9 Stubborn Stains on Walls and How to Clean Them

Your walls may often get overlooked during a routine cleaning, but over time they become caked with every kind of stain, from food splatters to fingerprints, and even incidental Crayola artwork. If you’ve ever known the pain of trying to clean literally anything off eggshell walls, then you’ll understand that it’s delicate balance between removing the stain and removing your paint.

Here are some common stains and how to safely remove them from painted walls without messing up your paint job! (Fingers crossed.)

Crayon wax on eggshell painted walls can be a whole other level of painful when it comes to removal. Clean it by mixing baking soda and water until it forms a paste. Apply the paste to the stained area and scrub it with a sponge then wash with soapy water and then rinse with regular water.

Wax Stain
When it comes to candle wax on your walls, you might find the easiest way to get rid of it (without damaging your paint) is to apply heat to wax using your hair dryer, and then wipe up the melted wax with a cloth or paper towel.

Black Mold
For a natural solution to get rid of black mold, combine one part baking soda with five parts distilled white vinegar and five parts water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the stained area and let is sit for a few hours before wiping with a damp cloth. Alternatively, you can use a chemical-based mold and mildew remover, all-purpose cleaners, bleach or dish soap.

Pen Ink
Baking soda and water come to the rescue again in this simple solution, which involves mixing them until they form a paste. Apply the paste to the stained area and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it clean.

Permanent Marker
If you have kids, you might have already fallen victim to sharpie artwork on your walls, and realized that trying to get the marker off is nothing short of a battle, where your paint takes a beating in the process. Try using hairspray that contains alcohol! Simply spray it on the marker stain and wipe it with a cloth, repeating as needed.

Cigarette Smoke Stains
Cigarette smoke and nicotine leaves a thick, yellow pungent film on any surface that it is exposed to, making it hard to clean. For a natural cleaning solution, use a vinegar + ammonia + warm water mixture and soak a sponge in the solution. The acetic acid of the vinegar not only works to break the stain but also to remove the residue smell from the walls. Use the rough side of the sponge to rub the stained area, repeating as needed before washing with water.

Another choice for cleaning built up nicotine on walls is a TSP solution (Trisodium Phosphate), which you can find at your local hardware store.

Food Stains
From spaghetti sauce to olive oil, you may find that your walls are stained from little splatters of food that have accumulated over time. Our trusty baking soda and water paste can work on stained food as well; just rub it gently over the stain and let it dry. Finally, wash the walls with clean water and dry with a soft cloth to finish the process

You know how dish soap gets heavy grease off your pots and pans, well it can have the same effect on your walls. Just soak a clean cloth in a solution of dish soap and warm water, and use the soaked cloth to rub the stain. Wipe it all down with a clean dry cloth.

Hair Dye
Hair dye stains are a job for a magic eraser; just soak the magic eraser, then scrub the stain in a circular motion. Wipe down with a clean, dry cloth when finished.

Have you tried any of these methods on your walls? Do you have another hack that has worked well for any of these stains? Let us know in the comments!

Written by: Stacey Wood

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