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Spray bottle next to hair spray in a bathroom
Credit: Sang An

Q. How do I remove hair-spray residue from my bathroom walls?

E.J. Foster

St. Augustine, Florida

A. Apply rubbing alcohol and water. If your daily spritz of spray has left a splotchy residue on the wall, a simple at-home solution will do the trick. (Test first in an inconspicuous area to avoid possible damage.) For semigloss paint and vinyl-based wallpaper, mix together one part rubbing alcohol to two parts water with a drop or two of dishwashing liquid. Shake the mixture in a spray bottle and lightly mist the affected area. Let it sit for a minute, then spray again. Wipe dry using a microfiber cloth, then wipe again with a slightly damp cloth. “The alcohol acts as a solvent to break up the oily residue on the walls,” says Allen Rathey, president of “The dishwashing liquid takes care of any other dirt or stains.” Don’t use this solution on flat paint, however; it may leave streaks. Instead, just wipe with a slightly damp cloth. (If that doesn’t work, you may need to repaint.) And the next time you spray, stand about five feet away from the walls so perfecting your updo doesn’t do any damage. ―Ashlyee Hickman

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