How to Remove Fingerprints from Walls

If you have kids as I do, you know that fingerprints on walls are an unavoidable and ongoing problem. I constantly remind my kids to keep their hands off the walls, but inevitably they end up covered with dirty fingerprints and unsightly smudges. If the paint is flat it’s nearly impossible to remove the prints and grime. Try scrubbing flat paint with an ordinary wet rag and the paint will come off before the offending fingerprints.

I currently live in a rented townhouse apartment, and unfortunately for me, the walls are covered in flat white latex paint. Dirty hands create marks that stick like glue and stand out like a sore thumb, but over the years I discovered a number of easy ways to remove fingerprints from walls. The following easy ways to remove fingerprints from walls will help you keep your walls looking as clean as the day they were painted, even if they’re covered in flat latex paint.

Baby Wipes

I haven’t had a baby in my home for over three years, but I keep a supply of baby wipes on hand at all times. I’ve found they’re a great tool to remove prints from walls. Just lightly rub the marks with a baby wipe, and watch them disappear. The ingredients in the wipes break down the oils in the fingerprints and gently remove dirt. I wouldn’t want to be without a container of baby wipes since I never know when one of the kids will create new smudges.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

If you’ve never tried the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser you have to give it a try. This eraser that truly works like magic and removes fingerprints on walls in a jiffy. On the downside, this magic eraser also removes glossy finishes, so it should only be used on surfaces covered with flat paint. I made the mistake of using it on a wall painted with satin paint. The magic eraser removed the dirty fingerprints, but it also removed the shine.


Years ago I was desperate to remove fingerprints from my dirty white walls, but nothing seemed to work. This was decades before Magic Erasers existed, and an ordinary wet rag didn’t remove the prints from my walls covered in flat white latex paint. I don’t recall why I tried toothpaste. Maybe I had read about the wonders of toothpaste in the newspaper, or maybe I tried it out of desperation. Whatever the reason I’m glad I gave it a try. White toothpaste on a damp cloth took the prints right off. Not only did my walls look clean, but they also smelled minty fresh!

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