How to Destain Your Walls Instead of Painting Over Them!


There’s nothing like freshly painted walls to make your home look and feel new again! Unfortunately, a few wall stains (which are inevitable) can really drag its appearance down, not to mention the rest of your home interiors. The good news, however, is that you don’t need to repaint anything if you know how to get stains off your walls without removing paint. It’s a lot easier than most people think — well, at least it is with Simply Maid’s guide on how to destain your walls!

Depending on the type of stain or mark on the wall, the method to remove it will differ. Shared below are some common stains found on painted walls along with their respective stain removal methods and tips. Read on!

1. Mild Dirt

More often than not, a dusty wall makes mild stains appear more severe. Therefore, cleaning your interior walls with just a quick dusting every other month is highly recommended as it also prevents loose dirt from staining or discolouring the surface over time. Nevertheless, if you do find mild dirt stains on your walls, give the area a quick wipe down with a clean dry cloth, and then proceed to the cleaning method below:

    1. In a bucket or basin, fill up about a gallon of water and add just enough liquid dish soap or laundry detergent to create some suds. You shouldn’t require anything more than a mild cleaning solution for mild dirt stains on painted walls.
    2. Dip a microfibre cloth in the solution and wring it completely before gently wiping the stain. 

This method is effective in removing most types of surface dirt that turn into wall stains.

2. Kitchen Grease

The grease that becomes airborne and clings to your kitchen interiors can make the walls (and everything else) look really shabby and disgusting. While it may seem like grease stains on your walls are hard to get out, the fact is that a little grease-fighting detergent and water can do wonders! Here’s how you can remove grease stains from your kitchen walls:

    1. Take a plastic tool such as a spatula and gently scrape off some of the dried grease which may be crusty by now. It’s important to remove as much built-up grease from the surface before you apply the wall stain remover as it may end up creating a bigger stain.
    2. With that done, you can now make your homemade grease stain remover consisting of any grease-fighting cleaning agent and water. Start with a mild solution and increase the strength as needed.
    3. Dampen a microfibre cloth with your homemade stain remover and wipe the area until the greasy stains are removed.
    4. If the stains are stubborn, consider using a commercial degreaser for the job. Follow the instructions on the label to safely remove kitchen grease stains.

3. Crayon, Pencil & Ink

It may come as a surprise to many homeowners but it is really simple to clean up crayon, pencil, and ink marks from your wall. So simple that you will definitely have everything you need for the job in your home! Take a look below.


It should be noted that the faster you treat wall stains, the easier they are to remove. With fresh crayon stains, it’s as simple as taking a baby wipe to the walls and they will come right off. If the stain has had time to sit, a cleaning eraser will do the trick.


Just like you would erase pencil from paper using a rubber, you can get rid of pencil marks on painted walls using a regular eraser. The only noteworthy tip is that the rubber eraser you are using should be new or clean (without existing lead marks from a pencil rubbed off on it). If the pencil stain is old and still remains after using an eraser, proceed to clean the area with a microfibre cloth and baking soda. Simply dampen the cloth, dip it in a little bit of the powder, and scrub at the stain using minimal pressure. Rinse off the baking soda thereafter with a clean, damp cloth.

Ink Stains

Most pen ink stains on walls need to be dissolved rather than lifted. For this, apply shaving foam to the area, and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before using a clean, damp microfibre cloth to wipe off the stain remover. The remainder of the stain (if any) can be cleaned off the wall with nail polish remover and cotton. 

4. Water Rings

NOTE: This stain removal method should only be applied to white painted walls.

Rings and discolouration left from water stains on your walls will not come off with detergent, dry solvents, or pretty much any cleaning method other than the one shared with you below:

    1. Open up the windows for more ventilation and put on protective gloves and eyewear.
    2. Mix 3 parts water to 1 part household bleach. Stir it well and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
    3. Using the mist setting, spray the area directly to layer on the stain remover. Avoid saturating the wall.
    4. Dab the area with paper towels and allow it to air-dry for a few minutes.
    5. Observe the stain (which will be lighter already), and repeat the treatment as many times until it vanishes.

5. Soot Marks

Although they are grease-based, soot stains caused by candles or flames are quite stubborn, and rarely come out with the use of soap and water. Like ink stains, they need to be dissolved otherwise you run the risk of spreading the black stain around. The best solution to remove soot stains from your wall is undiluted rubbing alcohol which will dissolve most of the smoke stain while lifting the rest. Use a white towel/soft cloth for this but be sure to merely dampen it as opposed to soaking the cleaning tool. After the soot stain has been removed, wipe over the area with a clean damp cloth and leave it to dry.

6. Mould

It’s important to clean mould from your wall as soon as you identify it because it can be detrimental to people with underlying health issues related to the respiratory system. 

After you have removed mould from the surface, however, it is likely to leave a blackish or greenish stain on the wall. This can be removed using the following cleaning method:

    1. In a spray bottle, mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar in 4 cups of water; close the bottle and shake well.
    2. Spray the affected area using the mist setting; be sure to dampen the stains and surrounding areas that often get discoloured due to the presence of mould. Leave the vinegar to tackle the stains for at least 4 hours. In the time, you might have to re-spray the area if it dries up so be sure to check on it every hour or so.
    3. While you wait, fill a bowl with 2 cups of water and mix in 1 tablespoon each of baking soda and liquid dish soap. Stir it well and leave the bowl aside.
    4. At the end of the sitting time, dip a sponge in the bowl of your cleaning solution and wipe the wall to remove the previous cleaner and any parts of the stain that the vinegar did not remove.
    5. Finish off by rinsing the wall with a damp cloth.

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to turn a blind eye when a mild stain is spotted on their wall; this is, of course, until a few more pop up and then there’s talk of repainting the wall altogether! While a fresh coat of paint on your wall is great, it is definitely not necessary. Thanks to Simply Maid’s easy and effective methods to remove stains from your walls, you can hold off on spending a fortune to repaint your home interior walls for a long, long time!

Karen Saunders


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