Paint offers the perfect backdrop throughout the home–learn how to clean painted surfaces the right way.

No matter where you go on your property, there is a good chance that you are looking at paint. It’s on our walls and the outsides of our homes, with colors ranging from dark blue to pale yellow. In this article, we will explore how to properly clean and maintain painted surfaces around the home.

Painted Surfaces and Cleaning: A Simple Breakdown

Your home has paint both inside and out. With this important information, you can keep your painted surfaces looking great throughout the years.

Why Do Painted Surfaces Need to Be Cleaned?

Paint provides a protective coating to any surface, but that shiny new look doesn’t always hold. Over time, it is only natural for painted surfaces to get dirty—especially if the surfaces are exposed to the elements or cooking.

Cleaning paint can improve the appearance of your home and keep your paint looking nicer for longer. This is a standard part of home maintenance, and it should happen both indoors and outdoors.

In some areas, regular cleanings can also help deter natural wear and mold growth.

How Often Should Painted Surfaces Be Cleaned?

Cleaning painted surfaces should be a standard household chore, but that doesn’t make it easy to schedule. The schedule for these cleaning sessions varies based on whether you are spot-cleaning or just doing a maintenance cleaning session.

Any time you are spot-cleaning your paint, you will want to act as quickly as possible. The sooner you address a spot, the less likely it is to stain. Paint can and will stain if left dirty. Try to address any messes within thirty minutes. For some splatters, you will need to act even more quickly.

Regular cleanings can be much more forgiving, but it is important not to let too much time pass, especially if the paint has dirt on it. Most of the time, you will want to make sure you clean your interior and exterior surfaces once or twice a year. However, some areas, like corners or even walls that have come into contact with a fierce storm, may require more general cleaning to stay looking sharp.

Factors That May Impact When You Clean Your Painted Surfaces

It would be nice if all painted surfaces could simply be maintained like clockwork, but it’s not all that simple. Determining when it is a good time to clean surfaces can be a guessing game for any homeowner.

To better define your timeline, it helps to consider what factors may impact when you should clean. These factors will include anything that may influence how dirty your walls are and how dangerous that buildup can be.

Many homeowners believe that you have to clean painted surfaces just to clear away dirt, but that’s not all there is to consider here. Overall cleanliness is critical, but there can also be other influential factors, including:

  • How quickly dirt or grime builds up on the surface
  • When the last cleaning session was
  • What the surface is being exposed to
  • How quickly stains can set
  • The quality of the paint
  • The weather
  • Environmental risks

The more informed you are, the more likely you are to make good decisions when deciding on your own schedule. Most people are not at risk of overwashing their surfaces. If it seems like a reasonable amount of time has passed, go ahead and add it to your weekend chore list.

Tools for Safely Cleaning Painted Surfaces

In order to keep your painted surfaces looking vibrant, you will need some simple supplies. The items you need will always vary depending on your approach, but these are the most common options:

  • Water
  • Soap
  • A bucket
  • A soft towel
  • A microfiber cloth
  • A vacuum

Steps to Clean Painted Surfaces Around the Home

When you are ready to clean your painted surfaces, you will always want to start with a visual assessment. Take note of how dirty the surface is. Can you see visible grime? If so, how set is the layer of grime?

Loose dust or debris can easily be pulled away using a vacuum cleaner. However, grime that has set or seems adhered to the surface will need a good soak. Using a light spray bottle or a damp cloth, dampen the surface to loosen up the grime.

Removing grime before you begin cleaning is very important. If you leave it there and start scrubbing, you are more likely to damage, scratch, or fade the paint with your actions. This is even more important with paint colors that have a polished finish. Do a gentle wipe down of the surface to remove any buildup.

When you are ready to actually clean your paint surface, you will want to prepare a cleaning solution. A small amount of dish soap—one teaspoon or less—can be mixed with warm water to create a gentle solution. You can also add a teaspoon or less of vinegar for disinfection.

Using this solution, you can begin to gently scrub the painted surface. Take care, and be sure to use something soft, like a gentle cloth, to avoid scratching the surface. Move slowly and methodically, and wipe everything down with a clean and damp cloth when you’re done.

What if Cleaning Isn’t Enough?

Cleaning can help paint stay nice, but all painted surfaces have a shelf life that cannot be avoided. Eventually, you may notice that even cleaning won’t freshen up the appearance of these surfaces. When this happens, it is time to refresh the entire paint job with a new coat. After a new coat of paint, your walls will look great for many more years to come!

A Little Care Can Go a Long Way–We’re Here if You Need Anything Else

Sometimes, a thorough cleaning isn’t enough to restore painted surfaces to their original appearance. When you are ready for something new and fresh, you need the house painters Minneapolis residents know they can trust. Our team is here to help your home look great inside and out with our residential painting services. Contact us today to learn more!