How to clean scuffmarks on walls
Walls are everywhere. They vary in size, thickness, and dimensions. Most buildings can simply be deconstructed as a collection of walls that form its outer perimeter, with walls and doors sectioning off its other layers and usually designating which places are for which activities.
As with most things however walls will eventually get dirty just from basic wear and tear of daily use. Admittedly interior walls don’t experience as much abuse daily as, say, the floor of any establishment, however exterior walls are under constant assault from anything and everything from sunlight to activity from local wildlife daily.
Walls can get dirtied up all the time and while small and random dents can be ignored, some larger markings can be noticeable especially if the colours of the walls contrast heavily with the stains and become constant eyesores that need to be rid of before it grates on everyone else.
Before proceeding one must consider the types of paint used on the wall, assuming the walls were painted. Semi-gloss and enamel were designed to stand to substantially greater abuse than flat, stain, or eggshell finishes. Know your surfaces first and take the precautions necessary to prevent damaging them during the cleaning process.
Before we proceed, lay down some towels on the floor next to the walls being cleaned, they’ll do well to catch runoff and prevent slippery accidents near the wall and/or possibly damaging the floor with whatever runoff substances end up trying to make contact with it.
The key here is to gradually go from gentle to abrasive, so start with a soft cloth moistened with water which is then wrung out thoroughly. Gently buff the scuff mark with the dampened cloth gradually applying more pressure with successive buffing. If the scuff mark is cleaned, get a dry cloth and gently wipe the moisture away, if not, use a moistened sponge instead and scrub it in a similar fashion.
If the scruff hasn’t been removed, it’s time to apply soap. Dishwasher soap is usually sufficient for the task, so mix a water/dishwashing soap solution in a basin or bowl and dip the cloth in this mix. Gently buff the scuffmark with the cloth and only the scuffmark as saturating the wall with soap can make a bigger mess than intended. If the mark begins to disappear but you feel your application needs more strength, apply the dishwashing soap directly to your cloth and keep buffing until it has been removed, cleaning up is as simple as rinsing the area clean with a damp cloth, and using dry one to wipe everything away. If the scuff mark still persists use an all-purpose general cleaner on the mark and let it sit for some time and let its dissolving agents do their work and wiping it clean.
If all else fails observe the area in and around the scuffmark with your hand and take note the texture and other qualities of its surface. If any inconsistencies between it and adjacent walls are felt, a retouch may be in order. Scrub the surface with sandpaper until it is smooth, and paint over the sanded area with touchup paint or a custom finish you can get from a hardware store.