How to Remove Stains Off Painted Walls

How to Remove Stains Off Painted Walls

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The walls are pretty easy to ignore when it comes to daily cleaning tasks. It’s there, but at the same time it isn’t. You could almost say most of us take it for granted.

So when it comes to a point when you realise there are marks or stains on the wall (especially when you have children at home), you’re suddenly left with a bit of a conundrum.

While wall stains can look ghastly and might even put a dent in your pocket, don’t fret: we have some simple solutions to help you get rid of it at your convenience.

Oil- and Water -Based Stains

Before getting into the nitty gritty of things, you’ll need to determine first what type of stain you have to deal with.

Generally speaking there are two types of stains. Oil-based stains include shoe polish, crayons, and grease. Water-based stains are usually food-derived, such as wine, ketchup, mustard, and such.

No matter what type of stain you’re dealing with, it is always best to start with a clean sponge damped in clean water. Spot clean a small area first and see if the stain disintegrates. Always remember to rub gently.

If the stain doesn’t budge (and it usually won’t with oil-based ones), add a tiny amount of dishwasher soap directly onto the sponge.

For stains that simply won’t go away, contacting us would be the best solution. We use industrial-grade cleaning materials that are guaranteed to clean even the toughest marks on your walls, while keeping the paint intact.

How to Remove Stains Off Painted Walls

Colouring Pencils and Crayons

The thing with children is that they always have the urge to be creative. They see almost anything to be their canvass and yes, that includes your walls.

You might have a budding Pablo Picasso in your midst and their masterpiece might look cute now but pretty soon you know you’ll have to clean it up.

A simple mixture of equal parts baking soda and water should do the trick. Apply a small portion of the paste on the marks and with a bit of elbow grease it should be easy to wipe off. Use a clean sponge and a separate bucket of water to remove the paste off the wall.

Pro tip: crayons and colouring pencils are made of wax. Blasting them with high heat should melt them a bit, making it an easier cleaning task for you to do. Use your hair blow dryer to heat the stains.

Take photos of your child’s artwork so you have a lasting memory of their attempt at being a creative artiste.

Permanent Markers

Permanent markers, when left in the wrong hands, can find its way to your painted walls.

Begin by trying to remove it using a bit of dishwashing soap and water. If this doesn’t work, get a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol. Try removing a stain from an obscure area; some paints react adversely to alcohol.

Once it comes off, slowly wipe off the stain. Do expect some paint to rub off as well. This is why you should be rubbing the stain slowly and lightly. It will take several tries before the stain is completely gone (or at least unnoticeable). Use a new cotton ball or small sponge whenever the previous one is already soiled with ink.

Hairspray can also help remove permanent marker stains from your wall. Spray on the affected area and wipe off the stain. We’d recommend trying this tip on a wall that is less likely to be seen by visitors as the ink might leave an even more unsightly stain when it isn’t wiped off immediately.

Ballpen Ink

Ink from ballpoint pens are oil-based, so try our dishwasher soap-and-sponge combo first. Another alternative can be found in the bathroom: your shaving cream. A nail polish remover is also an option, but you might want to apply this on very small areas only.

Water marks and Mildew

How to Remove Stains Off Painted Walls

Water marks

Before dealing with water mark stains, you need to get to the root of the problem first.

Water marks are usually caused by excess moisture inside your home, but more often than not the moisture might be a symptom of another problem. For example:

● A leaky roof
● Gutters are clogged
● High indoor humidity
● Ventilation is a problem

Once you have pinpointed the problem, then it will be easy for you to remove the stain and prevent it from coming back again.

A solution of bleach and water should be able to remove the stain. Mix 3 parts clean water to 1 part bleach. Always follow the 3:1 rule of mixing bleach with water.

Make sure to use rubber gloves before you begin. The bleach can be quite abrasive on the skin. Soak a sponge into the bleach solution and rub the stained area. Leave it alone and let the stain soak in the solution. 20 minutes should be enough.

With another bucket of clean water and another clean sponge, wipe off the solution. With a dabbing motion, use a clean paper towel or cloth to dry off the wall. You may also use a hairdryer (if the stain isn’t too big) or an electric fan to help the wall dry up.

If the stains can’t be removed with the bleach solution, you might have to repaint.


A fungus that, unfortunately, is quite happy to be living in your home as its sources of surviving are body oil and scum.

To get rid of marks left by mildew, mix vinegar and water (a quart of water with a tablespoon of vinegar to be exact). Gently dab on the stain and then rinse off with clean water.

Maintenance is Key

As with any surface the key to keeping your walls from looking drab is to simply maintain it.

When you see a stain, immediate act on it. Waiting for it to settle or spread will only make it harder to come off and might even require you to invest in a new paint job out of the blue.

When you clean your walls, try these tips from us at Pristine Home:

● Dust your walls from top to bottom
● Use your vacuum to get into woodworks. Most vacuum cleaners have an extension that allows you to do such
● When it comes to washing, do the opposite: wash from bottom to top, then side to side.
● Always line your walls with old towels. This will catch drips and prevent your floor or carpeting from getting soiled
● Use rubber gloves whenever you clean
● When you’re done, use a dry cloth to for a final wipe down.

Adding “wall cleaning” to your long list of chores to do might not sound too hot right now and we understand. Contact us for cleaning tasks that you don’t have the time and energy to do. Leave it to us to make your home clean and tidy again.

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