Chemical free cleaning book Cleaning without chemicals

Cleaning walls : Drywall and plaster

When you are cleaning the drywall and plaster in your home, you may need to be careful not to pull on loose pieces or you can end up with a large hole in the wall. Always keep in mind to limit the amount of water you are using to clean drywall that is not painted, as the drywall will soak up large amounts of water and then crack and split as it dries.

The very best way, but not the only way to clean a drywall or plaster wall, is to use a cellulose sponge and using your cleaning solution clean from the top to the bottom of the wall so any streaks or drips will be wiped as you work your way down a wall. A cellulose sponge is a rubbery type sponge that will still absorb liquids and can be rung out but it will ‘hold up’ a little longer than a paper towel or a regular sponge would. If you can’t find a cellulose sponge through your home center, the next best answer for cleaning your walls is a large regular sponge that fits your hand but you may have to pick off a few little pieces if your sponge gets caught on textured walls.

►The first tip here is for general maintenance and up keep: if you have a hole in you drywall or plaster and you need a quick fix, use a ¾ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of glue to make a thick paste that will fill that hole easily.

►For deep cleaning on drywall or plaster that is not yet painted, using a solution of one cup of vinegar with one gallon of water you can dust off the area and prep it for painting.

►To clean simple dust and dirt from drywall or plaster that is not painted, using a few drops of your dish liquid and warm water, making sure you ring out your rag or sponge completely will give you a good clean.

►If you are prepping your unpainted drywall or plaster in the kitchen or in the dining room and you need to cut grease, use one cup of ammonia and a half-gallon of water. Using a sponge and a towel, wiping off grease and grime and then drying the area with a towel you will be ready to paint the next day. Leaving the walls to dry over night will make sure you are not sealing in any moisture in to the drywall or plaster which would make mold or mildew grow.

Cleaning Painted Drywall or Lath and Plaster Walls

If you know what type of paint was used on your walls you will be better prepared for how hard you can scrub or rub, latex will actually wear off if you scrub too hard or if you use too much water over time, but oil based paints last longer and are a more durable object to clean. No matter which type of paint you have in your home a matt paint is going to be harder to clean than a semi gloss or gloss paint. A semi gloss paint finish or a gloss paint finish will be easier to wipe but a gloss paint also reveal all of the imperfections in your walls so usually a semi gloss or a matt will be used throughout the home to hide drywall or plaster blemishes. So keeping this in mind let’s get started.

►To cut grease odors and smoke odors from your walls, using a cup of vinegar to a half gallon of water you can use a sponge to clean your walls completely while leaving behind a fresh scent.

►To cut grease stains and smoke stains, a mixture of one-cup ammonia and a half-gallon of warm water will work wonders for cleaning your painted walls.

►Using three tablespoons of trisodium phosphate and a gallon of warm water you can clean your walls in the kitchen with ease. Trisodium phosphate can be bought at any local home center.

►If you found crayon marks on your wall, wiping it down with a rag wet with vinegar will remove this mark.

►You should not use scrub brushes or scratchy pads on your painted walls or you will be left with a ‘torn up’ finish on the walls. If you should happen to or someone else does this to your wall, simply sand with a piece of fine grit sand paper over the effected area, and repaint the surrounding area with matching paint for a quick fix and a finished look. Don’t forget to wipe down the wall before painting it so that your paint has a smoother look and finish to it.

►You can use three tablespoons of dishwashing liquid with one gallon of hot water for a everyday dusting and cleaning of your walls. Starting from top to bottom wiping away dust, cobwebs and dirt will help cut down on the heavy cleaning you might have to do later on.

►Scuffmarks on your painted walls are easily removed with an eraser.

►Milk and food stains on the wall will wash off with a warm water and ammonia solution rubbed over the area. Repeat as needed for stains that have set a little longer.

►Spaghetti sauce is messy, sometimes children carrying their plates will make messes on the walls. So if you have found spaghetti sauce on your painted walls a mixture of warm water and vinegar will remove this stain in no time at all.

►Using a broom, attach a few dryer sheets to the end you can dust and de-static that lower portions of your walls at the same time.

►To clean painted walls that are near the floor, you can use a soft toothbrush, and a mixture of vinegar and water to clean the cracks between the wall and the floor for a deep clean.

►If you are remodeling your home and using drywall to patch the walls or cracks you can add a teaspoon of vinegar to your drywall mixture to keep the drywall from drying out too fast while you are still working with it.

►Have you found ink on your painted walls spray on a little bit of hairspray and have wet warm towel ready to wipe it up at the same time.

►Children are so well known for putting their stickers and their decals on walls and if you have found some stuck in your home, even if it appears they have been there a long time, you can use a cup of vinegar to two cups of warm water to spray over this area, then continue to spray on the decal to loosen the glue as you are pulling it off. Using an eraser you can get the left over gummy stuff off your walls by rubbing gently.


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Last update 23rd May 2006