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Wash Away Cobwebs: Cleaning Walls and Ceilings

March 5, 2024

Wash Away Cobwebs: Cleaning Walls and Ceilings

Why Clean Walls and Ceilings?

As I go about my household cleaning routines, it’s easy to overlook the walls and ceilings. After all, they don’t get dirty as quickly as countertops or floors. However, allowing cobwebs and dust to accumulate can make a home look unkept and dingy. Regularly cleaning walls and ceilings can dramatically brighten up living spaces and create a tidier environment. Here are some key reasons why I make sure to wash my walls and ceilings periodically:

  • Remove cobwebs and spiderwebs – Cobwebs in corners or creeping across ceilings can collect surprisingly quickly. Sweeping them away prevents spider infestations and eliminates visible dirt.

  • Eliminate dust – Dust gradually builds up on walls and ceilings over time. Wiping them down helps get rid of dusty residue.

  • Brighten painted surfaces – Walls often look faded, dull or yellowed as they get dirty. Cleaning them revives the original vibrant painted color.

  • Improve air quality – Dust contains allergens and other irritants. Cleaning walls and ceilings removes these particles from the air.

  • Enhance aesthetics – Clean walls and ceilings simply make a home look more attractive and tidy. It’s an easy way to improve the visual appeal.

Supplies Needed

Cleaning walls and ceilings doesn’t require much in the way of specialized equipment. Here are the basic supplies I gather before getting started:

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Dusting wand or extendable duster
  • Vacuum with brush attachment
  • Bucket with water and cleaning solution
  • Sponge or soft scrub brush
  • Stepladder or ladder

Optional extras can include:

  • High-dusting telescopic pole
  • Vacuum with hose attachments
  • Paint roller and tray (for washing textured surfaces)

Preparing to Clean

Before carrying a ladder around and getting to work, it helps to do some quick preparation first:

Clear the Room

  • Move furniture away from walls and into the center of the room.
  • Take down wall hangings including pictures, mirrors and curtains.
  • Remove bedding and clear surfaces from under ceiling areas.

Mix Cleaning Solution

  • For light dust, water is sufficient.
  • For grimy walls, fill bucket with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent or cleaning solution.

Protect Floors and Furnishings

  • Use tarps or plastic sheeting to cover floors and keep them dry.
  • Drape cloth over furnishings that can’t be moved.

Cleaning Walls

With the right supplies gathered and room prepped, I can now focus on the satisfying task of wiping away dirt and revealing brighter walls:


  • Use a microfiber duster or vacuum brush attachment to remove any loose dust and debris.
  • Run the duster or brush over the entire wall surface, top to bottom.
  • Pay special attention to corners, edging along ceilings and around vents or fixtures.


  • Dip sponge or soft brush into the cleaning solution.
  • Rub the washing tool up and down a section of the wall using even, overlapping strokes.
  • Rinse frequently as the washing tool collects dirt.
  • Change the wash water often to prevent redepositing grime back on the walls.


  • Wipe away drips or streaks with a clean microfiber cloth.
  • Point a fan at walls to speed up drying time.
  • Don’t put furniture back until walls are completely dry.

For textured surfaces, using a painting roller makes washing faster and reaches into grooves and indentations.

Cleaning Ceilings

Ceilings collect surprising amounts of dust. Here are some tips for cleaning overhead:

  • Use a telescopic duster or vacuum wand to reach high ceilings without climbing up.
  • Alternately, carry a dampened microfiber mop pad up a ladder to wipe across ceilings.
  • Dry with a second clean mop pad.
  • Check for any peeled paint or plaster cracks needing repair.

Vacuuming ceilings first helps remove looser particles. Then a damp mopping picks up what remains.

Frequency of Cleaning

How often walls and ceilings need cleaning really depends on the room and how quickly grime accumulates:

  • High traffic areas like hallways may need cleaning every 1-2 months.
  • Lesser used bedrooms can go 6 months between cleanings.
  • Kitchens and bathrooms accumulate grease, splatters and humidity so clean every 3-4 months.
  • Basements and garages tend to get dingy faster than living spaces.

I often clean a couple rooms each month rather than doing everything at once. This prevents buildup and keeps my whole house looking cleaner.


While not the most exciting cleaning task, washing walls, corners and ceilings periodically is time well spent. By gathering the right equipment, prepping properly and using a systematic approach, I can eliminate dirt, revive colors and make any room look its best. A few hours of wall and ceiling washing pays off for months to come with brighter, cleaner rooms that feel freshly painted!

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