How to Clean Painted Walls

Keep your walls clean and fresh without damaging the existing paint with these helpful tips.

A person in a red shirt leaning against a handrail and holding a yellow cloth to clean a food stain off a white-painted staircase wall.
Get step-by-step guidance on how to clean a painted wall.

How to Clean a Painted Wall

Pencil, pen, lipstick, marker, coffee, crayon—even the errant soccer ball: your walls face unavoidable wear and tear every day. Luckily, when you use premium-level latex paint—the most common type of interior paint—wall cleaning is easy.

Ideally, your walls are painted with a high-quality interior paint like Regal® Select Interior. Regal Select Interior resists stains, spills and scuffs. And its durable finish washes clean without losing colour or sheen integrity.

Just painted? Here are some tips on caring for newly painted walls:

  • Ideally, wait at least 2 weeks for newly painted walls to cure before dusting and cleaning them using the cleaning tips below.
  • If spills or stains DO happen, after 4-6 hours of painting you can safely clean the newly painted wall using the cleaning tips noted below.
If you want to know how to clean walls, we’ve got you covered. To remove scuffs and stains on any latex-painted wall, here’s what you’ll need:

Step #1: Inspect the Wall

Knowing the finish of your wall helps to determine your level of exertion to avoid damaging the paint. Generally speaking:
  • The higher the gloss or sheen, the easier to clean, e.g. satin/pearl, semi-gloss, high gloss.
  • The lower the sheen, the gentler you need to be, e.g. flat, matte, eggshell.

Step #2: Prep

  • Prepare one bucket for the washing solution.
  • Prepare one bucket for the clean rinse water.
  • Place towels or rags along the floors and baseboards to catch any excess dirt, dust, or water to protect your floors.

Step #3: Try Water First

How do you wash walls? One of the best cleaning agents is simply water, so let’s start there.
  • Before washing walls, be sure to dust your walls first. Use the brush attachment on your vacuum to gently remove any surface dust and dirt.
  • Gently rub easier stains and scuffs using warm water and a large, non-abrasive sponge.

Step #4: Try a Gentle Cleaning Solution

If warm water isn’t effective on marks, scuffs and stains, advance to a mixture of warm water and mild dish detergent.

  • Using rubber gloves to protect your hands, begin washing at the bottom of the wall, working your way up, so the cleaning solution does not run down the wall and cause streaks that may be difficult to remove.
  • Work in small, manageable sections, rubbing gently in a circular motion to avoid damaging the paint.
  • Rinse the cleaning solution as you go using warm water and sponge from your bucket.


Step #5: Consider a Stronger Cleaner for Tougher Stains

For tougher stains, you can use one of the below products, choosing the one that best works for your interior environment, and being careful not to use them together:

  • All-purpose cleaners like Method®, Fantastik® and Formula 409® and Simple Green®
  • Plant-derived cleaners like Mrs. Meyers® Clean Day

Once you’ve identified your product:
  • For best results, be sure to follow the manufacturers’ instructions on the bottle.
  • Clean from the bottom of your wall up, to avoid streaks and drips running down the wall
  • Don’t rub or scrub too hard: Let the solution do the work.
  • Rub gently in a circular motion to avoid damaging the paint.

Step #6: Dry Walls

Dry off excess moisture with a soft, absorbent cloth.

Step #7: Start with Premium Paint

Remember: Life’s best moments can be messy. With high quality paint on your walls, like Regal® Select Interior and other premium Benjamin Moore paints, you’re ready to face every-day wear and tear with a smile.

Interested in learning more?

Check out these professional tips and tricks:

Find more step-by-step tips on our How-To for Interiors and How-To for Exteriors pages. And as always, for the best expert insights on painting-related questions, visit your local Benjamin Moore store.

Regal® Select Interior

Ready to paint? Choose Regal® Select Interior which resists stains, spills and scuffs from the outset, and provides a durable finish that washes clean without losing colour or sheen integrity.

A bright blue-painted mudroom with built-in cabinets, bench and drawers, hanging straw bags and hats, and playful blue and white rug.

Key Features



Resistance to stains, spills, scuffs, marring and burnishing



Stands up to everyday wear and tear



Durable, washable finish

Wash clean without losing colour or sheen integrity

Unbeatable flow and leveling


Achieve professional results every time


Excellent hide and fast-drying


Complete projects faster and with fewer coats, even clean off-whites


Smooth to the touch

Provides a beautiful finish

Mildew-resistant coating


Stands up to humidity


Engineered with Gennex® Colour Technology


Contributes to superior hide and colour retention across all Benjamin Moore colours