Around the House: Keeping Walls Clean

Around the House: Keeping Walls Clean

By Yehudit Garmaise

Walls, which are usually neglected, attract dirt, like any other surface.

Areas near tables, chairs, doors, light switches, and front entries where shoes are kicked off usually accumulate scuffs, smudges, and splatters that need the most direct attention.

In addition, corners can attract cobwebs. Smoke, dust, and other tiny particles can trigger allergies and asthma attacks that cause runny noses, watery eyes, coughing, and sneezing. 

With Pesach nine weeks away, one room of walls could be cleaned each week to prepare homes for the sedarim. 

Here’s how to spend just one hour a week getting your walls clean: one room at a time.

1. Dust: Buy a long-handled feather duster to whisk away dust and cobwebs. A vacuum with an extendable hose can also quickly dust your walls and corners.

2. Tackle Tough Areas, such as dirt around electrical switches, plates, and doorknobs, crayon scribblings, handprints, mildew, food splatters, and shoe scuff marks.

Before cleaning electrical outlet plates and switches, turn off the lights and use the sunlight from the window to wipe them down with a sponge, some cleanser and a small bowl of clean water.  For extra dirty areas on the wall, add ½ c. of laundry borax to a gallon of warm water in a bucket and use a large sponge with a scrubbing side to wash away stains and mold. A melamine sponge is another handy tool to remove dirt from paint finishes.A step stool might be handy for any smudges in high or hard-to-reach places.

3. Fill a second bucket of fresh water to dip a second sponge to wipe off the soapy residue. 

4. Now fill a bucket with fresh water and ¼ cup of scented all-purpose cleaner or dishwashing liquid to scrub the rest of the walls. 

5. Dip your sponge into your cleaning solution, and then wring out the sponge so that water will not drip all over the floor.  

6. Wash your walls in a circular motion, starting at the top of the wall, to prevent drips from falling on your freshly cleaned wall. 

Work your way down one small section at a time. 

7. Rinse the sponge frequently in a second bucket of clean water.

8. Rinse the walls with a new, second sponge that has been dipped into the bucket of clean water. Starting at the top of your wall, wipe away any soapy residue as you move down the wall. Dip a second sponge or cloth in the clean water and wring until nearly dry. Rinse away any soapy residue as you move down the wall with floorboards last.

9. Take a clean rag to dry walls and floorboards. 

10. In between the large projects of wall cleaning, keep a melamine or large sponge with a scrubber side on hand to use with water and cleanser to wipe away any little messes on the wall. 

Here are some quick hacks to quickly remove small stains little ones may creat. 

Crayons: first try baby wipes. Other possible quick fixes are non-gel toothpaste or sprinkle cleanser or baking soda on a damp sponge before scrubbing.

Ball-point ink: Use nail polish remover or foaming shaving cream to remove pen stains.  

Permanent marker: Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and dab at the stain or spray hairspray on the scribble, and use a clean, damp cloth to wipe the wall clean. 

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