Cleaning Stucco Walls with Ease

In addition to possessing a unique look, stucco carries a number of advantages that make it a popular building material for both interior and exterior walls. Layers of stucco provide temperature control that reduces the amount of energy needed to provide heating or cooling. Stucco also reduces noise transmission through walls, is fire retardant, and resists mold and mildew. The downside to stucco walls is simply that the porous, crumbly nature of the building material makes them higher maintenance than other forms of drywall or siding. Stains can be absorbed deep into stucco, and if you apply too much pressure or abrasion when trying to remove a stain, the stucco may crumble. To avoid stain buildup, stucco walls need to be cleaned regularly. There is some good news, however. If you clean stucco walls on a regular basis, the cleaning process itself is quite easy.

The first step to cleaning stucco walls with ease is to assemble the materials you need. Whether you’re working inside or outside, you’ll need soft cloths, a mild detergent, and of course water. For exterior stucco, you can use a garden hose with a nozzle that has a low pressure setting and stand back from the wall as far as you can to reduce the water pressure even more. If you’re working on interior stucco, a bucket of warm water will work just fine. The water is the key component of cleaning stucco. Before you really get to the meat of the cleaning process, you should wet the stucco wall down. This does two important things. First, it draws stains that have absorbed into the stucco to the surface. Second, it prevents the stucco pores from absorbing dirty water later on in the cleaning process. When wetting the wall, always work from the bottom to the top.

If you are regular about your schedule for cleaning stucco walls (you should clean exterior stucco about once a season and interior stucco slightly more often), most dirt and stains should come off with just water. Use gentle water pressure or light elbow grease and a soft rag or soft bristle brush to rub out the dirt. If you have more stubborn stains, you can add a mild detergent to the mix. TSP is a common household cleaning agent that works well on stucco. Always do a patch test with your detergent before applying it to large sections of the wall to make sure that it doesn’t damage the stucco.

To ensure that you’ll be able to continue cleaning stucco walls with ease, give your interior stucco walls a bit of dusting in between cleaning sessions. A vacuum cleaner makes a somewhat surprisingly valuable stucco dusting tool. Use the extension hose to vacuum up and down the walls, sucking up superficial dust as well as any that has taken up residence in the stucco’s pores.

If you don’t want to take on the responsibility of cleaning your own stucco walls, or you’ve let them go without a cleaning long enough that it’s time for a major overhaul, professional painting companies—like El Gato Painting —often specialize in stucco cleaning and maintenance.


  1. Thank you for sharing, you can also use water blaster for cleaning mossy or lichen-covered tiles and paving, stained and dirt-encrusted concrete, dried mud and grime on car wheels and bodies.

    It’s very fast and efficient!