How to clean white walls

How to clean white walls

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Anyone who has white walls in their home knows how brilliant they look when they’re first painted, but how easy it can be to get marks and scuffs on them! White walls can make you your space look bigger, and they’re always in fashion. White creates a calming atmosphere, and is a wonderful blank canvas for you to stamp your own personality on your home – but white walls do need a little love from time to time. We’re here to help you find ways to keep those walls looking pristine and free from fingerprints, furniture marks and everything else, and to offer useful advice if you’re thinking about spring-cleaning at any time of the year. Just read on.  

What you’ll need when cleaning white walls

There are plenty of specialist products on the market if you want to know how to keep white walls clean. But for most stains, you may find that you already have everything you need in your home to get rid of marks. We’ve compiled a list of household items to keep in mind when you’re about to embark on cleaning your white walls. They include:

  • Microfibre cloths – or anything that’s lint- or fibre-free. These perform better than paper towels that can rip or shred
  • Clean sponges
  • Tea towels to dry the stain afterwards
  • Washing up liquid
  • Fabric softener
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Multi-purpose spray cleaner
  • Specialist stain remover like a Magic Eraser
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Clean marks off white walls with washing-up liquid

Yes, ordinary washing up liquid (what Americans call ‘dish soap’) should be your first option if you’re looking to cleaning white walls. This mild detergent should get rid of grease marks or simple stains like biro or fingerprints. Using warm water, make a cloth damp but not wet, then add a dot of washing up liquid, and gently wipe the mark. Dry the spot immediately with a clean, dry cloth to avoid water marks. If the stain doesn’t disappear, then wait five minutes and try again. That should do the trick!

Clean white walls with fabric softener

Queen of Clean and online influencer Mrs Hinch swears by fabric softener, diluted in warm water. She uses a soft cloth to wipe away the stain then dries it quickly. It’s a mild product so it shouldn’t damage the paint, and it leaves a pleasant smell.

Clean white walls with white vinegar

We don’t mean the stuff you put on your chips. Use white vinegar, not the red kind!

Fill a bucket with warm water and add a cup of white vinegar. Then apply to the wall with a soft sponge. This works particularly well on grease marks. Remember to dry the stain afterwards.

Using baking soda to clean white walls

Prue Leith and all cake lovers will probably endorse using this simple cooking ingredient as it can work wonders. The method is as simple as dabbing some onto a damp cloth, then gently rubbing it onto the stain. Wipe the area clear with a dry, microfibre cloth.

How to clean white walls with spray cleaner

You’ve probably already got a multi-purpose spray cleaner in your arsenal. You can use this with a cloth and just gently rub it to remove the stain. Just make sure you use a completely clean cloth to wipe up the mark as you don’t want to transfer a grease mark from your kitchen onto the walls.

How to keep white walls clean with a Magic Eraser

This is a more specialist item you’ll have to buy rather than just having it in the house. A Magic Eraser costs around £4 for a pack of two. It’s created from melamine foam and is activated with a little water. Don’t be fooled by its softness, Magic Erasers are as abrasive as sandpaper! So please use them carefully and test them on a part of the wall that’s hidden in case it has a reaction to your paint. And we’d recommend you wear gloves when you’re tackling your white walls.

When should I start to clean white walls?

The short answer is as soon as you notice the stain. But if you don’t get around to it, then choose a day when you can open all the windows of the room you’re cleaning, so you can get some fresh air inside, and get rid of dust that might be gathering. You may also want to choose a day when your pets or children are elsewhere, so you can’t be distracted, and they don’t have a chance to ruin all your hard work.

Hints on how to keep white walls clean

Now you’ve decided to clean up your white walls, you may be looking around the rest of your home and deciding it could benefit from a general spruce-up. It’s best to use this protocol, to keep your home sparkling clean and looking good:

  • Check your walls regularly to avoid missing any stains or marks
  • Clean from the top down, dusting from the ceiling fan to the floor, and don’t forget any coving or skirting boards
  • Dust with a damp cloth so you’re not just moving it around
  • Vacuum last of all to pick up all the debris you’ve collected.


After cleaning your white walls, the next step to transforming your home could be examining your flooring. Also known as the ‘fifth wall’, it’s the largest expanse in the room, so having a threadbare carpet or worn out or damaged laminate flooring could spoil the effort you’d put into maintaining your white walls.

We’d recommend exploring our style inspiration section, that’ll inspire you to refresh every room in your home. For instance, if you’d like to lean into the trend of pairing white with exposed elements and solid flooring, then an industrial décor could be the way to go. Alternatively, if you prefer clean lines with gilded accents, then we’d recommend leaning into the Parisian interior design trend.

Once you’ve decided which room you’d like to tackle first, why not take some advice from our easy-to-follow guides? For instance, it could be discovering the best flooring for your living room, or hints on how to make a small room look bigger. Alternatively, for help choosing your flooring, then simply pop into one of our stores, or book an appointment for a free home visit. Our team of colleagues are trained in finding the best flooring to suit your style and budget, and can help you to measure up and plan your incredible new space.

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Published: 23-02-2023