I Tried the Viral $5 Foaming Cleaner on My Grubby Walls, and Here’s What Happened

published Oct 21, 2023
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Dining room wall marked before cleaning with Zep foaming wall cleaner.
Credit: Shifrah Combiths

When we bought our new house, to save cash, we opted to have my husband repaint the entire house. Before we moved in, he spent hours spraying every room, from the tops of the baseboards up to (and including) the ceilings — and it was not an easy job. In most places in the house, the Sherwin-Williams White Flour is nothing but exactly what I hoped for: clean, fresh, and slightly warm. But in some rooms, the white already shows all the grubby handprints, food splatters, and dog rub marks you can imagine this family of seven (plus pups) has generated. 

I regularly wipe down the “trouble walls” with a damp microfiber cloth and sometimes have to resort to a Magic Eraser. I also frequently mop the walls with hot water and powdered Tide. I never expected to spend so much time cleaning our walls! But here we are. 

When I saw this TikTok raving about Zep foaming wall cleaner, you better believe I took notice. The video shows the area around the kitchen table and the “shadows” created by kids rubbing hands all over the walls — it was a very familiar sight. The Zep foaming wall cleaner turned that grubby wall into the pristine corner a dining nook should be. Naturally, I had to try it. 

I ordered some on Amazon for only about $5, and couldn’t wait to try it in my own kitchen. Our dining nook has not only the usual marks that surround an eat-in area, but also marks where our chairs hit the wall. I shook the can of Zep and got to work. 

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

What Happened When I Tried Zep Wall Cleaner

The first thing I noticed that I wasn’t too crazy about was the product’s strong smell. It wasn’t an unpleasant scent, but after a while I began to feel like it was a bit too much for me. I’d advise anyone with chemical sensitivities to choose a different product or method. 

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

Additionally, I was disappointed that the wall cleaner didn’t get the scuff marks from the chairs or the stray crayon marks off the walls very easily. I repeated spraying and wiping a few times, and each time it got a bit better, but it didn’t erase the marks like I’d hoped. 

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

However, there were several things I did like about the wall cleaner. To start, the foam cleaner was fun to use! The foam had some “action” to it which really seemed to help lift stains off the wall. The cleaner was exceptional at melting away any kind of greasy marks, like those left by hands, bodies, or dogs. I really was amazed at how these came off with just the lightest touch of my rag. In addition, the Zep foaming wall cleaner didn’t damage the paint at all. The paint has a satin finish, which is more durable than a flat finish anyway, but there wasn’t any hint of dulling after using the wall cleaner, which can sometimes happen with vigorous use of a Magic Eraser or other scrubbers.

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

The bottom line? While there are other methods that work nearly as well as the Zep foaming wall cleaner (like Tide and hot water with a rag or mop, in my own experience), Zep is both extremely effective and convenient. It’s much easier to whip out a can of cleaner than to mix up a solution and haul out a bucket and mop. Zep is also great on door jambs and doors and turns cleaning these spots in the house into something routine rather than reserved for a deeper-cleaning day. In short, I feel like the Zep foaming wall cleaner isn’t exactly a must-have, but a really great nice-to-have that will definitely help you keep your home cleaner. 

Buy: Zep Foaming Wall Cleaner, $5.48