Monday, January 30, 2012

Spring Cleaning - It's Time to Clean Those Walls!

I know what you are thinking.  Here it is January 30th (yes I am a day late) and I'm talking about cleaning the walls.  Depending on where you live right now, it's either freezing outside or you are getting a taste of Spring temperatures.  Either way, if you get it done now and out of the way, when Spring gets here and everyone else is starting their Spring cleaning, you will be done!

It's important to clean the walls because they collect so much dust and grim, etc.  Actually you should clean your walls at least twice a year.  If you smoke, well, you don't event want to know how often they say you should clean them. 

Clean walls just make a home look brighter, no matter what the color.  So let's get busy!

Now, as this is the biggest project you will have, because it takes the longest, you get two weeks to complete this one.  if you have a big house, you have plenty of time.  This is not something I would have the little ones help with but the teenagers, DEFINITELY!  Now's the time to think up the big incentive for helping with this one.  Maybe a nice "Extra" added to their allowance.  Whatever you choose, make it worth it because this is probably the toughest chore in Spring cleaning and no body likes it so do something to make it fun!  Of course, my thought is always the radio!!!!  Crank it up to your favorite music and get a move on.

Now, with cleaning your walls, put away all of your cleaners.  You don't want to use them on your walls because they can actually damage the paint.  There are only two things you need (other than water) to clean your walls.  One is a little bit of dish detergent and the other is baking soda.

We will start with the baking soda first.  If you have scuff marks or pencil marks or whatever "marks" you have on your walls, put a little bit of baking soda on a damp rag and use it on those marks.  Now here's the thing, don't go overboard with the scrubbing.  The good thing about using baking soda is that yo don't have to "scrub".  Gently rub the area with the baking soda.  I repeat....GENTLY rub the area.  If you are white knuckling it, then you are going to take the paint right off the walls and then you are going to be really upset with me and come after my head and girlfriends, I just don't do a flat out run like I used to.  know what I'm saying. Just make a little bit of paste substance with the water and baking soda on your rag and work it in gently.  I repeat....GENTLY work it in.  I do circular motions going first to the right, then back to the left and back and forth until I get the mark off.  If you need to apply a little more baking soda that's o.k.  Just remember the word for the day is GENTLY. 

Working in one room at a time, do all of the spots first. 

Now, go grab your mop bucket and put about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon (that's all you need) dish detergent in it.  Don't go squeezing too much in because then you will have way too much soap on your walls and you don't want to leave soap on your walls.  Fill the bucket about 3/4 full with as hot of tap water as you can stand.  If you have Playtex or some type of gloves to protect your hands from the hot water that's perfect.  The hotter the water, the better but don't burn yourself.

Now start at the top and work your way down. If you start at the bottom, you will be redoing the parts on the bottom that the drips run down to. I have done the straight up and down motion as well as the circular motion and I have found that either way works.  It's all a matter of getting the dirt off.  I prefer the circular motion because it lets me see if I have missed any areas and also let's me see if some areas are dirtier than others. 

Once you have washed one wall, go empty your bucket, rinse it out and fill it up with warm clean water.  No soap in this one.  Be sure and clean out your wash rag very well.  Now, go back over the wall you just cleaned and make certain to get the soap off.  It's very very important to get all of the soap off.  The reason is very simple.  Soap attracks dirt and if you leave soap on your walls,within a very short time, you will wonder why your walls look like they need cleaning again.  This is the reason that you are using only a little bit of dish detergent in the water to begin with.  The hot water is actually doing the work and the dish detergent is acting like a boosting agent.  Remember my story about my dad cleaning windows with water only....good hot water is an incredible cleaner.

Now, let's talk about paint for a second.  Most homes have your basic flat paint.  However, some home use a semi-gloss or glossy paint.  If you don't know the difference, here's a little trick for you.  Flat has no shine; semi-gloss has a little bit of shine and glossy has a lot of shine.  If you have semi-gloss or glossy paint on your walls, you lucky devil you because you can put a little more muscle into it and not worry as much about rubbing off the paint.  However, you can still rub off the paint so be careful. 

 Now let's talk about your wash rags.  Get those rags out that you use to clean inside the house.  No outside use rags for this project.  You don't want to be transferring any possible stain or car wax, etc. onto your walls.  Also, don't use any of those "holey" rags (we've all got them) because you could shove your pretty nail right through the rag and gouge your walls.

This is the biggest, most time consuming project you will do.  Do one room a day only, unless of course you have teenagers, then you can get the job done quicker.  Remember to make it a great incentive for them.  They are going to grumble anyway but at least if there is a nice incentive, then there will be less grumbling.

Here's a thought for you.  If your kids are grown and out of the house do the girlfriend thing.  Call up a couple of girlfriends and get them involved.  You can do each others walls and have some great networking.  Everyone brings a dish to eat and when you are done with the walls then you  get to sit down, have a nice glass of wine and eat some great food!  Take turns doing each others homes.  It will be great fun and you will make some great memories and share some great stories and get some good ole cleaning done! go get cleaning.

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