Expert cleaning advice for tiled or paneled walls

Many types of wall materials readily absorb stains, and others can become dulled over time. But with these cleaning instructions, you can keep your walls looking new.

Expert cleaning advice for tiled or paneled walls

Keep tile and brick fresh

  • To get rid of soapy film on ceramic tile walls, wipe with an ordinary, non-abrasive liquid household cleaner (either diluted or full-strength).
  • As an alternative, use a mix of one part vinegar to four parts water. For the toughest jobs, a mix of 250 millilitres (one cup) ammonia, 125 millilitres (1⁄2 cup ) vinegar, and 50 grams (1⁄4 cup) baking soda in 4 litres (1 gallon) of warm water is even better.
  • Once the tile has been cleaned thoroughly, rinse it with water to remove all traces of cleanser. To bring the tile back to its original shine, buff it with a soft, clean cloth.

Revitalize stained or mildewed grout

To make your grout look as good as new, mix a bleach solution consisting of 175 millilitres (3⁄4 cup) liquid chlorine bleach and 4 litres (1 gallon) of water.

  • Apply the mixture liberally with a cloth or sponge.
  • You can scrub stubborn stains with an old toothbrush. Be sure not to brush your teeth with it after!
  • Rinse the stained spots thoroughly and, if necessary, repeat the procedure.

Eradicate oil and grease stains

To remove oil and grease stains from a vertical brick wall, such as a chimney face, use this special blotting technique.

  • Cut a piece of plastic half again as large as the stain.
  • Using duct tape, attach the side and bottom edges to the brick to form a pouch. Fill the pouch with absorbent cement powder or cat litter, then close the top edge.
  • Leave the pouch in place for several days, opening it just enough to stir the granules from time to time so that fresh absorbent material is in contact with the stained brick at all times. Remove when the stain is gone.

Keep wood paneling looking sharp

Most paneling — both real wood and simulated wood grain — come from the manufacturer with a pre-applied finish. You can usually be clean household stains and finger marks with nothing more than a damp cloth.

Alternatively, brighten surfaces with a liquid wax cleaner, applied lightly. Wipe away the wax until you no longer see smudge marks when you rub the panel with a clean, dry finger.

Deal with heavily soiled areas

For heavily soiled areas, use a mild soap or detergent. Avoid cleansers with coarse abrasives or solvents, which could damage the protective surface. For textured paneling, you're best off cleaning with a vacuum cleaner's dusting brush.

Eliminate light scratches

  • You can eliminate light scratches that go no deeper than the finish by applying a coat of clear wax with a damp cloth.
  • Always rub with the grain.
  • Deeper scratches that reach through to the wood -particularly when the panel is stained a dark tone - may require filling. Use a colour-matched putty stick, available in most hardware stores.
  • Finish by waxing and buffing for a uniform appearance.

When they aren't hiding behind pictures or mirrors, your walls need to be looking their best. Use these tips to keep them clean and presentable.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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