How To Clean Wallpaper

How To Clean Wallpaper

How To Clean Wallpaper

The Importance of Regular Wallpaper Cleaning

Wallpapers beautify a room and make it more attractive and inviting. However, over time, wallpapers can accumulate dirt, dust, and stains that can dull their vibrancy and lead to stenches, allergies, and even long-term damage. It's therefore essential to maintain regular cleaning of wallpapers to keep them in the optimum condition. This is not only crucial for maintaining the overall aesthetics of your home or office but it also has its set of health advantages.

Preserving Aesthetic Appearance

Regular cleaning helps in preserving the aesthetic appeal and retaining the bright and clean look of your wallpaper. Over time, wallpapers collect dust, and if they're in the kitchen, they can also collect grease and smoke. This can make them lose their initial glamour. Hence, establishing a routine of regular cleanings can help maintain your wallpaper’s original brightness and color.

Increasing Longevity

Wallpapers are not something you change frequently. Hence, it becomes essential to extend their lifespan as much as possible. Regular cleaning can help you achieve this. By removing grime and dust, you can prevent the paper from getting too dry and brittle, thus reducing the chance for damage and increasing the wallpaper's lifespan.

Enhancing Indoor Air Quality

Dust and dirt that pile upon your wallpaper over time can circulate around your room and degrade the indoor air quality. This can lead to respiratory problems and allergies. Regular cleaning can help in mitigating these health risks by maintaining the cleanliness of your wallpaper and enhancing the interior's air quality.

Preventing Mold Growth

Wallpapers, especially in damp and humid areas, can become breeding grounds for mold and mildew. And these not only harm the wall covering but are also harmful to health. Routine cleaning helps in preventing the growth of these microorganisms and keeping your wallpaper safe.

Boosting Psychological Health

A clean house has been linked to better mental health. It reduces anxiety and stress levels and improves mood. Therefore, keeping your wallpaper clean can contribute to achieving this sense of comfort and mental peace.

Saving Money

Last but not least, regular wallpaper cleaning can save you money. Neglecting your wallpaper can bring big replacement costs. But if you invest a little time and effort in its maintenance, your wallpaper can look great for many years to come, allowing you to avoid the cost of re-papering.

In essence, regular cleaning is an integral part of wallpaper maintenance. Its benefits are manifold, ranging from aesthetic appeal, health benefits to direct financial savings. So, it's never too soon to start a routine of regular wallpaper cleanings!

Determining the Type of Wallpaper in Your Home

Before successfully cleaning your wallpaper, it is crucial to understand the type of wallpaper that graces your walls. This knowledge will help you use the appropriate cleaning methods that will not damage your wallpaper surface. There are five main wallpaper types, and we will explore each one to help you identify yours.

Vinyl Wallpaper

This type is the most common in many homes due to its durability and ease of cleaning. Vinyl wallpapers consist of a paper or fibre base coated with a protective layer of vinyl. With its versatility, this wallpaper type is useful for both bathrooms and kitchens. Identifying vinyl wallpaper is straightforward, as it has a smooth surface that feels slightly rubbery to the touch.

Flock Wallpaper

Flock wallpapers offer a luxurious, velvety finish that enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of a room. They consist of paper or vinyl bases enhanced with powdered wool or synthetic fibres to give them a unique textured feel. However, they are delicate and require special cleaning methods to prevent damaging the raised surface.

Foil Wallpaper

If your walls shine or reflect light due to a metallic finish, then you might have foil wallpaper. This type of wallpaper features a shiny metal foil mounted on a paper backing. Though it offers a stylish, contemporary look, foil wallpaper necessitates delicate handling when cleaning because it’s easily scratched or torn.

Textured Wallpaper

This type is designed to add depth to a room’s interiors. Textured wallpapers are often embossed with patterns that create a three-dimensional effect. They can be vinyl-based or pure paper. Due to the raised patterns, cleaning textured wallpaper requires particular attention to avoid pulling at the edges of the design.

Grasscloth Wallpaper

Grasscloth wallpapers are characterized by their natural, earth-toned look and rough texture. They're made from reeds or grasses woven together and adhered to a paper backing. Cleaning grasscloth wallpaper can be a challenge due to the coarse, porous surface. This material absorbs moisture and can stain easily.

Testing your Wallpaper

Understanding the type of your wallpaper not only depends on visual and tactile cues but also requires a simple testing method.

Water Test

If you’re unsure if your wallpaper is washable, try lightly dabbing a damp sponge in an inconspicuous spot. If the colour doesn't run and the paper holds up, then it's most likely washable.

Tape Test

This test is essential for sensitive wallpapers such as foils and flocks. Simply stick a piece of tape to a less noticeable area, then gently peel off. If no paint or paper comes off with the tape, your wallpaper can withstand more rigorous cleaning.

With a clear understanding of what type of wallpaper you have, you can now plan for an effective, safe cleaning procedure.

Understanding Different Wallpaper Materials and their Specific Cleaning Methods

Wallpapers can be made from a variety of materials, each of which requires a specific cleaning method to ensure that their quality remains unspoiled.

Vinyl Wallpaper

One of the most common types of wallpaper is vinyl. This synthetic material is extremely durable and water-resistant, hence cleaning it is quite simple. You can use a mild detergent mixed with warm water and apply it using a soft sponge. Do not scrub or use abrasive cleaners as it can damage the wallpaper's surface.

Fabric Wallpaper

Fabric wallpapers are typically richer in texture but slightly more complex when it comes to cleaning. Dusting them regularly with a vacuum cleaner using the brush attachment is recommended. For stains, a dry cleaning product intended for upholstery should be used. Refrain from using water unless your wallpaper manufacturer specifies that it's safe to do so.

Grasscloth Wallpaper

Grasscloth wallpapers lend an attractive natural touch to your walls. As they are made from natural fibers, they are particularly sensitive to moisture and harsh cleaning agents. Regularly dust it with a soft microfiber cloth or use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment. To remove stains, use a wallpaper eraser or dry cleaning sponge.

Flocked Wallpaper

Flocked wallpapers are characterized by their raised patterns which create a velvety texture. Due to this, they should be vacuumed gently to clean the dust. Wiping with a damp cloth can also help in removing minor stains. Always test a small area first when using any cleaning solutions.

Foil Wallpaper

Foil wallpapers offer a shiny metallic surface to your room. Clean them using a soft, dry cloth for dusting and avoid using any water or cleaning solutions as they can tarnish the metallic finish.

General Tips for Wallpaper Cleaning

Regardless of the material, there are a few general principles you should follow when cleaning your wallpaper. In case of a spill or stain, act quickly to clean it before it becomes difficult to remove. Always test any cleaning solution or method on a small, inconspicuous area first. Finally, avoid excessive rubbing, scrubbing, or soaking as these may damage the wallpaper.

Professional Cleaning Services

When in doubt, or if your wallpaper requires intense cleaning, it is always recommended to hire professional cleaning services. They have the expertise and right tools to thoroughly and safely clean your wallpaper without causing any damage.

Essential Cleaning Supplies You Will Need

When it comes to cleaning wallpaper, it's important to have the right products and materials on hand. The tools and items you use will depend on the type of wallpaper, as well as the type of stains or marks you’re dealing with. Here we’ve listed a few common supplies that you'll need for effective and safe cleaning.

Mild Soap or Dish Washing Liquid

A simple solution of mild soap or dishwashing liquid and water can be highly effective for cleaning wallpaper. This combination can remove most common stains without damaging the wallpaper surface. Simply mix a small amount into warm water and stir until suds form. Be sure to test a small area first to ensure it doesn't discolor your wallpaper.

Clean, Soft Sponge

A clean, soft sponge is ideal for applying the soapy water mixture to your wallpaper. It's soft enough that it won't scratch or damage the wallpaper, while still being able to effectively remove stains. Remember to wring out the sponge properly to avoid dripping excess water onto the wallpaper.

Soft, Lint-Free Cloth

You will need a soft, lint-free cloth for drying the wallpaper after cleaning it. It's important to dry the wallpaper as quickly as possible after cleaning to avoid water damage. A lint-free cloth will ensure that you don't leave any particles behind on your clean wallpaper.

Vinegar or Baking Soda for Tough Stains

For tougher stains or older, more ingrained dirt, household items such as vinegar or baking soda can come in handy. Vinegar acts as a natural disinfectant and deodorizer, while baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help remove stubborn stains. Remember to always dilute these in water and test them on a small, hidden area of wallpaper before treating the whole surface.

Rubber Gloves

It's a good idea to have a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands during the cleaning process. Even mild soaps and detergents can sometimes irritate your skin, especially with extended contact.

A Soft Brush for Textured Wallpaper

If your wallpaper is textured, you may need a soft brush to reach into the grooves and ridges. Be careful to use gentle strokes, so you don't damage the paper.

A Stepladder

Finally, if you're dealing with high walls, a stepladder will help you reach all areas of the wallpaper. Ensure it's sturdy and appropriate for your height and weight.

Having the right supplies at hand will make your wallpaper cleaning task much easier and effective, keeping your walls looking fresh and vibrant.

Easy Steps to Dust and Vacuum Your Wallpaper

Dirt, dust and debris can build up on your wallpaper over time, creating a dingy and less-than-desirable appearance. By adhering to a few simple steps, you can regularly maintain your walls looking fresh and clean.

Dusting the Wallpaper

To begin, you'll need a few tools: a microfiber cloth or electrostatic duster, a soft-bristled brush, and a stepladder. It's important to not use any wet cleaners or abrasive scrubbers, as they can damage the wallpaper.

Step 1: Prepare the Area

First, move any furniture or objects away from the wall to give you full access to the wallpaper. Clearing out the area makes the dusting process more manageable and less prone to moving dirt around.

Step 2: Dust from Top to Bottom

Begin dusting at the top of the wallpaper and work your way down towards the floor. This is because gravity will pull dust and dirt down. Use a stepladder to reach the top areas of the wall, making sure to enter into each corner and along the edge of the ceiling.

Vacuuming the Wallpaper

After all loose dust and debris have been removed, you can use a vacuum cleaner to pull out deeply embedded dust particles. It's a good idea to use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to prevent any damage to the wallpaper.

Step 3: Set Up the Vacuum

Fix the soft brush attachment onto your vacuum cleaner. The soft brush attachment will suck up the dust while ensuring your wallpaper surface is not scratched or damaged. Adjust your vacuum to the lowest suction setting to further protect from potential harm.

Step 4: Vacuum from Top to Bottom

Just like dusting, begin vacuuming from the top of the wallpaper and slowly make your way down. Pay extra attention to corners and hidden areas. This will leave your wallpaper in good shape and significantly extend its lifetime.

Step 5: Return Furniture to Its Place

After you've finished vacuuming, you can start moving your furniture back into its original position. Make sure the wallpaper is completely dry before doing this to avoid any potential damage.

By following these steps on a regular basis, you can ensure that your wallpaper will stay vibrant and beautiful for a long time.

Effective Techniques to Clean Different Stains, Marks and Wallpaper Damage

In this section, we will go through some tried and tested techniques for cleaning different types of stains, marks, and wallpaper damage. The aim should be to preserve your beautiful wallpapers, while successfully eliminating any blemishes that may tarnish their shock and awe.

Water Stains

Water stains are a frequent issue encountered on wallpapers, particularly in humid environments or spaces like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. First, try wiping the stain lightly with a cloth moistened in a solution of water and mild detergent. In all cases, take care not to soak the wallpaper too much to prevent further damage.

Ink Marks

Ink marks are tough stains to get rid of. However, using the right product and technique can do wonders. Applying rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and gently dabbing on the stain can often yield good results.

Fingerprints and Smudges

High-traffic areas often fall victim to fingerprints and smudge marks. To clean these, you can use a piece of white bread! Dab it gently on the stains until they disappear. You'll be astonished with the difference it makes.

Repairing Tears and Punctures

Wallpaper can sometimes be damaged by small tears or punctures. To repair, cut a small square or circle of wallpaper that matches the pattern around the damaged area. Using a quality wallpaper adhesive, apply this patch over the damage to blend it into the surrounding wallpaper. Be sure to smooth it out, eliminating any air pockets or creases.

Scratches and Scuff Marks

Scuff marks and scratches are common in children's rooms or hallways. To clean these, try using a pencil eraser or baking soda mixed with warm water. Be gentle and patient, most of these marks should come off after a few tries.


Cleaning wallpaper may seem a daunting task but with the right methods and materials, it can be made much easier. Remember, always start with a less invasive method first and increase your approach as needed, taking care not to damage your lovely wallpaper in the process.

The Do's and Don'ts of Wallpaper Cleaning

When it comes to wallpaper cleaning, there's a right and wrong way. The 'do's and don'ts' of this process can be the difference between maintaining the vibrant appearance of your interior design or damaging it. Below are the essential things you should and shouldn't do when cleaning wallpaper.

Do's of Wallpaper Cleaning

1. Dust Regularly

Dust accumulation can dull the shine of your wallpaper. Use a duster or soft-bristle brush to gently remove dust particles on the surface of the wallpaper regularly. This can help maintain the newness of the paper.

2. Test Cleaning Products First

Not all wallpapers have the same material. Some may react negatively to certain cleaning products. Before applying any cleaning product, test a small, inconspicuous part of the wallpaper. That way, you can observe if any adverse effects occur without compromising the entire wall covering.

3. Use a Wallpaper Cleaning Sponge

A wallpaper cleaning sponge is a wise investment for wallpaper owners. It is specifically designed to lift dirty spots from wallpaper effectively.

Don'ts of Wallpaper Cleaning

1. Never Use Excessive Water

Wallpaper usually isn’t waterproof. Hence, applying excessive water or liquid-based cleaning solutions can seep into the paper, causing it to peel off or get damaged. It is best to use a damp cloth for light cleaning.

2. Avoid Strong Cleaning Agents

Some cleaning agents contain strong chemicals that can cause color fading or damage the texture of your wallpaper. Always use mild and wallpaper-friendly cleaners.

3. Do not Scrub

It is important not to scrub the wallpaper as it might tear or ruin the wallpapers’ finish. Always blot or lightly rub the areas to be cleaned.

Following these guidelines will provide an effective method for maintaining and cleaning your wallpaper, preserving its qualities and extending its lifespan.

Maintaining Your Wallpaper's Fresh Look: Tips and Tricks

Wallpapers are a great way to enhance and transform a space. They have come back in style and are now hotter than ever. However, maintaining their fresh and vibrant look can be a bit tricky. There are simple but essential practices that can help prolong the life and beauty of your wallpaper. Here are some tips and tricks.

Regular Cleaning

Commonly, wallpapers do not need frequent cleaning. Light dusting or vacuuming can keep the majority of wallpapers looking fresh and neat. For non-washable wallpapers, a soft dry cloth or a sponge is ideal for removing dust and lint without damaging the wallpaper. Never use abrasive cleaners or solvents that can damage your wallpaper's texture and color.

Addressing Stains and Marks

If your wallpaper has gotten a mark or stain, it's crucial to address it promptly. If the wallpaper is washable, use a gentle detergent mixed with water and a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid scrubbing too hard as this might remove or fade the wallpaper's color. For non-washable wallpapers, consider specialized wallpaper cleaners or dough-like substances that can lift off stains and marks.

Preventing Peeling and Curling

Peeling or curling is often due to inadequate adhesion, moisture, or temperature changes. When noticed early, it can be fixed by applying wallpaper paste or adhesive to the loosened areas and smoothing it back down. Also, maintaining the room's proper humidity and temperature can prevent further peeling or curling.

Choosing the Right Wallpaper for the Room

One of the keys to maintaining your wallpaper's fresh look is choosing the correct type for the room where it's intended. For instance, vinyl wallpapers are ideal for kitchens and bathrooms because they're waterproof and can tolerate moisture.

Replacing Damaged Sections

If a wallpaper section gets severely damaged, consider replacing it. Usually, it's worth keeping extra pieces of wallpaper from the original installation for this purpose. However, if this isn't possible, a professional wallpaper installer may be able to help minimize the appearance of the replaced section.

Updating Your Wallpaper

Even with the utmost care, wallpapers eventually fade and lose their appeal over time. When this happens, consider replacing your wallpaper with a fresh, trendy design that can breathe life back into your space.

With these tips and tricks, maintaining your wallpaper's fresh and vibrant look will be much easier. Remember, good care and maintenance can significantly prolong your wallpaper's lifespan and keep your space looking beautiful and stylish for longer.