If you have pets or children running around the house, you already know that the walls of your home should be cleaned regularly.
It may not seem that important at first, but cleaning the painted walls every so often will keep the home looking good, help protect the paint, and keep the environment hygienic.
No matter the paint type on your walls, you should use a non-abrasive cleaner to keep the walls clean. One of the better products is Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner.
Simple Green is a type of cleaner that not only removes dust, dirt, fingerprints, stains, and more from your walls but also protects the paint quite well. It works so well because it is non-toxic, free of TSP, bio-degradable, and has no harsh fumes. Plus, it’s gentle on the wall finishes and won’t cause them any damage in the long run.
Cleaning Painted Walls with Simple Green
Because the product is available in a ready-to-use format, you can start right away with rinsing your walls…
Step 1- Prep
Before you start cleaning with Simple Green, remove any items on your walls, like artwork, wall hangings, etc. Also, move any furniture close to the walls towards the center of the room.
Now, dust and vacuum the side of the walls to have a clean surface. And then, lay down towels or drop cloths if you do not want any cleaning solution to reach the floor.
Step 2- Mix and Start Cleaning
Mix one ounce of Simple Green with four cups of water in a bowl or other container.
Test the solution on an inconspicuous area of the wall to get confirmation that it won’t affect the paint color by gently dabbing a damp cloth into the mixture and onto the wall.
Once confirmed, you can use the mixture to clean the wall sections. When rubbing, apply light pressure and be as gentle as possible not to ruin your walls. Also, be mindful of any plug outlets, phone jacks, and light switches to minimize the chance of an accident.
Step 3- Focus On Heavy Scuff Marks
For stains and scuff marks that do not readily come off the wall, soak the Simple Green solution on the mar mark for at least a minute or so. Then, wipe with a clean cloth to clean the marks. Using circular motions in between will minimize any potential marks you may leave behind.
Remember that the type of paint will dictate the effort you will put into cleaning it. For example, satin, eggshell, or flat finishes are somewhat delicate, so you must be careful when wiping or rubbing them to clean away the dust, dirt, or grime.
Can You Clean Grease Off Walls with Simple Green?
Simple Green effectively cleans grease off the kitchen walls without damaging the existing paint layer. And that’s why experts like Sherwin Williams recommended it for paint prep and regular cleaning.
The more often you use Simple Green to clean the kitchen walls, the less the grease will build up over time on the painted walls.
To make the cleaning job a breeze, it’s good to utilize a sprayer with Simple Green.
- Mix two cups of warm water and one ounce of Simple Green in a spray bottle.
- Spray the wall with grease, oils, or ketchup stain, then wipe down it using a damp cloth or paper towel to remove both solution and dirt.
- Afterward, wipe with another damp cloth and let the area air dry completely.
What’s in Simple Green – Different Products and Applications
The main ingredients in Simple Green are:
- Citric acid
- Sodium Citrate
- Sodium Carbonate
- Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate
- Methylchlorosiothiazolinone, etc.
The manufacturer of Simple Green also adds several unspecified dyes that offer their products its characteristic dark green color. Depending on the specific products, scents like lemon and lavender can also be added. A complete list of ingredients can be found here, just in case you need to check.
The company offers a variety of cleaning products both for household and industrial usage, including:
- All-Purpose Cleaner
- Concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner
- Stone Cleaner & Polish
- Outdoor Cleaner Plus
- Laundry – Sunshine Fresh
- Multi-Surface Floor Care
- Outdoor Odor Eliminator
- Bike Cleaner & Degreaser
- Heavy-Duty Industrial Cleaner & Degreaser
While all these products do not irritate most users, it’s good to avoid getting the product in contact with the eyes and mouth.
Applications Around Home
Simple Green is a popular non-flammable cleaning product used in homes for nearly 45 years. It’s ideal for washing a variety of different surfaces such as walls, floors, baseboards, stone, ceramic, limestone, and granite countertops, along with delicate objects like glass, jewelry, cosmetic brushes, ceiling fans, and baby toys.
You can also use the product for cleaning carpet stains, even in a carpet cleaning machine for deep cleaning carpet fibers.
That said, Simple Green products are not recommended for use on materials such as suede, leather, unfinished/untreated wood, opals, or pearls. It can also be harsh on certain types of plastics.
So, when using Simple Green, always remember to test a small, inconspicuous area of the surface first to check for any adverse effects.
Can I paint over scuff marks without cleanup?
It is not advisable to paint over finished walls with scuff marks as they will show through the new paint and be very difficult to remove afterward. If you must paint over them, use a primer specifically designed to cover up imperfections and conceal the scuff marks on the surface.
Also, remember that the scuff marks will be more noticeable on gloss and semi-gloss-painted walls than on flat-painted walls. This is because the sheen of the paint reflects light, making imperfections more noticeable. So if you are unsure, it is best to go with matte finish paint when covering scuff marks.
What to use to rinse walls if I don’t have Simple Green?
If you don’t have Simple Green or prefer an alternative cleaner, Pink Stuff is a great all-purpose cleaning paste that won’t damage wall paints. Simply apply it to the walls and wipe away with a lint-free cloth for fast and effective removal of dirt. When you’re done, rinse the area clean with water, then dry off with a towel which will ensure optimal end results.
Baking soda and vinegar can also be used as a substitution to eliminate mineral deposits, soap scum, and anything fragrant that has already made its way into the walls. Nevertheless, it is essential to remember that combining these two items will generate a white film which may require some effort to clean from previously painted walls.
Are Purple Power and Simple Green the same or different?
Purple Power and Super Clean products are strong degreasers used chiefly to clean aluminum car parts. These are designed to be powerful cleaners and degreasers to penetrate grease, oil, and dirt on contact so that even the toughest stains can be wiped away in seconds.
Simple Green can also be used for cleaning automotive parts and road grime, but it’s not as strong as Purple Power.
The bottom line
Simple Green is your go-to all-purpose cleaning product for the ultimate paint preparation and cleanup. Not only does it effectively clean walls before you begin painting, but it also eliminates any lingering stains or spills on the floor after you’re done with a coat.
Plus, by following the instructions in its packaging correctly, this cleaner can restore even those paintbrushes and rollers back to their original glory in a pinch.
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Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.