Read these 19 Wall Cleaning Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cleaning tips and hundreds of other topics.
To remove a smoke film from vinyl wallpaper, try washing the wallpaper with a solution of 1/2 cup borax, 2 tablespoons soap flakes (like Ivory Flakes), 1 tablespoon ammonia, and one gallon of warm water. Use full strength in a spray bottle or add two cups to a pail of warm water.
Regular wallpaper is not meant to be washed, but you can use the same solution as above, just proceed with caution and do not overwet it.
Baseboards are difficult to clean with a cloth because imperfections in the wood can snag it and make the cleaning slow. Using a wet rag can take a long time and add too much moisture to the wood. The ideal way to clean baseboards is to use baby wipes. Purchase baby wipes that are alcohol and fragrance free. This keeps the wipes from drying out the baseboards as you clean them. The light moisture in the wipes allows you to clean the baseboards without a lot of wetting and wringing of rags. And, they are disposable, so it's easy to continue to clean all of the baseboards without stopping to wet down more rags. The aloe that is often added to baby wipes helps to condition the wood as you wipe it down. One small box of baby wipes is inexpensive and can be stored long term to clean the baseboards as needed.
You can remove ink stains from your wall by using a non-oily liquid hairspray. Spray the area well then wipe with a clean cloth. You may need to use several applications. Remember to always test in a non-visible area first to be sure that this does not harm your wall.
You probably won't be able to remove the stain without harming the paint underneath. Turpentine would likely remove the stain, but test it in a hidden area first. You may need to repaint the spot, if you do not have any matching paint, you can take a small chip into a paint store and they should be able to make an exact match.
To remove a dry erase marker stain from your wall, you can try using a liquid non-oily hairspray or rubbing alcohol, but dry erase markers can leave permanent stains. Another product you could try is a melamine sponge, but use a melamine sponge carefully since too much pressure can remove the paint.
To remove the smoke odor, you will need to give EVERYTHING a thorough cleaning. Walls, curtains, cupboards, ceiling, etc. When washing the curtains, or anything else washable, add 1 cup of vinegar to the rinse water to remove odors. Use baking soda as a scrubbing agent on the walls and ceiling, and after everything is clean, place small bowls of vinegar throughout to collect any lingering odors. Also, try to get as much fresh air through the room as possible.
To remove the tape from your glossy painted doors, sponge the tape with vegetable oil to loosen the adhesive. Let it stand for several minutes. Using a dull knife, work cautiously and slowly to remove the tape. Continue to apply vegetable oil to any adhesive that remains as you are removing the tape.
To remove an alcohol-based marker stain, spray the area with non-oily hair spray or rubbing alcohol.
If the marker is oil based, apply a little lighter fluid (using caution, as this is highly flammable).
If the marker is water-based, use dishwashing liquid mixed with color-safe bleach or prewash spray. Spray lightly, rub gently, then dry.
Unfortunately, water stains in a ceiling are nearly impossible to remove. The water will have actually altered the ceiling and this is what causes the discoloration. If your ceiling is white, you may be able to bleach it, after the stain is dry. Make a bleach solution with water and bleach, and apply to the stain. You will likely have to paint over the stain, but be sure to seal off the stain first, or it will continue to leach through and keep reappearing. You can buy a sealant at home improvement or paint stores.
To remove wax on a painted wall or from wallpaper, wait until the wax gets cold. Pick as much as you can off with your fingers, plastic credit card, etc. Then, heat an iron on low temperature and place a tissue against the wax and gently heat the wax. It will absorb into the tissue. Repeat with numerous tissues until the wax is gone.
If you have candle soot on your walls, you may want to think about moving your candles. They may be too close to your walls! You may also want to consider purchasing candles made from beeswax to cut down on soot stains.
•To remove soot stains, you should first use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum and go over the soot stains. This will lift any residue that is still on the wall.
•Add soap to water to a quart of water and mix well.
•Dip a soft sponge or cloth into the liquid and work the cleaner into a small section of the soot stain. Be careful that your sponge or cloth is not dripping because it can make the soot stain run down the entire wall.
•Rinse the clean area and dry with a soft cloth.
•If this does not remove the candle soot stains from your wall, you may want to purchase a soot sponge that is specifically made to tackle this tough stain.
The ease at which the wallpaper comes up depends alot on how it was put on, the kind of wallpaper, and what is underneath it. Get a "paper tiger", it is a small hand tool that puts small cuts and nicks in the paper to let the wallpaper remover penetrate the paper and disolve the paste. To remove wall paper, run over an area with the paper tiger, spray on hot water or adhesive remover, let it sit for a few minutes and then peel and scrape it off. If the wall paper was put directly on bare drywall without painting or sizing underneath, it can be very difficult to remove.
To clean an office cubicle, treat it in a similar fashion to upholstery. First, vacuum it regularly to avoid dust and dirt from getting ground in. Try the following in a non-visible area first, to ensure that the fabric is color-fast. Mix 1/4 cup high-suds laundry detergent with one quart of warm water. (If you can, do this in a blender or with a mixer to make the most suds possible.) Apply just the suds with a medium-bristled brush. Work lather in small circles, overlapping as your go. Wring out a towel in clean water and go over the entire surface. Be careful not to get the fabric too wet at any time. When dry, vacuum to remove any remaining residue.
You can remove ink from wallpaper by using either hairspray or lemon juice. Spray the area well then wipe with a clean cloth. You may need to use several applications. Remember to always test in a non-visible area first to be sure that this does not harm your wallpaper.
The way you clean your wood walls or wood paneling depends completely on the type of finish (if any).
If the wood is sealed with a polyurethane, you can wash it down with soap and water and marks or dirt should wash off with no trouble. You should be able to tell if it is finished by checking for a shine or coating.
If the wood is unfinished, you will only be able to dry wipe it or vacuum it. You may want to consider finishing the wood to make future cleanings easier.
Vinyl on vinyl can be difficult to remove, as the two have likely fused together to form one. I have a few things to try, but I can't guarantee success, unfortunately. I would start with baking soda, and use it as you would an abrasive cleanser, and scrub. Non-gel toothpaste may also do the trick. If that doesn't work, try mineral spirits (available at most hardware or department stores), and as a last resort, I would try rubbing the stain with silver polish. Be sure to rinse thoroughly after trying each product.