How to clean fingerprints off walls

5 Ways How to Clean Fingerprints Off Walls

Fingerprints on walls are just unsightly!

Not only are they filthy but also they also look scary.

They are like markings that you see in horror movies.

In addition, they can be difficult to remove. 

Fingerprints on walls are often caused by kids.

This is because kids are fond of touching anything they see and that includes your wall too.

But kids are not the only ones who are causing all those prints, adults like to touch walls as well!

When you get home from work as an example.

Imagine all the lights are off at home and you are searching for the switch.

You will be touching the wall not noticing that you’re smudging your oily hands on the wall. 

But don’t worry, fingerprints on walls can be cleaned. This article will show you how. 

How to clean fingerprints off walls

Before starting to remove fingerprints off walls, consider your wall’s paint finish. Fingerprints are harder to remove if your walls have a matte paint finish compared to a glossy finish as an example. You can use dish soap, vinegar, ammonia, chalk, or a magic eraser. Do a spot test first when cleaning before working on a bigger area and don’t scrub too hard. For safety, wear gloves.

Different kinds of paint finish and how easy it is to clean fingerprints

Latex, gloss, and satin finish fingerprints can be easily removed through simple wiping or scrubbing. 

Eggshell finish – this paint type is more resistant to wiping, but can also be easily cleaned through simple wiping or scrubbing. 

Flat or matte finish – difficult and tough to clean because dirt clings onto it easily. 

5.Different ways to remove fingerprints off walls

Do a spot test on a small area first to see if the cleaner will affect the paint’s color.

If it does, you’ll have to try a different method. 

Remove dust and dirt off the wall by wiping it with water and a clean cloth.

You can also use a broom or brush for faster results. 

When cleaning the affected area, do not apply too much pressure or else the paint will wear off. 

Place a plastic or a rug underneath the area where you are cleaning.

This will prevent any unnecessary dripping onto the floor. 

1.Remove fingerprints using dish soap

Remove fingerprints using dish soap
Remove fingerprints using dish soap

This method is the easiest and most convenient way to clean your walls because dish soap is a common household product.

In addition, dish soap is gentle and won’t do any harm to your wall paint. 

What you need:

  • Warm water
  • Bucket or pail
  • Microfiber or clean cloth
  • Dishwater liquid

How it is done:

Fill the bucket or pail with warm water. 

Add some drops of dishwashing liquid in it, just enough to make the water soapy. 

Damp a microfiber or clean cloth and gently rub it on the spotted area. 

Let the area dry. 

Check to see if there are any fingerprints left. 

If there are, repeat the same process but this time, scrub a bit harder. 

2.Distilled vinegar for fingerprints on walls

Use vinegar for grease stains such as fingerprints
Use vinegar for grease stains such as fingerprints

If the soapy water doesn’t work, try distilled vinegar.

Vinegar has the capability to remove grease and dirt in your household. 

What you need:

  • Warm water
  • Bucket or pail
  • Microfiber or clean cloth
  • Distilled vinegar

How it is done:

Fill the bucket with equal parts of warm water (1/2 gallon) and distilled vinegar (1/2 gallon). 

Damp the microfiber or clean cloth or clean cloth and gently rub on the spotted area. 

Rinse the rubbed area with warm water.

Using the microfiber or clean cloth, dry the rinsed area. 

Check to see if the area is finally fingerprints-free. 

Repeat the steps if necessary. 

3.Cleaning fingerprints off walls using chalk

Chalk is powdery and absorbent
Chalk is powdery and absorbent

Fingerprints are oily and chalk is powdery and absorbent.

These characteristics help to remove fingerprints effectively. 

What you need:

  • White chalk stick
  • Microfiber cloth or clean cloth
  • Construction paper or cardboard

How it is done:

Blunt the edges of the chalk stick first by rubbing against the cardboard or construction paper.

This will prevent the sharp edges of the chalk from damaging your wall paint. 

Rub the chalk repeatedly against the affected area.

Let the chalk dust sit for 10-15 minutes. 

Wipe the area clean using a clean cloth. 

Then remove the chalk dust residue by wiping the area using a microfiber cloth damped in warm water. 

If fingerprints are still visible, repeat the steps.

4.Ammonia and water

Ammonia for hard to remove stains
Ammonia for hard to remove stains

If the dish soap, distilled vinegar, and chalk don’t work, try ammonia and water. 

What you need:

  • Warm water
  • Large bowl
  • Sponge or ammonia

How it is done:

In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of ammonia and two cups of water. 

Damp the sponge into the water mixture and scrub onto the fingerprints in a circular motion. 

Let the area dry completely to check if there are still spots left. 

Repeat the procedure if necessary. 

5.Magic eraser to get rid of fingerprints on walls

Magic or spot eraser is effective in removing fingerprints
Magic or spot eraser is effective in removing fingerprints

If all the mentioned options above don’t work, then it means the fingerprints are too stubborn for a natural cleaner.

It is time to try a store-bought magic eraser or spot eraser. 

What you need:

  • Magic eraser or spot eraser
  • Microfiber cloth

How it is done:

Put a dot of magic eraser or spot eraser onto the affected area. 

Let it sit for 15-20 minutes. 

Wipe the product using a microfiber cloth. 

If the fingerprints are still there, apply the eraser again. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Fingerprints Off Walls

What if the paint suddenly smudges or wears off when cleaning a wall?

This usually happens when you scrub the affected area too hard. In this case, you have no choice but to apply a new coat of paint. That is why it’s good practice to save some paint whenever you are painting a wall. You never know when you’ll need a touch-up again. 

Are baby wipes a good alternative for water and dish soap to clean fingerprints on walls?

Baby wipes have gentle cleaning ingredients that won’t do any harm to your wall paint. They are therefore a great choice to clean fingerprints off walls.


Conclusion

Fingerprints on walls are not nice to look at.

Greasy and oily substances are often difficult to remove.

However using dish soap, vinegar, chalk, ammonia or a magic eraser are 5 great ways to get rid of fingerprints on walls.

Don’t blame the kids.

Instead, give them a microfiber cloth and have them clean the fingerprints with you.

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