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Tips on Cleaning Painted Surfaces

Sherwin-Willimas Paints has helpful information on their website for homeowners. The below is from their "FAQ" section. When you invest in a painting job for your home, you want to help protect that investment by taking care of your painted surfaces. From time to time,  especially if you have children and pets in the house, interior painted surfaces need to be cleaned.

Q: What can I use to clean a surface that has already been painted?

A: Maintenance cleaning is vital to the overall service life of a painted surface. However, when selecting a cleaner, be sure to use a non-abrasive cleaner. If cleaning a waterborne paint, avoid products that are ammoniated. Mild, soapy water will generally suffice. However, always test the cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area to ensure that it does not damage the paint film.

Q: How do I wash my freshly painted wall?

A: To assure maximum washability and durability, wait at least two weeks before washing the dry paint film. Avoid any abrasive or harsh chemical cleaners as these could damage the paint film.

Concentrated Cleaners (Liquid or Dry):

  • Read all package directions before using. It is always recommended to test any cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area prior to use.
  • Mix or dilute the cleaner per package instructions. Solution strength may be adjusted depending on amount and type of contaminant.
  • Remove any heavy debris and contaminants.
  • Using a sponge or cloth, wash surface dirt and marks.
  • Do not allow the cleaner to dry on the surface.
  • Always clean from the bottom of a wall to the top.
  • Rinse the surface thoroughly.
  • Repeat if necessary.

Premixed Spray Cleaners:

  • Read all the package directions before using. It is always recommended to test any cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area prior to use.
  • Turn spray nozzle to desired spray pattern (open with nozzle facing away from you).
  • Remove any heavy debris and contaminants.
  • Apply the cleaner to the dirt and marks (apply just enough to wet the area).
  • Using a damp sponge or cloth, wipe to remove the surface dirt and marks and any excess cleaner. For difficult stains, some scrubbing may be necessary.
  • Do not allow the cleaner to dry on the surface.
  • If recommended on the label of the cleaner, rinse the surface.

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