Remove the grey cast of dust, grime, oil, and other contaminants from your wallpaper in three steps or less.

Is your wallpaper starting to show signs of wear? Dust and moisture may discolour papered walls over time, making them look dingier than the day they were covered. Wallpaper in the kitchen can get covered with cooking sprays, smoke, and evaporated oils, resulting in a sticky surface on which dust can easily adhere and cast shadows. Meanwhile, wallpaper in the bathroom, which is subjected to high humidity and water splashes, may get mouldy and mildewed in places. Water can seep through walls and release tannins from the underlying wood, colouring your wallpaper if it is extremely saturated, such as from a leak or burst pipe.

Fortunately, you can clean the scuffs and dust with a few simple ways, which are detailed below. Consider your unique sort of wall covering and what it can withstand before reading on to learn how to clean wallpaper efficiently.

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Types Of Wallpaper

Determine the sort of wallpaper you have before performing a deep clean. Vinyl wallpaper is the most popular, but owing to new materials and technology, wallpaper is receiving a makeover. As a result, there are more alternatives to select from, each with its own set of cleaning requirements based on the material’s longevity. Here are the seven things you should be aware of.

  • Vinyl wallpaper is the most prevalent type of wallpaper in houses due to its low cost and overall durability. Older or less costly versions may have a “artificial” or plastic-like appearance, but modern vinyl sheets can resemble stone, wood, and other natural surfaces. Vinyl wallpaper is commonly seen in kitchens and bathrooms because it is resistant to water and dirt damage—yet this same resilience allows it to survive a deeper clean than most forms of wallpaper.
  • Fiberglass: Also known as “glass cloth” wallpaper, fibreglass is a flame-resistant, ultra-durable wall covering. It may be used to fill up fractures in the wall or to totally cover the ceiling or wall with a delicate artistic design. It is a costly but high-performance alternative with a 30-year lifetime. To remove stains, it may be cleaned with soap and water as well as non-abrasive cleaning solutions, much like vinyl. Best of all, it is extremely durable, fade-resistant, and saves money in the long run by lowering repair and maintenance expenses.
  • Cellulose: Traditional antique wallpaper, including historic labels such as Morris & Company (established by designer William Morris), is mostly made of cellulose, which is produced from wood pulp. Colors fade with time and are prone to water damage. Newer technologies combine cellulose and cotton fibre to make liquid wallpaper, a breathable and environmentally friendly wall covering that is applied like paint but has additional texture possibilities. All types of plant-based wallpaper should not be cleaned with strong chemicals or subjected to excessive humidity.
  • Embossed, textured, and textile wallpapers are becoming increasingly fashionable. They may also be quite costly, especially if high-quality fabrics like as silk, linen, velvet, or raffia are utilised. Fabrics’ water resistance varies, therefore be cautious while cleaning fabric wallpaper. Use dry dusting and vacuuming instead of liquid cleansers for the greatest results. Contact the manufacturer or an expert if there are any long-lasting stains.
  • Bamboo wallpaper is plant-based, long-lasting, and environmentally beneficial. It also protects against some bacteria and helps the walls to breathe. However, because it may be damaged by water, it is not suggested for high-humidity locations such as kitchen backsplashes and bathrooms. Do not use water to clean.
  • Non-woven wallpaper is a hybrid made of natural and synthetic fibres. This composite material is eco-friendly and allows walls to breathe. It is also more costly and non-washable, necessitating regular maintenance and cleaning.
  • Removable: “Temporary” wallpaper composed of high-performance vinyl or woven polyester (or even more eco-friendly choices) allows for additional flexibility in home design. Renters and homeowners can remove the backing and apply the glue to a wall. The adhesive coating’s low tack works well with semi-gloss, satin, or eggshell paint finishes (rather than matte). Removable wallpaper can endure for several years in low-humidity locations.

Stick to Step 1 (below) if you have cellulose, fabric, bamboo, hybrid, or removable wallpaper, simply gently cleaning or vacuuming walls. Water and cleaning chemicals can harm many natural fibres and textiles, so consult the manufacturer before attempting to remove a stain.

The exceptions are vinyl and fibreglass wallpapers, which are the most durable of the lot. All-purpose cleaning sprays or the gentle cleaning procedure mentioned below can be used to clean either. Nonetheless, proceed with caution: Use only non-abrasive chemicals (no powders) and soft cleaning pads or sponges (no scouring pads) to avoid scratching, tearing, or otherwise damaging the surface.

Methods for Cleaning Wallpaper


All wallpapers must be dusted with a microfiber cloth on a regular basis, at least once every two months. Attach your cloth to a long-handled sweeper for difficult-to-reach areas near the ceiling. You may also use the wall brush extension to vacuum the walls. Check that the vacuum head does not have bristles and is only sucking up dust rather than scrubbing the wall. Begin at the ceiling and work your way down the wall in long, smooth lines.

Tip: Before confronting spots on vinyl wallpaper that will be cleaned, always dust or vacuum the surface. If you immediately use water and soap, any dust or cobwebs will get muddy, making your cleaning work more difficult.

Make Solution

1 gallon of water and 14 cup of mild dish soap or castile soap in a bucket Then, drop a soft, non-abrasive sponge into the soapy water, ring it out until it’s barely moist, and wipe the wallpaper off.

If your wallpaper is in the kitchen, this soapy combination should remove most grease stains, but not all that have become embedded. It might not be able to remove discoloration caused by water damage or mould. Make a note of any deeper stains and resist the desire to scrub more vigorously—we’ll get to any remaining stains in Step 3. Allow the walls to dry naturally or with a towel for the time being.

Get To Cleaning

Determine the type of stain first, and then determine the best removal method.

Use a gum eraser or a piece of plain white bread to remove tiny spots of surface discolouration caused by pencil or filthy handprints on vinyl wallpaper. Simply rub the eraser or bread over the mark until it disappears.

For tough water stains, grease stains the size of a baseball, or general deterioration on most types of wallpaper: Before attempting an at-home remedy, contact the manufacturer. (With the exception of vinyl, which can tolerate stain-removing agents such as bleach, this applies to all forms of wallpaper.) If your wallpaper is ancient or you don’t know who made it, patch test all stain-removal methods first. Begin by concealing any discolouration beneath your furniture or along the flooring. Apply the bleach solution to a small surface area using a Q-tip, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, and then wipe clean with a moist sponge. If the patch test indicates that the wallpaper is cleaner and brighter.

For mildew or tannin stains on vinyl caused by water damage, use a bleach or white vinegar treatment. Begin with a milder solution and gradually increase the amount of bleach or vinegar used. 1 cup of water and 14 cup of bleach To begin, apply the solution with a Q-tip to a tiny inconspicuous place on the wall where any discoloration would be hidden; if it looks to work in five to ten minutes, proceed. Using a soft sponge or cotton pad, ring out any excess water. Allow the sponge to rest on the stain for five minutes. Using a clean, moist sponge, remove any leftover bleach and pat dry with a towel.

Use 12 cup white vinegar combined with 1 cup water to remove dirt or grease stains off fibreglass wallpaper. Using a sponge, apply this solution to the stained area of the wall and buff it in the same direction as the wallpaper design. Wipe off the surface with a clean sponge soaked in water. Dry with a towel.

Contact the manufacturer or a wallpaper specialist first for any stains deeper than surface dust seen on fabric and natural fibre wallpapers. Your stain removal procedure will be determined by the type and age of the stain, as well as the precise substance of the wallpaper.

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