Spring is a great time to accomplish some of the yearly tasks that need to be tended to around the house. One important chore that many of us overlook is wall washing. Yearly wall washing will help keep your walls looking fresh and new.
Most flat latex paint does not take well to washing. If you decide to wash your walls, make sure to try a test spot in an inconspicuous place. The best way to clean your walls is to begin by removing items on or near the wall. This is where you will notice the rings of dust around your pictures and furniture. Use the dust-brush attachment on your vacuum and begin with vacuuming the ceiling and work your way down to the walls. *If you have popcorn ceiling from the 1960s-1980s, it may not be a good idea to to clean your ceiling. You would want to check into the safety precautions needed for caring for a ceiling that may potentially contain asbestos. Vacuum the walls starting from top to bottom.
If you have performed a wall wash test and you feel it is a good choice for your home, use a sponge, warm water, and a little bit of all purpose cleaner to get started on your wall wash. Make sure that you do not use too much cleaner and you wring out your sponge thoroughly. Clean a small area with your sponge, then go over the same area with a damp warm water cloth. It is always a good safety measure to not leave a cleaner drying on a sensitive surface. Semi-gloss, high-gloss latex, and oil based paints all tend to respond well to wall washing. If you are ever in doubt about if your paint can handle a wash, just stick with the dust-brush vacuum method.
If you have pets and/or kids, you might be surprised at how much your walls really needed the wash! Throughout the rest of the year, you can maintain the walls by using a little warm water on a cloth or a Magic Eraser on spots and scuffs.