How Long After Sugar Soap Can You Paint?

Sugar soap is a perfect way to prepare your walls for painting, but you need to make sure it’s dry before starting. So, just how long do you need to wait after sugar soap to paint?

After you clean your walls with sugar soap, you will need to wait a minimum of 1 to 2 hours before you can paint. If possible, wait 24 hours. This will ensure that the walls have had the time to completely dry after you have wiped off all of the sugar soap with a damp cloth.

Giving your walls a fresh new colour is an exciting home improvement project to take on without spending thousands of dollars and too much time. Keep reading to find out how to effectively use sugar soap so that your walls will be ready for a new coat of paint that will last for years.

How Long Do You Need to Wait to Paint After Using Sugar Soap?

Since sugar soap is a wet cleaning product, you will need to wait a certain amount of time after using it before you can start painting. You want your walls to be clean and dry so that the paint will easily adhere to the walls.

After you have finished cleaning your walls with sugar soap, 1 to 2 hours should be enough time for the walls to become dry. If you can, however, you should wait a full 24 hours to ensure that they are definitely dry and that you will get that perfect professional paint job look that you want.

Not waiting at least a couple of hours after using sugar soap could have negative impacts on your overall paint job, causing the paint to run, streak, thin, or otherwise mess up the entire coat. Just be patient!

How Do You Use Sugar Soap Before Painting?

Fortunately, sugar soap is a very simple product to use. You can buy it at just about any store or even order it online. To make sure that you are prepping your walls perfectly, read the steps below.

Here is how to use sugar soap before painting:

  • Put on protective gear.
  • Prepare the sugar soap mixture. You can purchase sugar soap in powder or liquid form. Be sure to read the directions on how to prepare your mixture and dilute accordingly.
  • Apply the sugar soap mixture to your walls, going from top to bottom.
  • Apply heavier amounts of the sugar soap mixture to the dirtier parts of the walls.
  • Let the mixture sit for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Wipe off the mixture with a clean, damp sponge or cloth.
  • *Optional – Dry the walls by gently wiping them with a clean towel.

Once you have completed these steps, let the walls dry for at least 1 or 2 hours, even after wiping them down with a towel. If you have wood panelling on your walls, then a towel will not actually do much drying because of how porous wood is.

If you really want to speed up the drying process, then you could set up a few fans to help out.

Do You Need to Wash Sugar Soap Off Before Painting?

Since sugar soap is a chemical cleaning product, you must wash it off of the walls before you can begin painting.

Sugar soap does not leave behind the amount of residue that other cleaning products do, but unless it is wiped off, then you will be painting over a chemical cleaning product, which will cause problems with your paint.

Should You Use Sugar Soap Before or After Sanding?

Inevitably, you’re going to run into a job where you need to clean up a rough wall or remove wallpaper before painting. If you want a clean paint job, you’re going to need to break out a sander.

Sanding the walls before painting would is necessary if there is a lot of debris, leftover wallpaper or wallpaper glue, or the odd stain on your walls. You should also consider sanding your walls if there was or is a smoker in the house because the smell and stain can remain in the wall even after painting.

Ideally, you should use sugar soap after sanding in order to get the best finish.

Sanding will cause a lot of dust to be left on the walls when you are finished. Since we know that having the walls completely clean essential for a perfect paint job, it would be best to clean all of the dust, and any other types of material, off with the sugar soap.

Safety When Using Sugar Soap

Just like when you use any other cleaning product, you want to make sure that you are keeping yourself safe from any harmful chemicals that could cause damage or irritation to your body.

Sugar soap is not the most harmful cleaning product out there, but it can be quite harsh on your skin. It would be even worse to get into your eyes. Since you will likely be using this product on a big area that will take you a long time to complete, you’re going to be exposed to a fair bit of it. Safety gear is a great idea.

Here is what you will need:

  • Safety glasses or goggles– It would be very easy for this to get into your eyes because you have to reach up often to get the top parts of your walls clean.
  • Rubber gloves– It is best to get the kind that goes past your wrist. If you have this product on your hands for too long, your skin will start to become irritated and begin burning.
  • Protective face mask– This cleaning process takes a long time. You never want to breathe in chemicals longer than you have to. A face mask will help to keep your lungs from being exposed to an unnecessary amount of fumes.

Even if you think you will be fine without all of this safety gear, it is highly recommended that you at the very least wear gloves. Many people report that it begins to burn the skin on your hands quite quickly.

Is Sugar Soap the Best Thing to Prep Walls for Paint?

When it comes to prepping your walls for paint, sugar soap is the best cleaning product that you can use. Unlike other cleaning products that are great at removing dirt, sugar soap does not leave behind any residues, as long as it is rinsed off.

If you do not have sugar soap, then it is best to use only warm water and a sponge. This will not remove dirt as effectively as sugar soap, but it will also not leave behind anything that will cause your paint to be less than perfect.


In conclusion, prepping your walls for painting is the most certain way to achieve a flawless paint job. Using sugar soap is the most efficient way to clean your walls without leaving behind residues that could cause adhesion problems with your paint.

After you clean your walls with sugar soap, you will need to wait a minimum of 1 to 2 hours before you can paint. If possible, wait 24 hours. This will ensure that the walls have had the time to completely dry after you have wiped off all of the sugar soap with a damp cloth.

Though its a miserable task, cleaning the walls are the only way to get a beautiful look. Just be patient and safe—you will get there!



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One comment

  1. Hi,
    I was just wondering what’s the worst that could happen if you don’t rinse off the sugar soap with a damp cloth? I may have mistakenly assumed that just applying the diluted mixture to the walls was enough. Planning on wallpapering over the aforementioned walls. Is it likely to do any major damage or ruin the overall aesthetic finish off the room?
    Unfortunately don’t have time to go back and rinse off and then wait to dry for a couple more hours but for future reference please?
    Everything else was great advice!

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