Is High-Gloss Paint Easy to Clean?

High-gloss paint is a popular choice for interior walls, cabinets, and trim because of its durability and shine. But how easy is it to clean? Does high-gloss paint require special care, or can it be wiped down with regular detergents?

High-gloss paints are the easiest of all paint finishes to clean. Due to its shiny surface, it repels dirt and grime more easily. It also doesn’t absorb liquids, so it’s easier to wipe off spills or splashes without leaving a mark. Use a damp cloth with mild detergent and warm water to clean high-gloss paint.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What makes high-gloss paint easy to clean
  • The factors that can affect the ease of cleaning
  • How high-gloss compares to other paint finishes
  • How to clean and maintain high-gloss paint

4 Reasons Why High-Gloss Paint Is Easy to Clean

High-gloss paint is the easiest paint finish to clean. Here is a list of the 4 reasons why.

1. Reflective finish

The high-gloss finish reflects light and draws attention to the surface, making dirt and stains more visible. This means it is easier to spot any mess or dirt quickly so that you can clean it up easily without searching for the problem area.

2. Durability

High-gloss paint is also very durable, meaning it can withstand regular cleaning without fading or chipping. This makes it perfect for highly trafficked areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, where spills and messes can occur more often.

3. Smooth surface

High-gloss paint creates a smooth surface less likely to harbor dirt, dust, and debris. This makes it easier to clean and keeps the area looking fresh and tidy.

4. Compatibility with everyday cleaning products

High-gloss paints are also compatible with everyday cleaning products, so you don’t need to invest in special cleaners. Common household products, such as all-purpose cleaners, can clean high-gloss surfaces without damaging the finish or color.

Understanding the Variables That Impact High-Gloss Paint’s Cleanability

Surface texture 

The surface texture of the wall also affects how easy it is to clean high-gloss paint. Rough surfaces accumulate dirt and dust more easily than smooth surfaces because there are more crevices for particles to enter. On the other hand, smooth surfaces are much easier to wipe down without leaving any streaks behind.

Cleaning products

The type of cleaning product used can also affect how easy it is to clean high-gloss paint. Certain products are more effective at removing dirt, while others may be better at leaving a shiny finish.

It is important to read the instructions on the cleaning product’s label before using it to ensure that it is suitable for use with high-gloss paint.

Paint quality

Poor-quality paints are more likely to show signs of wear and tear over time, making them harder to clean. It is important to purchase high-quality paints in order to ensure that they are easier to maintain and clean over time.

Type of dirt or stain

The type of dirt or stain can also affect how easy it is to clean high-gloss paint. Heavy and sticky substances such as grease or oil may require special cleaning products in order to remove them effectively.

How Does High-Gloss’s Cleanability Compare to Other Paint Finishes?


Semi-gloss paint has a slight sheen that falls between satin and high-gloss paint finishes. It is highly durable and resistant to moisture. Just like high gloss, semi-gloss also wipes clean easily. However, it is slightly less durable and washable than high-gloss.


Silk paint has a smooth, velvety finish with light-reflecting properties, making it the ideal choice for creating an attractive look that stands out.

It is mid-sheen and offers a slightly shiny surface. However, it is not as washable as high-gloss paint due to its texture. High-gloss paint, on the other hand, has a glossy finish that is very easy to clean.


Satin paint is known for its subtle gloss finish that adds a soft sheen to walls. However, it is not as easy to clean as high-gloss paint due to its duller finish.

In addition, satin paint is more vulnerable to damage from grease and other substances. Therefore, it is important to clean up any spills quickly in order to avoid staining or discoloration.


Eggshell paint is a popular choice for interior walls, offering a useful balance between low-sheen flat paints and higher-gloss options.

Despite its low gloss finish, it can still tolerate mild cleaning. However, eggshell paint is nowhere near as resistant to dirt and dust as high-gloss paint.


Matte paint has very low gloss levels, which can hide imperfections well.  However, it is not resistant to dirt and stains and is not as washable as high-gloss paint. Unlike high-gloss paints, it can be challenging to clean matte paint due to its almost non-reflective finish. 


Flat paint has no sheen. It is ideal for hiding imperfections on walls, but it is not as easy to clean as other paint finishes due to its non-reflective nature. Unlike high-gloss paints, flat paints are unsuitable for highly trafficked areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. 

How to Clean and Maintain High-Gloss Paint

To keep your high-gloss paint looking its best, here are some tips on cleaning and maintaining it. 

Wipe down regularly

Regularly wiping down the surface of the high-gloss paint with a damp cloth or microfiber cloth can help to remove dust, dirt, and fingerprints.

This will also help prevent any grime buildup that might be more difficult to remove later. Be sure not to use anything abrasive, as this could damage the paint’s sheen.

Avoid harsh chemicals 

Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia to keep your high gloss paint looking its best over time. These can cause discoloration and etching that will ruin your paint job and diminish its shine permanently.

Instead, opt for mild soap and water when cleaning high-gloss surfaces. Be sure to remove all soap residue with a damp cloth after cleaning is complete.  

Natural cleaners to use for spot treatment

If you have stubborn stains or spills on your high-gloss paint, it’s best to use natural cleaners like baking soda and vinegar. Simply mix three parts baking soda with one part water to create a paste.

Rub this mixture into the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes before wiping it away with a damp cloth. For tougher stains, mix equal parts white vinegar and water and apply the mixture to the stain with a damp cloth. Wipe away with a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue.

Warm water, soap, and elbow grease

Sometimes, the best way to remove stubborn dirt or stains from high-gloss paint is a little bit of elbow grease. Mix warm water and mild soap into a bucket and use a soft cloth to scrub away any stubborn spots. Rinse off with warm water when finished and dry with a clean, soft cloth.

Touch-up when needed

If there are any chips or nicks in the high-gloss paint, it’s important to touch them up right away. To do so, use a small brush and matching paint to fill in the damage. This will help to keep your paint job looking as good as new.

Joshua Milton

I want to share everything I know about home improvement in order to help you. Whether you're a home enthusiast or an industry professional, I have the information that you need.

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