How to clean paintwork – a useful email, at last

I promised you a useful email, and at last here it is.

We only deal with a better class of client, and we know you will want to treat our beautiful paintwork with the love it deserves after we have packed up and gone home.

But accidents happen. In the photo above some child prodigy has drawn my likeness on your wall. It happens all the time.

You would like to leave it there (of course you would) but you feel it has to be removed. But how?

1. The first step in cleaning paintwork on walls is to lightly dust, or better still vacuum the wall with a soft brush attachment. 

2. We’ll assume your paint is a modern matt vinyl. If you don’t know whether it is classes as ‘washable’, try lightly cleaning a small inconspicuous area. Wait for it to dry though to be sure it is not lifting or smearing the paint.

3. Remove marks or stains first. Identify the stain and treat it appropriately. It’s best to test an inconspicuous area first, to check that the product you’re using won’t lift the paintwork.

One of the simplest and most effective wall cleaners is a paste made from baking soda and water. Sugar soap is also excellent. This removes stains such as crayon, pencil, marker, marks from items that have rubbed against the wall, and even ink.

Put some paste on a cleaning cloth and rub the stain gently.

Crayon marks and Black marks caused by objects rubbing against the wall can be lifted with a cloth dampened in white spirit or with a little toothpaste (leave it for a few minutes, then wash it off).
4. Wash the walls. It is usually enough to use warm, soapy water. A stronger alternative is to mix one cup of distilled white vinegar to a bucket of warm water. Vinegar won’t leave a residue so there’s no need to rinse, otherwise rinse clean as you go with a cloth dampened in warm water.Dab dry using a soft towel.Start at the base of the wall then move up gradually, drying as you go by dabbing with a clean cloth or towel. This will avoid streaks or drip marks.

Products containing alcohol are best avoided as they can leave shiny marks.

5. And hey presto! You may have deprived the art world of a masterpiece, not to mention a reminder of my awesome handsomeness, but you will have a nice clean wall and you will be showing the world the beauty of our decorating skills.
Best Regards,
Geoff Parvin

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