How to Clean Up Your Walls

If your walls are in need of a spruce up, it may be a cheaper solution to clean them up rather than redecorate. Here's how to get rid of all those stains and marks, no matter what the surface.

Erasing crayon marks from walls

Your child may be a budding Rembrandt, but even so, you probably don’t want him defacing your walls with crayons. Try these techniques to clean up surprise murals:

  •  Lightly rub the area with a clean, dry fabric softener sheet.
  •  Rub vigorously with a clean artist’s eraser – or ask your young artist do it for you.
  •  Squirt shaving cream onto the markings and scrub gently with a toothbrush or a scrubbing brush.
  •  Soften the markings with a hair dryer and wipe them off with a cloth moistened with a little baby oil.


Cleaning wood-panelled walls

Most wood panelling needs only a good dusting every once in a while, but you can give it a more thorough cleaning with a simple home-made solution – one best applied with a pair of tights – the texture is perfect for abrasive yet gentle scrubbing. Combine 2 cups (500ml) water, 1 cup (250ml) white vinegar and 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice in a bucket and mix well. Dip a handful of scrunched-up tights into the solution and wipe the panelling, working from the bottom of the wall upwards to avoid drips.


How to wash wallpaper

How can you restore the lustre to dingy washable wallpaper? First fill a bucket with 1 litre water and mix in 1/2 teaspoon washing-up liquid. Then dip a soft cloth in the liquid and wring it out until no excess water remains. Gently rub the wallpaper with the cloth and blot it dry with a lint-free towel. If the wallpaper has become soiled with a greasy stain, try one of these remedies:

  •  Brush talcum powder onto the stain, let it sit for at least half an hour and then brush it off. Repeat as necessary.
  •  Fold a brown paper bag and hold it over the stain. Press a warm iron to the spot so that the grease is drawn into the paper. Repeat as necessary until the spot has gone, repositioning the bag each time.


Removing oily Blu-Tack Stains

Landlords across the UK warn against using blu-tack on the walls, but it is inevitable at some point you will throw caution to the wind stick something up. Getting rid of its marks is a problem. Try using a citrus based cleaner. If all else fails gently sand down the area and pick up a carefully matched tester paint from your local DIY shop. Match the paint carefully enough and it'll be looking as good as new.