Cleaning painted walls


Tiny bungalow in MO. I painted the kitchen with Lucite semi-gloss about 20 years ago. No chip, peel, little/no fading. But, of course, it's dirty. Not super-bad, but dirty enough that it streaks badly when a spot is cleaned.
I don't wanna re-paint. I got a roll-a-matic mop, tried "Grease Relief" and Mr. Clean on it. Mr. Clean cleaned most of a test area, but the 1954 plaster-on-steel-lathe is a little rough, and some spots won't clean. "Grease Relief" wasn't up to the task at all.
Sooooooooooooo, what's the best way to clean dirt/grease off of a good semi-gloss paint finish?
Thx, Peetie
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On 9/23/2008 4:47 PM Peetie Wheatstraw spake thus:

For stubborn *spots* of grease (not the entire wall), I'd try one of my favorite solvents, naphtha (aka charcoal lighter fluid). Or paint thinner or mineral spirits: basically same stuff. Followed by whatever water-based cleaner you normally use. It won't harm the paint. Will smell a little for a little while, but should work well.
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Peetie Wheatstraw wrote:

I used to use Fantastic on my kitchen walls and ceiling - even wallpaper. In my case the paper must have been extremely good, as it was never affected (vinly coated). Fantastic is tough stuff and I would not recommend it on wallpaper :o) My kitchen paint was Ben Moore semi-gloss alkyd and it stood up to all kinds of abuse. Fantastic really cuts grease. Formula 409 is also good, perhaps not as strong as Fan. Spic n' Span is good.
I had a ceiling with combed texture, so spray cleaner and a terry cloth rag were the only way to go. Nasty job, swirling a rag around the textured thingies on the ceiling :o) It has to be rinsed with rag wrung out in plain water.
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I gotta bad back, can't spot clean everything by hand with rag/sponge. Apply with long-handled mop thingness or not at all. Ceiling needs done, too (AAaarrgghh!).
So, how did you apply Fantastic? Rag/sponge?
Peetie
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Peetie Wheatstraw wrote:

I stood on a short ladder and sprayed it on - from a height and directed horizontally, it doesn't rain down on me. I would let it soak a while and then clean up with clear water and a rag. I had no kitchen vent fan, so part of the ceiling really got dirty and greasy. Also did a lot of cooking in those days :o) It is really tough for me to do overhead work, but I just took it in small spells. Fantastic is very strong, so it really does all of the work, other than the rinse. The ceiling was a real pain due to the circular combed texture.
Scrubbing Bubbles is also a very good cleaner and comes in an aerosol. You would probably have to wear a mask and goggles, but spraying it on and using the mob thingy might work. Also, the mop- squeegies for washing windows might work if you put down a drop cloth of some kind.
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Mine'd be just as bad. Maybe worse.
I could work several hours off a ladder .... 20 years ago. :-)

The wall finish is too rough for a squeegie. Either I get one of these solvents to work from the roll-a-matic sponge, or I'll (latex) paint the damned thing again.
Thx, Peetie
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On 9/24/2008 8:51 AM Peetie Wheatstraw spake thus:

Except that in order to repaint it, you're going to need to get that crud off first ...
How about some other kind of mop-rag thingie on a handle? Must be something that'll get into little crevices.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

There is a mop-like thingy for washing windows that might work and can be put on a long handle. It is wide, like a rubber squeegy, but is fiber that will soak up some water and can be wrung out. Or, spray on soapy cleaner, let it soak, rinse by spraying with a garden sprayer with plain water, let dry? Messy :o)
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On Wed, 24 Sep 2008 11:00:02 -0700, David Nebenzahl

At the auto supply stores they sell brushes for washing car tires and wheels. The bristles are about 3 inches long.
Like this one at Harbor Freight for $3
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber220
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On Tue, 23 Sep 2008 18:47:00 -0500, Peetie Wheatstraw

A heavy duty detergent will clean walls. Mr Clean is a good cleaner and should clean walls well, and the tough areas use Fantastic. If you can find it use TSP. Rinse the walls at least 2 times. Use rubber gloves and eye protection.
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Never failed me before.

I think I got some in the basement. But it didn't do so good when I tested it years ago.

1.) I appreciate your and the others help.
2.) Here are the parameters of the problem:
a.) Walls and ceiling. b.) Textured paint, rough, uneven surface. c.) My poor health.
In a nutshell, if it's just standing and scrubbing (little/no ladder) with a sponge-mop (roll-o-matic), I can do 20 min. here, 20 min. there, and get it done in under a week.
Otherwise I fear I'm outa luck.
Cheers, Peetie
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clipped

Perhaps you can make a deal with a neighbor or relative who is more able to do the most difficult part for you, in trade for work that is easier for you to do. Make a deal. Good luck! :o)
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