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Homes & InteriorsA guide to cleaning painted walls before moving home

A guide to cleaning painted walls before moving home

Getting ready to move out? One crucial task that often gets overlooked is cleaning the painted walls. A thorough wall-cleaning session can make a significant difference in how your old place looks and feels when you hand over the keys.

Let’s dive into a comprehensive guide on how to spruce up those walls before your big move!

1. Preparing the necessary materials and tools

Before diving into cleaning your painted walls before moving out, it’s crucial to gather all the necessary materials and tools.

Start by preparing a bucket of warm water and mild detergent to wash the walls later. Grab some soft sponges or cloths that won’t damage the paint surface during cleaning. Consider having a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment handy for dusting off any loose dirt.

If you’re dealing with tough stains, make sure to have baking soda on hand to create a paste or magic erasers for those stubborn marks. Having these items ready will save you time and effort when tackling different types of wall stains.

2. Dust the walls

Dusting the walls is an essential first step in preparing them for a move-out clean. Before grabbing your duster or vacuum with a brush attachment, take a quick scan of the walls to identify any areas that may need extra attention.

Start at the top of the wall and work your way down systematically. Be thorough in removing dust, cobwebs, and loose dirt from all surfaces. Pay close attention to corners and behind furniture where dust tends to accumulate.

Using a duster or vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment ensures that you can effectively capture the debris without causing damage to the paint. Remember to be gentle yet thorough in this process; you want to create a clean canvas for further cleaning steps.

3. Spot clean stains

Take the time to inspect every nook and cranny of your walls for any stubborn marks or spots that need attention. Whether it’s a mystery stain or a smudge from daily life, a mild detergent mixed with water can work wonders.

Before diving in, remember this golden rule: always test the cleaner on a small hidden area first to avoid any unwanted surprises. This simple precaution can save you from potential paint damage and ensure your cleaning process goes smoothly.

Armed with your gentle cleaner and a soft sponge or cloth, tackle those pesky stains confidently. Gently but firmly work on the affected areas, applying just enough pressure to lift the mark without harming the paint underneath. With patience and care, those stains will soon be nothing but a distant memory on your freshly cleaned walls.

4. Wash the walls

Start by preparing a bucket of warm water mixed with a mild detergent. This gentle solution will help lift dirt and grime without damaging the paint.

Take a soft sponge or cloth, dip it into the soapy water, and ensure it’s only damp – not soaking wet. It’s crucial to begin cleaning from the top of the wall and work your way down in sections. This technique prevents streaks from forming as you go along.

5. Rinse and dry

Using a separate sponge or cloth and clean water, gently wipe down the area you just cleaned. Be careful not to oversaturate the walls, as excess water can lead to unwanted streaks.

Once rinsed, grab a dry cloth or towel to pat the walls dry. Drying them thoroughly helps prevent water spots and streaks from forming on the freshly cleaned surface.

By taking the time to properly rinse and dry your walls after cleaning, you’ll achieve a pristine finish that will impress even the most meticulous of inspectors. Remember, attention to detail in this final step can make all the difference in ensuring your painted walls look spotless for move-out day.

6. Address tough stains

Dealing with tough stains on painted walls can be a bit tricky, but fear not; there are effective solutions at your fingertips. For those stubborn grease or crayon marks that just won’t budge, try creating a paste using baking soda and water. This natural concoction works wonders in breaking down the stains without harming the paint.

Simply mix the baking soda with water until you achieve a thick paste-like consistency. Apply this mixture to the affected area and gently scrub away the stain using a soft sponge or cloth. The abrasive nature of baking soda helps lift off the grime while being gentle on your walls.

Another option for tackling persistent marks is using a magic eraser. These handy tools work like a charm in removing tough stains without requiring harsh chemicals or excessive elbow grease. After treating the area, make sure to rinse it thoroughly with clean water and dry it completely to prevent any residue from forming.

7. Pay attention to baseboards and corners

Baseboards and corners often collect dust and grime unnoticed, so taking the time to give them some TLC is essential. Start by using a soft-bristled brush or a damp cloth to gently scrub these areas.

Baseboards can accumulate dirt over time, especially in high-traffic areas like hallways or living rooms. A quick wipe-down with a damp cloth can refresh their appearance and elevate the overall look of the room. Don’t forget about those hard-to-reach corners where cobwebs tend to hide – a thorough clean will leave your walls looking pristine.

Areas around light switches and door handles are prone to fingerprints and smudges. A simple wipe with a damp cloth can easily remove any marks left behind, giving these frequently touched spots a polished finish.

8. Touch-up paint if necessary

Check if you have leftover paint from when the walls were first painted; this can be a lifesaver for touch-ups. 

Before diving in, make sure to stir the paint well to ensure a consistent colour match with the existing wall. Use a small brush or even a cotton swab for precision touch-ups on those annoying little imperfections.

Apply thin layers of paint gradually over the marks, allowing each layer to dry completely before adding more. This method helps achieve that seamless finish you’re aiming for without creating noticeable patchy areas.


Cleaning the painted walls is one of the big task in End of Tenancy Cleaning procedure. By following this guide to cleaning painted walls before moving out, you can ensure that your living space looks well-maintained and fresh for the next occupants. Taking the time to properly clean the walls will not only leave a good impression but also help you get back your security deposit if you’re renting. 

Remember, a little effort goes a long way in making sure that your old place is left sparkling clean and ready for its new chapter. So roll up your sleeves, gather your supplies, and give those walls the TLC they deserve!

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