Most of the time, fresh, white walls make a room appear larger, brighter, and cleaner. The problem with white walls is they easily become dirty, whether it be due to scuffs from moving furniture or fingerprints from little ones. When a home’s walls show every sign of wear and tear, it’s difficult to keep it looking new. Fortunately, there are numerous methods for reviving the appearance of your walls. You can clean your white walls in the house without removing the paint with household solutions like dish soap or a paste of baking soda and water, which can be applied with a wet sponge and wiped away. It’s also possible to make them bright and fresh again with commercial products like all-purpose cleaners and Magic Erasers.

Read on for a few simple ways to clean your white walls in the house without removing the paint, and they’ll go from smudged to smashing in no time.

How Often Should You Clean White Walls?

According to NeJame, white walls typically require a thorough cleaning every six months or so, as this is when they begin to accumulate visible dirt and debris. If you have kids or animals who sully your space, you may want to clean your white walls more frequently without removing the paint. Nevertheless, NeJame believes that most homeowners do not clean their walls as frequently as they should.

“Wall cleaning used to be something that every good homeowner or cleaning service tackled twice a year, and now it’s something that is not done nearly as often as it should be,” she says, adding that if you use a cleaning service, they will likely charge you a surcharge to clean the walls.

The following are typical indicators of dirty white walls:

  • Visible dust on walls
  • Scuffs on walls
  • Dirt on walls
  • Spiderwebs where the walls and ceiling meet in the corners

Of course, you don’t have to wait for a bi-annual cleaning or for any of these indicators to appear. NeJame recommends using your judgment when it’s time to freshen up your walls.

Things You’ll Need to Clean White Walls

To effectively clean your white walls, you’ll need a few tools:

  • A duster or your vacuum’s dust brush attachment
  • Dry mop (optional) (optional)
  • Microfiber cloth (optional) (optional)
  • Magic Eraser (optional) (optional)
  • A sponge that is not abrasive
  • Mild liquid dish soap
  • Bucket
  • Warm Water

How to Clean White Walls Without Removing Paint

It took some time for your white walls to become dirty, so it will take some time to thoroughly clean them. Fortunately, you won’t need any fancy tools or cleaners to get the job done. Here’s how to clean white walls without removing the paint, one step at a time, according to the pros.

Step 1: Start With a Blank Slate

Before you start cleaning, ensure you’re starting with a blank slate. Remove anything that might be hanging on the wall and set it aside. (If you want to go the extra mile, now is the time to dust those off.)

Step 2: Dust From Top to Bottom

Dirt isn’t the only enemy when you’re restoring your white walls to their once-bright state. Before washing, thoroughly dust your walls from the ceiling down. You can use any type of duster, even a microfiber cloth—but NeJame suggests using your vacuum’s dust-brush attachment for a deeper clean. If you don’t have a duster attachment, try a dry-mop head wrapped with a soft, clean cloth.

Dust from top to bottom with your chosen tool, taking care not to scratch the wall with the rigid parts of the mop or vacuum.

Step 3: Formulate Your Cleaning Solution

Now comes the fun part: fill a bucket with a gallon of warm (not hot) water. Then, NeJame recommends adding a squirt of gentle dish soap. You won’t need as much as you think.” “Less soap is better because it’ll help you rinse the soap thoroughly after you finish,” she says. “Soapy residue left on a wall attracts dirt.”

Step 4: Spot Test

To avoid accidentally damaging your walls or paint job, test a small area of your wall with your soap solution. Try washing a section of the wall that is normally hidden behind your couch or a painting; NeJame advises that you want to make sure that your soap and water solution will not damage the pigment or sheen of the paint.

Varela recommends waiting a few hours after testing so you can tell if the paint has been damaged. According to him, flat and eggshell paint is especially prone to staining and discoloration.

Step 5: Clean the White Walls

Soak a cloth or sponge in the liquid and wring it out well so it’s damp but not soaking, which will prevent watermarks and paint from bubbling. Then, wash your walls gently in sections, using circular motions. Because water will drip as you clean, it’s best to start at the top of the wall and clean your way down.

Step 6: Do Detail Work

You can also use your sponge to clean your baseboards and trim after thoroughly cleaning your actual white walls in the house. If you can still see marks or dirt on any area of your wall, melamine foam (also known as a magic eraser) comes in handy. Wet the foam, squeeze out the excess water, and gently rub it on the affected areas. Don’t go overboard, as the abrasiveness of the foam may damage the finish on your wall.

Read Also: HOW TO CLEAN TREX DECKING: Detailed Cleaning Guide

When Should I Paint Over the Walls?

It’s not necessarily the most convenient route, but if you desperately need a refresh, you can always paint over them. According to NeJame, the following are some telltale signs that it’s time for a new paint job:

  • Scuffs aren’t coming out
  • The paint sheen is damaged
  • The walls have water or smoke stains

Keep in mind that it’s tough to paint over “just the dirty spots” on a wall because fresh paint will appear a different color than older, faded paint jobs. However, you might be able to get away with it. “Usually if the paint is newly painted in the past 2 years and you get a scuff on it, you can likely touch up with the paint you have left over,” NeJame says.

When Should I Hire Professional Cleaners?

One sign that you may need professional cleaners’ assistance is brown drippings on your wall that won’t disappear no matter how much or thoroughly you clean. Varela says these stains are often due to nicotine residue, which may have occurred in your home due to the previous owners. “If this is the case, you should contact professionals to remove that,” he says.

Read Also: HOW TO GET MOTIVATED TO CLEAN: Tricks and Tips

Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning White Walls

Now that you know the basics of how to clean white walls in the house without removing the paint, let’s take a look at what not to do. There are plenty of silly mistakes you can make here. Before you grab your cleaning products, here are some of the things you need to avoid:

  • Do not use commercial cleaning products containing bleach.
  • Avoid using too much water on painted walls
  • Don’t scrub or rub painted walls when you are cleaning them
  • Don’t assume that watermarks will disappear when the wall dries.
  • Avoid using too much soap when you are cleaning walls

The walls should not be damaged. Luckily, you can clean a wall without removing paint. You need to use a gentle approach that doesn’t damage the paintwork. Within this guide, we have offered you the essential cleaning tips to get this right. Now that you know them, why not give your painted walls the spring clean they’ve needed?

Can I clean white walls with vinegar?

Yes. If your white walls have a semi-glossy satin finish, you can use vinegar to clean and deodorize them. To do this, mix a gallon of water with three tablespoons of white distilled vinegar. Test the mixture in an unnoticeable location. If there’s no adverse reaction, use a microfiber cloth dipped in the solution to wash the walls from top to bottom. Dry the walls as you go.

Can I clean the white walls with bleach?

Depending. A mix of dish soap and water is the best white wall cleaner. If you have mold on your walls and want to treat it with bleach, dilute it first and test it in an inconspicuous area. Also, be wary of using bleach on matte paint since it damages easily.

Can I clean the white walls with Pine-Sol?

Yes. You can wash walls with Pine-Sol but do a spot test first. If it doesn’t damage the wall, mix ¼ cup of PineSol with 1 gallon of water. Then, wipe down the walls from top to bottom, rinse with a rag soaked in water only, and dry.

How do you clean white walls with baking soda?

If you’re cleaning walls, save the baking soda for stains. You can mix baking soda with water until it forms a paste. Then, using light circular motions, rub the paste on your wall. When finished, rinse the baking soda with water and dry the wall. Because baking soda is mildly abrasive, it effectively removes stuck-on food and dirt.

Can I clean my walls with Dawn Powerwash?

While cleaning an entire wall with Dawn Powerwash is unnecessary, you can use it to treat stains on semi-gloss and satin walls. Spray it on the wall, work it into the stain with circular motions, rinse, and dry the area.

How do you clean white walls without stripping paint?

You can clean white walls in the house with household solutions like dish soap or a paste of baking soda and water, which can be applied with a wet sponge and wiped away. Commercial products such as all-purpose cleaners and Magic Erasers can also be used to restore their luster.

What are the best cleaning products for white walls?

White walls can be cleaned with common house products such as dish soap, baking soda, and water paste.

How do you clean white walls quickly?

  • Combine the soap and water. Add a drop of dish soap to a bowl of warm water. Combine everything.
  • Walls to be cleaned. Wring out the sponge almost completely after soaking it in the mixture. Gently wipe walls.
  • Dry Walls. Wipe walls with a dry microfiber cloth.

How do you get stains off white walls?

You can make your wall shiny and new again by combining a few drops of dish detergent in a bucket of warm water, thoroughly mixing it, and then wiping it down with a rag or sponge. Alternatively, you can use one or two drops of distilled white vinegar in a gallon of warm water and do the same thing.

How do I make my white walls white again?

In a quart of warm water, dissolve a teaspoon of dish detergent. Then, add a quarter cup of vinegar. Use the vinegar mixture to wash your walls. Wipe down your walls with a rag or sponge.

How do I make my white walls shine?

You can make a paste by combining baking soda and water. Then, using light circular motions, rub the paste on your wall. When finished, rinse the baking soda with water and dry the wall. Because baking soda is mildly abrasive, it effectively removes stuck-on food and dirt.


While white walls brighten up a space, they also show dirt more than any other color. The best way to prevent your white walls from getting dirty is to dust them at least a few times per year, wash your curtains, and deal with stains as they crop up.

You can use a gentle mixture of dish soap and water to clean most walls. (Alternatively, use only water if your paint has a flat sheen.) For stubborn stains, you’ll need to apply a touch-up coat of paint.


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