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Most dust settles on horizontal surfaces, and is easy to spot on things like tabletops and furniture. But walls tend to get overlooked when it’s time to clean the house or your studio. If it’s been a while since you’ve washed your walls (or if you’ve never done it), it’s easy to spot the difference, along with the nasty dirt that comes off of it.
Walls can get marked up, absorbing oil from fingerprints, grease from cooking and sticky residue from old adhesives and years of neglect. If you have a smoker in your house, walls can even start to change color overtime, fading to a dull yellow, and trapping odors too.
But what’s really the best way to clean your walls? Read on for more tips and our product recommendations below.
How to Clean Your Walls
The traditional way can still get the job done: Fill up a bucket with hot water and add about a teaspoon of dish soap, grab a sponge and go at it. However, using a mop can make it infinitely easier and faster, helping you reach all the way up to the ceiling, covering more area in less time and saving wear-and-tear on your arms and shoulders from all the scrubbing and wringing.
Frequency and When to Clean: You won’t need to clean your walls often — once a year is usually fine, or specifically if you’re about to repaint. For really tough and ugly stains, a cloth with baking soda and some elbow grease should knock it loose first. The baking soda provides just enough friction and abrasiveness to scrub out the mark while being gentle on the paint, leaving it ready for you to hit with the mop right after.
Streaks: It’s also highly recommended to test these out on a section of wall that isn’t visible, just to make sure your mop and cleaning solution won’t leave a big streak, and that your wall’s paint can handle it. Eggshell and matte type paints are usually the ones that can show unsightly streaks after cleaning, while glossy ones (which are usually found in kitchens and bathrooms) are designed to be wiped down. Behind a piece of furniture or appliance is a perfect test spot.
Drying: Once your wall is washed, a quick way to dry it is to grab a fresh microfiber cloth on a flat dust-mop, and go over the marks you just made. Don’t forget about your baseboards too, though they’re a bit different when it comes to cleaning. Baseboards can be an entirely opposite texture than walls, and end up looking dirtier and dustier, picking up the grime streaks from the mop. For these, it’s best to vacuum them with a brush attachment first, wipe it down with a microfiber cloth, then gently follow it up with a clean wet mop.
What Are the Best Wall-Cleaning Mops?
These mops work well with small apartments, but can handle houses with tall ceilings too, giving your house a deep clean from top to bottom.
1. O-Cedar Easywring Microfiber Spin Mop
O-Cedar’s bucket features a built-in mop wringer that’s operated by a foot pedal – no batteries or electricity needed. Splashes are kept to a minimum here, both during the spin and while carrying it from room to room.
The interchangeable mop heads are simple to pop off, and can be thrown into the washing machine cycle safely. It’s extendable up to 48-inches for reaching tall spots, designed to get into corners, and leave surfaces streak-free after you’re done.
2. Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Microfiber Floor Mop
While floors are where this mop really shines, users have found it works great on low walls too. It’s a bit awkward to pick up and use horizontally, though it’s still lightweight and gets the job done. The 22-ounce bottle lets you mix your own favorite cleaning solution, and doesn’t leak out when tipped, allowing you to run the wet microfiber cloth along walls, baseboards, and all types of floors.
The spraying trigger doesn’t require any batteries or charging, and the microfiber pads are machine washable — up to 100 times each.
3. Tethys Flat Mop and Bucket Set
This set wrings out your mop and drains through two holes at the bottom, with grooves that brush away big clumps of dirt as you pull it out. The telescopic handle stretches up to 51 inches, and a 280-degree swiveling head lets you glide along surfaces picking up gross grime all the way, even on cement.
When you’re done, the pads are machine washable, plus this folds up and fits inside the bucket for efficient storage until you need it next.
4. Turbo Microfiber Mop Floor Cleaning System
The 18-inch pivoting mop head here swivels smoothly and simply, while locking down dirt, dust and pet hair with its thick microfiber texture.
This has an extendable aluminum alloy handle for hard-to-reach spots, and is extremely lightweight for anyone to lift up. The microfiber pads are kept in place by Velcro, and are washable and reusable, cutting way down on waste and saving you some cash in the long run.