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12 Simple Ways to Remove Stains from The Wall & Ceilings

A Tangible Solution for a Pesky Problem

Ever look around your house and find yourself staring at an age-old stain on your wall or ceiling wondering, “How did that get there?” you’re not alone.

Hey, we get it, stains happen. Whether you are trying to be extra careful or you simply had a rough day, stains tend to leave an unsightly appearance in your home. In any case, you’re left to wonder “How to get stains off walls?”

It may appear simple, but it tends to be quite difficult. The first thing you try will be the scrubbing option. This method will not only make you exert more energy than you have but it could end with unsatisfactory results.

Let’s face it, we don’t all have hours and hours to waste on one solitary stain, do we? It could even take days if you’re stuck using the same archaic strategy. It could even destroy your wall’s paint if you scrub too aggressively.

Usually, if you have a white wall, these stains tend to be even more noticeable as time goes on. You’ll go home and see a big sign pointing to your mistake every day if you don’t take care of this issue.

Not to worry, where there’s a will, there’s away. Even though the matter at hand may seem difficult, it can be quite simple if you use the right strategies but even more so the right tools and chemicals.

We’ll show you how to clean wall stains and better yet how to get marks off walls without removing paint. This is our list of 12 simple ways to remove stains from the wall and ceilings, so you won’t have to endure having to explain to your guests how the accident occurred time after time.

1. Tools Needed

What are the products and tools needed to remove stains from walls and ceilings?

As we mentioned previously, having a pesky stain problem needs to be tackled with the right products and tools. Some of these items can be found in any household and others be bought at your local grocery store.

White Vinegar

Since we will go through various methods and strategies, you do not need to have all of these products but only some necessary ones that will get the job done.

These items are critical when it comes to properly remove the stains on the wall, the items include:

  • Two buckets
  • 2 gallons of warm water
  • Liquid detergent
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • natural sea sponges
  • Clean white microfiber cloth
  • Paint roller
  • Spray bottle
  • Duster
  • Vacuum
  • Cornstarch

If you already have some of these tools in your home, we recommend cleaning them thoroughly before use. It can be extremely damaging to use tools that haven’t been cleaned as they can worsen the stain.

Worried about needing to go out and spend money on cleaning utilities? Not to worry, most of these items are affordable so you won’t have to lose a chunk of your wallet.

2. Grease Stains

How can you remove grease stains from the wall?

If there is any stain that tends to be persistent, it’s grease stains. Typically, grease stains happen around the kitchen area due to the amount of grease used to make foods. These stains end up becoming increasingly visible over time.

Grease Stains

Putting an object in front of it can hide the stain but if you end up moving out or simply wanting to re-decorate the kitchen, the stain will deter you from your original plans. So, you ask yourself “how to remove grease stains from painted walls?”

First, you will need to gather your supplies. Start by grabbing a clean microfiber cloth or normal cloth, grease-fighting cleaner of your choice, or dawn dish soap (or vinegar), and a sponge. The following are the steps needed to take to remove the grease stain:

  1. Generously wipe the area – If the stain is fairly new, make sure to get any excess oil off with
    a clean cloth
  2. Apply a grease-fighting cleaner – You can use equal parts vinegar and soup or dish soap with
    hot water, just mix and lather it over the stain
  3. Scrub the area – grab a sponge or if not a clean cloth and start scrubbing the area gently.
    Make sure that the brush or cloth is moist with some of the cleaning solutions of your choice
  4. Rinse the spot – remove the solution with a clean damp cloth
  5. Drying time – dry the area as much as possible so there is no danger of growing mold.

This method will help in removing the grease stain from a wall or ceiling, if it does not remove the stain entirely, simply repeat the process a few times for efficiency.

3. Water Stains

How to remove water stains from painted walls?

Water stains prove to be a detrimental accident that can end up in repainting a huge portion of the wall if the stain is big enough. This could be a serious problem if you can’t quite find the right paint to blend with the rest of the wall. Your kitchen will end up looking less than appealing and any guest that gets a tour of the house will immediately take notice.

Water Stains

So, if you’re asking yourself “how to remove water stains from painted walls?” don’t fret, it is much simpler than you thought. Here you will need a bleach product and water. You will mix ten percent bleach with about ten percent water to make a solution. Put the solution in a spray bottle, and then spray the stained area. 

 Let the solution soak the stain and wait for it to dry. Then you will spray once again, we recommend that you repeat this process about five or six times. This will enhance the effectiveness of the method and reducing the water stain until it has completely disappeared.

4. Preventing Water Stains

How can I prevent water stains from happening?

Usually, water stains come from a much larger problem which can include leakage slipping through from the plumping system. This problem usually occurs from a water source and can usually be found in a kitchen or bathroom area. Leaving a water stain for too long can end up not only discolor your wall but also leave behind a foul smell.

To take care of this lingering issue, it would be best to call a plumbing service to take a look at the source problem. This will help stop the possibility of a second or third water stain from occurring.

5. Oil Stains

How do oil stains occur?

Much like grease, oil is a very well-known stain that lingers beyond its occasional spillage. Like grease, oil leaves behind dark discoloration that lessens the look of your home thereby lessening social interactions or possible home visits.

Oil Stains

 Whether it’s from an accidental slab of butter hitting the wall in the kitchen or simply laying your head against the wall and allowing your oily hair to touch the wall can easily imply a new oil stain.

6. Oil Stain Removing Strategies

How to remove oil stains from your wall?

Don’t grab that bucket of paint just yet! Oil stains can be tackled with various methods. First, you must gather the supplies you’ll need: grease cleaner, white vinegar, dish soap, baking soda, flour, or cornstarch.

You won’t need all of the supplies, as one or two of these products will suffice. Next, depending on the materials you have you will use one of the following strategies:

  • To remove with white vinegar: pour a bit of vinegar onto a dry sponge and start rubbing the stain.
    Due to the acetic acid compound, vinegar can break down oil or grease.
  • Dish soap strategy: Think about it, your dish soap can clean the grease off of pots and pans in
    your kitchen, imagine what it can do for your walls? Just soak a cloth in hot water, squeeze some
    excess water, then dip the edge of the cloth in dish soap. Scrub away afterward.

7. Persistent Oil Stains? Try This!

Want to know more ways to remove oil?

Baking soda: This powerhouse of a chemical not only washes away years of dirt but can be just the miracle you need to remove oil stains. Simply add one part baking soda and one part water to make a paste, next spread the paste over the stain. After letting it sit for some time, remove it with a wet cloth. Repeat if necessary.

Flour or cornstarch: Like baking soda, you’re going to make a paste with flour or cornstarch and spread it evenly on the stain. Leave for several minutes, then wipe away, and voila! The oil stain is gone.

8. Water Drip Marks

How dowater drip marks occur?

If you think water stains can be a nuisance, wait till you witness water drip marks. Equally if not more so irritating, water drip marks tend to occur in the bathroom or in really moist areas where water droplets will form from the moisture and start dripping down.

Water Drip Marks

Normally, water droplets can either disappear after the moisture is gone or will, unfortunately, remain there even after it’s dry. These marks tend to be incredibly unsightly if left there over time, it can lead to discoloration and even mold.

9. Water Drip Mark Removing Strategies

Asking yourself how to remove water drip marks from painted walls? Easy!  

You can start by gathering a few supplies like dish soap and a mild cleaner. Then mix these two products in a warm bucket of water. Get a clean rag and apply this solution to the water drip marks on the wall, rinse the walls afterward and the final step is to let it dry.

For this method, we suggest cleaning by working your way upwards against the droplet stains instead of downwards. This will prevent your cleaning solution from causing another water drip mark. If this method doesn’t work, you can also try using a baking soda solution.

Combine 1 cup ammonia, ¼ cup baking soda, and then 1 gallon of warm water, once you stir this solution you will fill up an empty spray bottle with it. You will then spray the affected area and start removing it with a moist sponge. This should take care of any residual marks leftover without damaging your walls.

10. Color Stains

Is there a way to remove color stains from walls?

For those homeowners that have children living in their household, it can be excruciatingly painful when they cause a ruckus and damage the interiors of your home during playtime. This can be evident when you find color stains on their walls that have no business being there.

wall color stains

You may be wondering “how to remove color stains from walls?” Luckily color stains tend to be easier to remove than other stains and could be dealt with by using a baking soda paste.

Simply mix one-part baking soda with two parts water, then apply it to the color stain on the wall or ceiling using a clean cloth, toothbrush, or a sponge. You will then rub the area gently so as not to damage the paint. Remove by wiping the excess paste with a clean wet cloth. You will repeat accordingly if there are still residual stains on the wall.

11. Picture Frame Spots

How can you remove picture frame spots from the wall?

When it comes to documenting your memories, nothing is more gratifying than having a precious moment framed in your home. But what happens years later if you decide to move to another home? all of a sudden you remove the picture frame only to find that the spot the picture frame was in has lightened since it hasn’t been touched.

This can feel frustrating as you would like the moving process to go smoothly. So, you end up wondering “how to clean picture frame spots off the wall?” Not to worry, there is also a method for getting rid of these unsightly placements as well. Make sure to remove all picture frames and objects in the surrounding environment as you will want to make sure no other picture or object gets damaged in the cleaning process.

Then you will mix ½ cup ammonia for every gallon of water. You can increase the amount of solution you combine if you are cleaning several spots at once to be more efficient. Before applying the solution, we recommend wiping the wall with a clean cloth to get rid of loose dirt or dust.

You will then submerge a sponge into the solution or a clean cloth and test a small area of the spot. It is important to test this first before applying all of the solutions.

If there are no secondary effects or damage, you will then apply the solution over the entirety of the area. Scrub gently with a soft bristle brush to remove the spots. You will then wipe the area clean. Repeat this process if necessary, to remove all residual spots.

12. Cleaning Tips – How to Upkeep Your Wall or Ceiling

How could you do maintenance so your wall doesn’t end up having stains or spots?

Now that we’ve shown you how to remove stains from painted walls, we will go over some preventive measures that will help you clean your walls or ceiling and keep stains or spots away. Here are some suggestions:

  • Dust – with a duster, make sure to dust your walls and ceilings once a month at the least.
  • Spot treatments – Treat the spots as soon as you see them appear with soap and water or dish soap.
  • Avoid touching – touching the walls with your hands can lead to oil stains or grease stains if you are not careful
  • Keep home insulated – Avoid too much moisture building up in your bathroom or home by opening a window now and then.

These tips will benefit you long term if you hope to keep your home stainless or spotless. For those who have a hard time keeping their home clean due to their hectic schedule, you can request home cleaning services to help.


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