If you have painted walls in your home,
there is a good chance that you have wanted to clean them,
for one reason or another, at some point in time.
We have some Clients that love to, literally, wash their walls every once in a while because it is something entwined in their DNA and they feel like the walls should be washed now and then.
We have other Clients that never wash their walls but may get an occasional mark on them from cooking grease, someone bumping something into them, or (my personal favorite) kids using the walls as an easel for their latest “art” project, etc.
No matter what the reasoning may be, there are certain ways that one should go about approaching this task.
If you are fortunate, the wall will have at least some sheen to it which will allow for whatever it is that you are cleaning off the wall to come off more easily.
No matter how shiny or un-shiny the wall happens to be, a test should always be done in an inconspicuous area to make sure the process being used to clean the wall does not strip the wall of its finish.
For general wall cleaning,
I recommend Dawn mixed with warm-to-hot water.
Dawn is a degreaser (there is a reason that biologists utilize it in cleaning up wildlife after an oil spill…) and will work wonders in terms of helping to get off oily handmarks and the like from the walls.
In removing miscellaneous spots, the first thing to determine is what it is that you are trying to clean up (a crayon mark?, a tar mark?, and so on….).
I then typically recommend starting from the least harsh solution possible and then proceeding from there until what you are looking to accomplish has been satisfied.
First, try some hand sanitizer on a paper towel/napkin or a rag.
The alcohol in the hand sanitizer tends to break down the characteristics of many things that may have marred the wall and allows them to be easily wiped away.
If the hand sanitizer does not work,
I would try putting Windex on a rag and then wiping the area.
I would gradually try Goo-Gone, Oops!, and Goof-Off in that order.
I listed them from what I have found to be least harsh to harshest and they all should work but all may affect the wall finish to varying degrees.
If you are not able to find the finish or get the finish appropriately matched, repainting the wall may be your only option at that point.
Whether you habitually clean your walls every so often or are just looking to clean off that unsightly smear that is driving you bonkers, it is important to have a gameplan of the right methodology for doing so or you may end up unintentionally damaging the finish of the wall while attempting to clean it.