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How to Wash Drywall

B.T. Alo

Drywall, or sheetrock as it is also called, is the last thing to go on your walls before paint. It is essential that drywall be clean and dry before painting; otherwise, the integrity of your paint job will be compromised.

Dust is usually the biggest issue, but if a kitchen or living room area has been in use before painting, you may have to clean off some grease and grime as well. Washing unpainted drywall is similar to washing painted drywall, which is important for regular maintenance.

  1. Mix a cup of white vinegar in a gallon of water in a bucket and stir to combine.

  2. Dip a cellulose sponge into the vinegar solution and wring it out well. Cellulose sponges won't tear on the drywall and will not ooze water onto the drywall, which can be a problem as drywall absorbs moisture rapidly.

  3. Step onto a stepladder and begin wiping over the walls with the well-wrung sponge. Work from the top of the walls down, so you wash off drips as you go down.

  4. Wipe over the wall with a clean, dry lint-free cloth.


For thicker grime removal, use a solution of 1 cup ammonia in 1/2 gallon of water in kitchens and living rooms. Test a small patch of wall in an out-of-the-way position first to check for an adverse reaction on the drywall.


Don’t use scourers or scratch pads on unpainted or painted drywall as it will ruin the drywall finish.