It's important to note that recent scuff marks are much easier to remove from walls, while older stains may require slightly more abrasive or aggressive treatments. For these reasons, it is advisable to act quickly when you come across these unsightly marks on your walls.
Depending on the severity of the mark and how long it has been there, an appropriate cleaning method may be applied. To help you figure out which one to use, here are our top tips for removing scuff marks from your walls.
Before attempting any of the following cleaning methods to remove scuff marks from the wall, test each one on an inconspicuous area of the wall to ensure they don't damage the finish.
It may come as a surprise to many, but some recent marks can be cleaned with water and a soft cloth. In fact, if you're not sure when the mark first appeared, it's a good idea to start with a gentle cleaning method (like this one) before moving on to cleaning agents and other techniques.
When using this particular cleaning method, be sure to choose a soft, clean white cloth, as a slightly soiled and/or colored cloth can transfer dirt/color to the paint finish. Another important tip is to make sure the cloth is just damp and not dripping. For best results, gently wipe the scuff mark (refrain from wiping away from the scuff mark, if possible) and use a clean side of the cloth where necessary. To finish, rub the area with a dry cloth to remove as much moisture as possible and let it dry.
If a damp cloth isn't enough, the next best (and relatively gentle) method of removing scuff marks from the wall is a cleaning solution made with mild soap and water. All you need is a few drops of mild dish soap mixed in a cup of water, along with a clean, soft (white) cloth or non-abrasive sponge.
Similar to the method mentioned above, your cleaning tool should be wet so as not to saturate the wall as you clean. Rub the scuff mark with minimal pressure until it is completely gone. If it's an older brand, it may take some time and repeated rubbing before the stain is removed; therefore, it is important to be patient when trying to remove scuff marks from the wall. When/if the treatment is successful, be sure to soak up excess water from the wall with a clean, dry towel.
The older the scuff mark, the more difficult it is to remove. However, when faced with one that refuses to go away with the gentle cleaning methods above, break out the baking soda and try this quick and efficient way to clean stubborn scuff marks off your wall.
Mix water and baking soda to make a slightly runny paste; Moisten a soft cloth or sponge with water and dip into the paste so that a small amount will transfer to the cleaning tool. Use this to gently rub the scuff mark without rubbing away at the stain (as much as possible). The great thing about baking soda is that it is a mild abrasive with exceptional cleaning properties, making it safe and effective to use on paint finishes and many other surfaces.
Also known as "Magic Erasers", melamine sponges are one of the best and most effective cleaning tools for removing wall stains, including scuff marks. The only drawback is that they can be too abrasive for some types of finishes and paint surfaces; therefore, in addition to testing an inconspicuous area of the wall, we recommend using minimal pressure when scrubbing walls with a melamine sponge.
To use the cleaning tool, you will need to soak it in water and wring it out completely to make it damp; then proceed to clean the scuff mark on the wall very gently in a back and forth motion. When you're done, pat the area dry with a clean, dry towel.
White, gel-free toothpaste is very effective at removing stubborn marks from walls, floors, furniture, and shoes too! The reason behind its successful cleaning abilities lies in the mild abrasiveness of the paste which is further enhanced by brands that include baking soda in the ingredients.
When using non-gel (white) toothpaste to clean wall scuff marks, apply a minimal amount of paste to the affected area and let it sit for a minute or so. Then moisten a cotton swab or soft cloth and gently rub to remove the stain. Be sure to remove any toothpaste residue with a damp cloth, then pat the area dry.
Although the mere sight of scuff marks on a freshly painted wall can be awful, there's no need to fear because, contrary to popular belief, scuff marks don't need to be painted (for the time being, at least). Use the cleaning tips and methods above to remove scuff marks from your beautiful walls, and remember that the sooner you act, the easier it will be to remove.
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