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How to Clean Walls with Flat Paint Safely

Written by: Sunshine Clean ProsDecember 26, 2023

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Flat paint is a popular choice for interior walls due to its smooth and matte finish that lends a touch of elegance to any room. However, it's no secret that flat-painted walls are prone to picking up dirt, scuffs, and stains.

This guide will show you exactly how to clean walls with flat paint by breaking down the process into easy-to-follow steps, using simple methods and common household items. Whether you've got kids, pets, or just everyday wear and tear, we've got your walls covered.

Why Cleaning Flat-Painted Walls Matters

Flat paint, also known as matte paint, doesn't have the same level of sheen as other paint types like satin or semi-gloss. Its smooth, non-reflective surface adds a touch of sophistication to your walls but comes with its own cleaning challenges.

Over time, dust, allergens, and contaminants can accumulate on your walls, affecting the air quality in your home. Hence, cleaning your flat-painted walls isn't just about aesthetics; it's also about maintaining a healthy indoor environment.

Gathering Your Cleaning Supplies

Before we dive into the cleaning process, let's make sure you have all the necessary supplies at hand. You don't want to be halfway through and realize you're missing something crucial. Here's what you will need:

  • Soft cloths or microfiber towels for gentle cleaning
  • Mild dish soap to effectively remove dirt without damaging the paint
  • Warm water to mix with the dish soap
  • A bucket for holding your cleaning solution
  • Baking soda for harder-to-remove stains
  • Distilled white vinegar, a natural alternative for cleaning
  • A spray bottle for convenient application of solutions
  • A ladder, if your walls are high and you need to reach upper areas
  • Optionally, a paint touch-up kit in case of any accidental marks or scrapes

With everything within reach, the cleaning process will be efficient, allowing you to focus on reviving the beauty of your walls without interruption.

a person cleaning a wall

Cleaning Your Flat-Painted Walls Step by Step

Now that you've got your cleaning arsenal ready, it's time to break the cleaning process down into steps that are simple to understand and carry out.

Step 1: Prepare the Area

Prior to actually starting with the cleaning, it's essential to set the stage. Clear the area around the walls you intend to clean. This means moving furniture, decorations, or any potential obstacles that might hinder your cleaning progress.

Step 2: Dust the Walls

Next up, grab a lint roller or a soft, dry cloth. Your goal here is to gently remove dust and loose debris from the wall's surface. This initial dusting step is essential because it helps prevent particles from scratching the paint during the upcoming cleaning process.

Step 3: Protect Trim and Baseboards

We are all about prevention, so apply painter's tape along the edges of the trim and baseboards. This simple action creates a protective barrier, shielding these areas from any moisture or cleaning agents that might stray during the cleaning process.

Step 4: Mix the Cleaning Solution

In a handy bucket, mix warm water with a small amount of mild detergent. There's no need to go overboard with the detergent; a little bit goes a long way in breaking down dirt and grime.

Step 5: Test in an Inconspicuous Area

It's a good idea to check a hidden portion of the wall before cleaning the entire surface. Apply a bit of the cleaning solution and wait a few minutes to check for any adverse reactions or damage to the paint.

Step 6: Clean Gently

Put the cleaning solution in a bowl and fill a sponge or soft cloth with it. Start cleaning using gentle, circular motions, and avoid applying excessive pressure to protect the delicate paint surface.

Step 7: Rinse and Dry

After giving your wall some tender loving care, it's time to wrap things up. Rinse the walls with clean water to remove any remaining traces of detergent. Then, grab another clean, damp cloth to wipe down the walls again. To finish off, simply let the walls air dry naturally.

For the best results, it's advisable to clean your walls periodically with this method. This not only enhances the appearance of your space but also extends the life of your paint job.

Special Considerations for Flat-Painted Walls

Some stains can be more difficult to remove than others, so taking extra precautions is sometimes necessary. The following are the particular processes you need to do to get rid of those pesky stains:

Dealing with Specific Stains

Persistent stains demand a proactive approach. Follow these steps to remove them effectively:

  • Mix baking soda and a small amount of water to form a paste.
  • After applying the paste, let it sit for a few minutes on the stained area.
  • Clean up the stain using an absorbent cloth or sponge.
  • Rinse the area with clean water and dry it thoroughly.

Removing Grease and Oil Stains

Grease and oil stains can pose a particular challenge in flat-painted walls. Try this method to bid them farewell:

  • Mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution onto the grease or oil stain.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Gently blot the area with a clean cloth or sponge.
  • Rinse with water and dry.

If you utilize these easy suggestions, you can keep your walls looking clean and fresh without the annoying marks that can ruin the beauty of your property.

a person spraying mold on the corner of a room

Keeping Flat-Painted Walls in Top Condition

Maintaining the appearance and integrity of flat-painted walls involves a combination of routine care and prompt attention to spills and marks. Below are some key tips to help you keep your walls looking their best:

Immediate Action

It is vital to clean up any spills or stains as soon as possible. The quicker you respond, the less likely it is that the stain will penetrate the paint and become more difficult to remove.

Regular Dusting

Dusting the walls should be an integral part of your regular cleaning practice. When you do this, you prevent the accumulation of filth, which minimizes the frequency of cleaning sessions that need more effort.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Opt for mild, non-abrasive cleaners when it's time to clean your flat-painted walls. Avoid harsh chemicals as they can harm the delicate paint finish. A gentle touch is all you need to maintain your walls' appearance.

Repaint as Needed

Keep some of your wall's paint color on hand for minor touch-ups. This proactive approach allows you to quickly repair small scratches or scuffs, maintaining the wall's pristine appearance.

It's these small acts of care that can prolong the life and beauty of your painted walls, making a significant difference in the upkeep of your home.

Sunshine Clean Pros — Your One-Stop Cleaning Solution

Cleaning walls with flat paint can be a tricky task, but with Sunshine Clean Pros by your side, it's a breeze. Our team of experts knows the ins and outs of flat paint, and we're here to share our wisdom with you.

But we don't stop at walls! Our expertise extends to all your cleaning needs, from top to bottom! Whether it's your carpets, upholstery, windows, or even your entire home – we've got the skills and equipment to make your space sparkle.

No matter the mess, big or small, we are here to make it disappear. Book a cleaning today, and let us make your space shine brighter than ever!


Learning how to clean walls with flat paint is a straightforward process that can rejuvenate your living space, and with the right supplies and a gentle touch, you can say goodbye to unsightly stains and hello to pristine walls.

Remember to test your cleaning solution, patiently tackle stains, and take preventive measures to maintain their finest appearance.

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