Cleaning Handprints from Doors and Jambs

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated July 11, 2022)

Have you ever noticed just how quickly your doors and jambs have a tendency to collect handprints? Luckily, cleaning handprints from doors and jambs isn't all that difficult. Just follow these instructions, and you will soon have your doors and jambs looking pristine once again.

  1. Know your paint. The first step in cleaning handprints from doors and jambs is to know what type of paint (if any) was used on them. Each type of paint will require a different cleaning method, so if you do not know, you will have to do a bit of research. Considering that latex-based paint is one of the more common types used in most houses across the country, these instructions operate off of the assumption that you are working with latex paint.
  2. Prepare the workspace. Before you can actually begin removing the handprints, you need to prepare the area that you are working on. This simply means that you need to wipe the walls free of any dust, dirt, cobwebs, dander, or other light grime that may be on them. Simply put, you are going to lightly clean the doors and jambs. Often, all you need to do is wipe the area down with a clean rag.
  3. Choose a cleaner. When choosing the cleaner that you are going to use, make sure that it can be safely used on the type of paint you have in your home. A general rule of thumb is that you can simply put a little bit of degreasing dish detergent into a bucket and add some hot water to get the job done. For tougher stains, you may want to consider using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in conjunction with some mild degreasing detergent.
  4. Don't forget to ventilate. Whenever you are using any type of cleaning material, even something as mild as degreasing dish detergent, you should work in a well-ventilated area. This will help ensure that you have plenty of fresh air to work with, and that the door and jamb air dry rather quickly.
  5. Begin washing. Using a soft sponge, or even a soft, clean washcloth, begin washing your door and jamb. Do this by first dipping the sponge into your cleanser and then wringing it out. While you want it to be moist, you don't want it dripping wet. This means that you want to wring it out as much as possible so that it is damp only. Start on either the door or jamb, at the top, and then work your way down. This will help prevent any streaks from showing up and ensure that you don't miss anything. When you are finished cleaning the door or jamb, start on the other one. Repeat the cleaning process on both sides of the door. In addition, make sure that you are regularly rinsing out the sponge and that you periodically change the water.
  6. Dry, inspect, and repeat. When you are finished washing the door and jamb, you need to let them completely dry. You can either let them air dry or use a clean, dry rag to dry the areas you cleaned off. Either way, when the door and jamb are dry, you need to inspect them for any signs of dirt and grime that you may have missed. If you find any, repeat the entire cleaning process as many times as necessary until you are satisfied with the results.

Once you have your doors and jambs free of any handprints, you need to keep an eye out. Considering how quickly your doors and jambs can go from being clean to looking a mess, you should know that you may have to repeat the cleaning process as needed to ensure that they continue looking their best.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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