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Tips for keeping your walls and woodwork clean

Updated: 
March 23, 2014 - 12:05am

Walls can get dirty before you know it — from a splatter of spaghetti dinner to the crayon artistry of a roaming toddler to fingers simply reaching for a light switch.

It’s easy to pass by walls and woodwork every day without a second glance, but spring-cleaning season is a great time to give them the attention they deserve.

Like many housekeeping tasks, regular cleaning can help avoid bigger cleanup work later on.

“It doesn’t have to be as difficult of a job as it sounds,” said Amy Panos, senior editor at Better Homes and Gardens. “The easier you can make it on yourself, the more likely you are to do it.”

Dirt and scuffs

Walls tend to get dirtiest around light switches and door knobs.

“Even if a hand looks clean, it still has a little dirt and oils that over time build up and eventually make that area of the wall dirty,” Panos said.

Walls also get marked up from accidental kicks or the brush of a bag near the baseboards. Parents know how toddlers’ hands often find their way to walls, either with filthy fingers or with crayons or markers.

These fingerprints and other blemishes are best tackled right away. “The sooner you can get to a mark that is noticeable, the easier it will be” to clean, said Sharon Grech, a color and d