It is almost time to begin spring cleaning. And one of the biggest annual cleaning tasks is washing the walls in every room. A house with walls that have been cleaned correctly leaves a general clean feel to the room and removes some allergens from the area. To achieve this clean feeling with minimal effort is easy as pie.
The walls collect a lot of dust through the months. Some of this dust is caused by smoke from cooking smoke and grease, cigarettes and incense sticks or cones, and even more is caused from fireplaces and oil or gas lanterns. Other debris such as hair and dust webs accumulates near corners and hanging objects. All of this is a breeding ground for germs, and needs to be eradicated to receive both the aesthetic quality and health benefits of washing walls.
To begin, you will need rags, a bucket of hot water and a small amount of cleaner. The cleaner depends on your personal preferences and the type of wall to be cleaned. As long as the wall is painted with latex or oil paint, using a small amount of general all-purpose cleaners like Pine-Sol is fine. However, if you are unsure about the paint type, wash a small inconspicuous section and watch for ill effects like paint coming off, severe color distortion or surface bubbling.
Firstly, remove any hangings and curtains or blinds. Begin by picking out a starting point. Usually, it is best to pick a corner for two reasons. The first reason is the corner gives a definite starting and stopping point- there is no need to clean over that point. The second reason is the adjacent cleaned areas might have a slightly different hue due to the water not being as clean when one spot was washed then the other. Although this problem can be prevented by frequently changing the cleaning water, it is nevertheless a valid reason for choosing a corner.
Other alternatives to the corner starting point are at a doorway or an expansive window. Both areas are nice at preventing adjacent areas from being easily defined by the naked eye. Whatever the final choice is, it is imperative to make note of precisely where the work is to begin an end.
Prior to washing walls, the floor near the wall edge should be swept. This will prevent debris or hair on the floor from being swept up by the rag and from being kicked up from a draft.
There is one clear rule when it comes to washing walls, wash from the top downwards to the floor. This is so that any water that begins to trail downwards will be wiped off in a successive movement. If the wall was washed from bottom to top, the water might not be caught and would leave a darkened dirt trail or a bleached type of look if the water was clean with too strong a cleaner. Visually divide the room into four foot wide sections and wash each section separately.
You will notice that the area of the wall closer to the top is the dirtiest. In a kitchen, the wall might even be thick with grease in places. So it is best to change the water right after cleaning the highest part of the wall. If the wall is extremely dirty, then rewash the wall section immediately with fresh hot water.
It is a necessity to keep the water as clean and hot as possible. If the water is not changed enough, then you are essentially putting dirt back onto the wall. There are ways to use the water that is only slightly dirty. For instance, a ceiling fan, baseboard heaters, or furnace register vents can be cleaned quickly and easily with the water, without taking too much time away from the primary focus- the wall.
If tackling all the walls in a house at once seems like a bit too much work for one day, then divide the house into sections and work on each section at a time. For example, the bathroom and kitchen one weekend, and then the master and guest bedroom on another weekend is a great way to finish the daunting task. Soon, the whole house will be fresh smelling and looking clean.