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Walls in need of a wipe down aren’t typically a glaring offense. Unless they're decked with major chocolate-smudged fingerprints, it’s unlikely that the average (well-meaning) friend who walks into your home will even notice you haven’t cleaned them since you moved in seven-ish years ago. Unless your walls are white—like mine.

Everyone warned me that white walls with children was a no-go but, with each warning, my resolve grew. The thing is, I like my dirt, grime, and whatever else right where I can see it. How else would I be able to wipe off the fingerprints and filth as soon as it appears? And yes, I do drive my family (including the dog) bonkers with these antics.

If you want to take a walk on the wild (slightly neurotic) side, then come along with me on a wall-washing journey. Here’s how to make sure your walls are absolutely sparkling—even if they’re hidden by a layer of forgiving beige paint and an eggshell finish.

How To Clean Walls

  1. Wipe down walls with a dry duster.
  2. Dilute a multi-surface cleaner like Pine-Sol in a gallon of water. Consult the product instructions for the best cleaner-to-water ratio.
  3. Use a sponge that’s dampened (not soaking) with the solution to wipe down walls, using a dry cloth to wipe down clean areas as you go.
  4. For stubborn stains, apply cleaning product directly to sponge (do not dilute) before gently rubbing on the smudge or mark.
  5. Wipe down doors, moldings, and baseboards using the same process as above.

WATCH: Yes, You Really Need to Clean Your Dishwasher

How To Clean Walls with Flat Paint

You’ll want to get spots, smudges, and dirt off of walls with flat paint relatively quickly otherwise stains can set in. Flat paint needs a gentler hand than other glossier finishes, so don’t be too aggressive with your scrubbing. One final word to the wise: Test on a small area before going gangbusters.