Cleaning painted surfaces can be simple and easy. Bathrooms, kitchens, doors and frames are usually painted with an enamel finish recognized by the shine on the surface. These surfaces are very washable.
Warm soapy water will take off most dirt and grease. There are also several over the counter products that proclaim to be paint safe for cleaning. Always test by cleaning a small area that is inconspicuous just in case they are wrong. A dish sponge with a scrubby pad can get that little extra that won’t come off with the sponge. A white scrubby pad is usually more gentle that the green ones.
Flat, non shiny walls are a little trickier. The flat finish is common in the living and sleeping areas. Most paints that you buy to repaint with are washable. If the home was last painted by the builder or someone wanting to save as much as possible on the price of paint the paint may not be very washable. Again test an inconspicuous spot first to see how the paint will hold up.
Warm soapy water will work the best. If you scrub too hard you will make a mark in the paint that won’t come off. The scrubby will probably take paint off too. Depending on the qualityu of the paint you have to weigh the improved look of cleaning the wall against the detraction of a little damage.
For example, a black mark on the wall probably won’t wash off and scrubbing it will damage the paint. But, the damaged paint may be less noticeable than the black mark.
If washing isn’t enough, the next step is repainting. “Touching up” small areas or re-rolling a wall from corner to corner. If you don’t have any paint left over from the last paint job or at least the dried out can, the best place to get a sample to take to the paint store is from behind a switch or receptacle cover (this is where I say “Be sure and turn off the electrical breaker before removing the cover.”). There is usually a ½” of so of the wall hidden by most covers. Use a utility knife to cut through the outer paper layer on the drywall into the caulk. Take the sample to your favorite paint store. A close match takes a little time even with a computer to give them a head start. Plan ahead so you can drop it off and pick it up later.