How to get rid of smudge marks on the walls
Ugh, don't you just hate those
smudge marks on your walls? I have three kids and a husband who always seem to be leaving them every where. The problem is that you want to get rid of them with out messing up your walls. There are several methods to remove these unsightly marks from your wall.
First as with most every thing else prevention is always the best weapon in any battle. Don't use a flat based paint on walls and doors in high traffic areas. This is the hardest paint to try to keep clean. Use paint with gloss in it. Semi or high gloss paint is the easiest to clean so keep this in mind if you have children or pets. The gloss in the paint makes it easier to clean without taking your paint off your walls.
For most smudges I like to use a degreaser. The majority of smudges are oil based so this type of cleaner works best to break it down and remove the spot from your wall. My favorite degreaser is Awesome, which you can find at Dollar General or Dollar Tree. This degreaser has worked the best for me, but feel free to use what ever product you prefer.
Degreasers can take some types of paints off the wall, so test in a small inconspicuous area before you try it on a large area. If you are worried about this you can mix water with it to dilute the solution.
Spray the area with the solution and wipe the smudges off with a clean cloth. If the smudges are persistent I will use the degreaser full strength, and if necessary those green scrubbers (you can find them where kitchen cleaning products are) instead of a cleaning cloth.
The degreaser method works for almost all smudges and marks on your wall. However it does not work on all colors of crayon. For them I use WD-40 lubricant. You can find this in the hardware or automotive department. WD-40 also works well for removing stickers from glass and other surfaces. Spray it on the area and wipe off with a cloth. You may have to clean the area with a degreaser or a soap and water solution afterwards. It can leave an oily film behind.
A newer product is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, which most stores now have similar products available. They work well in removing all types of smudges and marks off the wall. The only draw back I have found is they tend to change the appearance of the gloss paints. It is only noticeable when the light catches it just right. Personally this does not bother me.
For a chemical free rout try using an all purpose steam cleaner. There are many different types on the market from hand held ones to bigger machines that do everything from floor, to windows, and bbq grills. They can be expensive; however mine has paid for itself in time and effort saved.
I have one of the larger ones. I use the concentrated steam tip and a smaller cloth covered tip to clean the walls. It has removed all crayon marks, smudges, and food particles I have tried it on. It does not work as well on pen and pencil marks. This is another method you need to be careful with where there is paint. If you steam an area too long it will remove the paint.