

Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 2, 2016 - 5:23 PM

they are fantastic Janet and so easy to make too!

Keisha Morris May 24, 2016 - 1:52 PM

Tackling my walls this weekend, I’m gonna try these tips! Really amazing and helpful. Thank you for sharing this stuff.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 26, 2016 - 10:10 AM

your very welcome Keisha.

Wendy Inglis March 28, 2017 - 5:07 PM

I would like some tips on cleaning white faux timber venetian blinds easily, they are dusty but not too dirty, any tips that does not involve me climbing a ladder not good at my age they are only 230cm by 230cm

Kerry May 26, 2017 - 10:13 AM

Hi Katrina,
I just love opening up to see each task each day on my email from you. I’m so glad I found you as it keeps me motivated to a different job each day that I wouldn’t regularly do.

Halina October 20, 2020 - 9:35 PM

Great article, has come in handy already!

Rose April 1, 2021 - 7:16 PM

We recently got some walls painted and it’s left a gas smell, how can I get rid of the off smell of gas?

Katrina - The Organised Housewife April 8, 2021 - 3:35 PM

New paint smell is really strong isn’t it? I would air out your home daily, open every window. From memory the last time our house was painted it took a week or two before the paint smell faded away. Kat x

Chrissie August 25, 2021 - 9:00 AM

To rid a room or area of paint smells chop up an onion & leave on a saucer/saucers (depending on the room size). Close door/windows & leave for a few hours (or better still overnight) then open the room to fresh air.

Yasmin July 17, 2021 - 6:16 PM

Hi Kat
Thank you so much for ur tips ,
U really make cleaning and looking after the house a joyful task .
I receive ur mails late at night ??due to the time difference ,
Im a fan of yours from France .
Pity I can’t get some of your lovely products from France ,
Keep the good work up
U Brighten my day and I think many will agree with me .
Love from France

Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 20, 2021 - 3:48 PM

Hi Yasmin, thank you so much for such a lovely comment, it has made my day. I’m so pleased you find my tips helpful. We do ship our products worldwide, however the postage cost to France might be quite high. Take care, Kat x


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