How to clean fingerprints off walls and door jambs

Walls and door jambs are magnets for attracting fingerprints for both kids and adults alike. But these fingerprints can quickly make the doors and jambs look grimy and smudged, giving the house an overall dirty look.

However, the good news is that it is easy to clean fingerprints off walls and door jambs. If your walls and jambs look like they could use a cleaning, the following tips will help you.

Know what kind of paint is on your walls and door jambs
The way you clean your walls and door jambs will depend on the type of paint that has been used on them. Certain paints can't withstand harsh cleaners or bleaches, and you'll end up wiping the paint right off the wall.

As a general rule, most walls use latex or alkyd paint. Latex is water-based and is easy to wash. Alkyd is the other most common type of pain and is durable and washable. Your walls and door jambs will typically be of the satin or semi-gloss finish. These are easy to clean with any type of all-purpose cleaner or with regular soap and water and a sponge or soft cloth.

Prep the walls and door jambs.
Make sure before you start cleaning fingerprints off the walls you've wiped them clean of dust, dander, cobwebs, or other debris with a duster or a cloth.

Find a cleaner
Depending on your paint type, you can use a regular multi-purpose cleaner, or you can mix a solution of your own. One powerful mixture for cleaning walls and other painted surfaces includes mixing ½ cup vinegar, 1 cup clear ammonia, ¼ cup baking soda, and 1 gallon of warm water. Or, you can simply use warm water mixed with dish soap.

Remember to properly ventilate the area when you use cleaning agents, and keep pets and children away from any mixtures you may have made. In addition, you will also want to wear gloves. This will protect your hands from harsh chemicals and keep them from pruning or drying out.

Wash your walls
Using a sponge or a soft washcloth, wet it in the solution and wring it out so it is not dripping or sloshing. Avoid using paper towels if you are using a multi-purpose cleaner; the dye from some cheaper brands can rub off onto the walls. When you are finished wiping away the fingerprints from your walls and door jambs, you can let them air dry.

Tough smudges, or fingerprints that were dirty, may need a little more work. Many people recommend a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for these types of stains.

Consider order
If cleaning the fingerprints off of your walls and doorjambs are part of a deep-cleaning you're giving your home, save them for next to last, after you have swept but before you have mopped, or last. Whichever you prefer is up to you. Saving it for last means you don't have to worry about sloshing the mop onto your newly cleaned door jambs or have dust or particles from mopping fly onto the walls. Waiting before you mop means not having to worry about re-cleaning your floors if cleaner or dust drips down onto the newly-mopped floors.

By following the above steps, you can clean the fingerprints from your walls and door jambs.

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