How To Clean Wallpaper Stains

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Clean dirt and grease off of wallpaper using a few different methods including vinegar solutions and dish soap without worrying about damage if you follow these steps.

If you have wallpaper in your home you’ll know that time can cause wallpaper to get yellow and dirty looking. Without going ahead and replacing the wallpaper there might be a way to get it clean first.

Cleaning wallpaper can be a little scary at first because you don’t want to damage it but as long as your wallpaper is fiberglass or vinyl then there should be no problem using liquids on it. If your wallpaper is not made with fiberglass or vinyl then I highly suggest sticking to dusting and avoiding any liquids.

Wallpaper in the kitchen can get covered with cooking sprays, smoke, and evaporated oils, resulting in a sticky surface on which dirt can easily adhere and cast shadows.

Meanwhile, wallpaper in the bathroom, which is subjected to high humidity and water splashes, may get moldy. Water can seep through walls and release tannins from the underlying wood, coloring your wallpaper if it is extremely saturated, such as from a leak or burst pipe.

Fortunately, you can clean the scuffs and dirt in 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

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 an “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 Wallpaper

Also known as “glass cloth” wallpaper, fiberglass 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 cleansing 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 Wallpaper

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. NeIr technologies combine cellulose and cotton fiber 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.

Textured Wallpaper

Embossed, textured, and textile wallpapers are becoming increasingly fashionable. They may also be quite costly, especially if high-quality fabrics like silk, linen, velvet, or raffia are utilized. Fabrics’ water resistance varies, therefore be cautious while cleaning fabric wallpaper. Use dry dirting and vacuuming instead of liquid cleaners for the greatest results. Contact the manufacturer or an expert if there are any long-lasting stains.

Bamboo Wallpaper

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.

Hybrid Wallpaper

Non-woven wallpaper is a hybrid made of natural and synthetic fibers. 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 Wallpaper

“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 dusting if you have cellulose, fabric, bamboo, hybrid, or removable wallpaper, simply gently clean or vacuum walls. Water and cleaning chemicals can harm many natural fibers and textiles, so consult the manufacturer before attempting to remove a stain.

The exceptions are vinyl and fiberglass 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.

How To Clean Wallpaper With Vinegar

You can clean fiberglass wallpaper with vinegar by using these steps.

  1. Remove surface dust with a micrfiber cloth or vacuum cleaner.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup white vinegar with 1 cup water.
  3. Dip a clean dry sponge into the solution.
  4. Gentle buff the dirty fiberglass wallpaper with this vinegar and water solution until the stain comes off.
  5. If you notice the wallpaper tearing, stop immidiately.
  6. Dry the area with a dry microfiber cloth to prevent mold growth.

How To Dust Wallpaper

All wallpapers need to 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 can also use the wall brush extension to vacuum the walls. Check that the vacuum head does not have bristles and is only sucking up the dirt 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 dirt or vacuum the surface. If you immediately use water and soap, any dirt or cobwebs will get muddy, making your cleaning work more difficult.

How To Wash Wallpaper With Soap

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 discoloration beneath your furniture or along with the flooring. Apply the bleach solution to a small surface area needing 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.

Add 1 gallon of water and 14 cups 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 mold.

Allow the walls to dry naturally or with a towel for the time being.

How To Clean Non Washable Wallpaper

A special substance called wallpaper dough can be used to clean non-washable wallpaper. It may be used several times before becoming soiled and needing to be replaced with a new piece. Use on plain natural-fiber wallpaper that hasn’t been coated. Make a ball out of a piece of dough and roll it over the wall. The product is perfect for spot cleaning wallpaper since it quickly pulls dirt from the surface.

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Clean Wallpaper Stains Bottom Line

On most types of wallpaper, for stubborn water stains, grease spots larger than a baseball, or general discoloration: Before attempting an at-home remedy, contact the manufacturer. (With the exception of vinyl, which can survive stain-removing agents like bleach, this applies to all forms of wallpaper.) If your wallpaper is ancient or you don’t know who made it, test all stain-removal methods on a small spot first.

Need More On Cleaning Walls And Ceilings?

How To Clean Wallpaper Stains Bottom Line

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