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How To Clean Wallpaper

How To Clean Wallpaper

What is Wallpaper?

Wallpaper refers to a decorative material that is used to cover and enhance the walls of a room. It is typically made of paper or vinyl and comes in various designs, patterns, and colors. Wallpaper is applied to the walls using adhesive and can be easily removed or replaced when desired. 

Do different types of wallpaper require different cleaning methods?

Yes, different types of wallpapers require different cleaning methods.

  • Washable wallpaper can be wiped clean with a damp cloth and mild detergent solution.
  • Textured wallpaper may require a gentle scrubbing with a soft brush or sponge.
  • Water Damaged Wallpaper may require a cleaning solution specifically designed to remove wallpaper adhesive and any water stains.

Why is wallpaper cleaning important?

Maintaining the cleanliness of wallpaper is important for preserving its appearance and prolonging its lifespan.

What are the different types of wallpaper?

Some common types include vinyl wallpaper, which is durable and easy to clean; grasscloth wallpaper, made from natural materials like grass or bamboo, giving it a textured and organic look; fabric wallpaper, which is made from textiles and adds a luxurious touch to a room; and peel and stick wallpaper, which is self-adhesive and can be easily removed without damaging the walls. There are also specialty wallpapers such as metallic wallpaper, textured wallpaper, and mural wallpaper, which allow for unique and creative designs.

What are Washable Wallpapers?

Washable wallpapers are crafted using innovative materials that resist moisture and staining, allowing for gentle cleaning without damage to the design. The key attribute of washable wallpapers lies in their washability, which enables homeowners to remove stains and dirt with mild detergents and a damp cloth, making them an ideal choice for high-traffic areas or spaces prone to splashes and spills.

What are Non-Washable Wallpapers?

Although non-washable wallpapers require different cleaning methods, it is important to understand the different types of wallpaper before attempting to clean them. There are several types of non-washable wallpapers, including vinyl, fabric, and grasscloth. Vinyl wallpapers are the most common and durable type, but they can still be damaged by water. 

What are Durable Wallpapers?

  • Vinyl wallpaper: This type of wallpaper is resistant to moisture and can be wiped clean with a damp cloth or sponge. Avoid using too much water to prevent any water damage.
  • Fabric wallpaper: Fabric wallpapers are more delicate and require gentle cleaning. Use a clean cloth or sponge dipped in soapy water to remove any stains. Be sure to test a small, inconspicuous area first to avoid damaging the fabric.
  • Textured wallpaper: Use a soft brush or a microfiber cloth to clean textured wallpapers. Gently brush away any dust or dirt, being careful not to damage the texture.
  • Metallic wallpaper: To clean metallic wallpapers, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away any dust or smudges. Avoid using any water or cleaning solutions as they can damage the metallic finish.

What are Delicate Wallpapers?

Cleaning delicate wallpapers requires a gentle approach and careful consideration of the various types of wallpaper available in the market. Delicate wallpapers can be easily damaged by harsh cleaning methods or abrasive materials. To clean these wallpapers, start by removing any dust or loose dirt with a soft brush or vacuum cleaner on low suction. Then, mix a small amount of mild dish soap with clean water. Dip a soft sponge, non abrasive sponge or paper towel into the soapy water and gently wipe the wallpaper, being careful not to saturate it with moisture. For stubborn stains or spots, dab a soft cloth with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water and gently blot the area. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing, as this may damage the delicate wallpaper. Finally, use a dry cloth or clean towel to gently pat the wallpaper dry. If there are any remaining marks, a gum eraser can be used to gently lift them off. Remember to always test any cleaning method on a small, inconspicuous spot before proceeding.

What tools do I need for wallpaper cleaning?

1. Wallpaper cleaner solution or mild detergent
2. Clean microfiber cloth or sponges
3. Bucket or container for mixing the cleaning solution
4. Soft-bristle brush or wallpaper cleaning brush
5. Stepladder or sturdy chair (if needed to reach high areas)
6. Rubber gloves to protect your hands
7. Plastic drop cloth or old newspapers to protect the floor
8. Wallpaper seam roller (optional, for pressing down loose seams)
9. Wallpaper adhesive or repair kit (if needed for any damaged areas)
10. Wall cleaner spray (optional, for spot cleaning)

Are there specific cleaning tools for delicate wallpaper?

Yes, to properly clean delicate wallpaper, it is important to have the right tools on hand. Here are some specific cleaning tools that can be used for delicate wallpaper:

  • Sponge: A soft sponge can be used to gently clean the surface of the wallpaper without causing any damage to the fibers.
  • Fabric softener: Diluting fabric softener with water can create a gentle cleaning solution that can be used to remove stains from wallpaper.
  • Gloves: Wearing gloves while cleaning can protect the wallpaper from any oils or residues on your hands.
  • Scraper: A plastic scraper can be used to remove any stubborn stains or dried wallpaper paste without scratching the surface.

It is important to note that steam should not be used on delicate wallpaper, as it can cause the adhesive to loosen and the wallpaper to peel.

Cleaning Methods for Different Wallpaper Types

Now that we have covered the tools needed for wallpaper cleaning, let’s move on to the different methods for cleaning various types of wallpaper. In this section, we will discuss how to clean vinyl wallpaper, fabric or textured wallpaper, wallpaper with water-based ink, as well as provide tips for cleaning wallpaper in high-moisture areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.

How to clean washable wallpaper?

  • Start by preparing a cleaning solution using dish soap and warm water (make sure it is not too hot and is lukewarm water)
  • Dip a damp sponge or soft cloth into the solution and wring out any excess water liquid.
    Gently wipe the wallpaper using the damp sponge or cloth, focusing on any areas with grease stains or visible marks.
  • For stubborn stains, you can use a soft brush to lightly scrub the surface, being careful not to damage the wallpaper.

How to clean vinyl wallpaper?

  1. Start by dusting the surface with a soft brush or a microfiber cloth to remove any loose dirt or debris.
  2. Mix a mild detergent or wallpaper cleaner with warm water in a bucket.
  3. Use a sponge or a soft cloth dampened with the cleaning solution to gently wipe the wallpaper in a circular motion.

How to clean fabric or textured wallpaper?

Start by using a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove any loose dirt or dust. Be gentle to avoid damaging the delicate fabric. For tougher stains, mix a small amount of mild detergent with warm water and apply it to a sponge. Gently dab the stained areas, being careful not to scrub too vigorously. Rinse the sponge frequently and continue until the stain is removed. To clean textured wallpaper, start by dusting the surface with a dry cloth or a soft brush. For grease spots or stubborn dirt, use a sponge dampened with hot water and a mild detergent. Blot the affected areas gently, rinsing the sponge frequently. Remember to always test any cleaning product on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage. Regular cleaning and maintenance will ensure the cleanliness and longevity of your fabric or textured wallpaper.

Can you clean wallpaper with water-based ink?

Yes, water-based ink on wallpaper can be cleaned using specific methods based on the type of wallpaper. Here are some cleaning methods for different types of wallpaper with water-based ink:

  • Fiberglass: Use a soft sponge or cloth dampened with a mild detergent solution to gently clean the surface.
  • Cellulose: Avoid using water directly on cellulose wallpaper, as it can cause the ink to bleed. Instead, use a dry-cleaning sponge or a slice of white bread to gently dab away any stains.
  • Hybrid: For hybrid wallpapers, which combine different materials like fabric and vinyl, use a mixture of warm water and mild detergent to clean the surface. Test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the wallpaper.
  • Flock wallpaper: Flock wallpaper should be cleaned using a dry-cleaning sponge or vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to avoid damaging the delicate fibers.

How to clean wallpaper in a bathroom or kitchen?

When cleaning wallpaper in a bathroom or kitchen, it is important to consider the different cleaning methods for various types of wallpaper. Both the bathroom and kitchen are areas prone to moisture, grease, and stains, which can be challenging to remove from wallpaper. For vinyl or washable wallpaper, a mild detergent solution can be used to clean the surface. Gently scrub the wallpaper with a soft sponge or cloth, taking care not to damage the material. Rinse the area with clean water and dry it thoroughly. For non-washable wallpaper, it is best to avoid using water or liquid cleaners. Instead, use a dry cleaning sponge or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove dust and dirt. Following these methods will help keep your wallpaper in a bathroom or kitchen clean and in good condition.

How to remove water stains from wallpaper?

Now let’s address the issue of removing water stains from wallpaper. One common problem homeowners face is dealing with grease and oil stains. We will explore the best process for cleaning these types of stains.

What’s the process for cleaning grease and oil stains?

  • Start by gently blotting the stained area with a clean, dry cloth to absorb any excess moisture.
  • Mix a mild detergent with warm water and apply it to the stain using a soft sponge or cloth. Be careful not to saturate the wallpaper.
  • Gently scrub the stained area in a circular motion, working from the outside towards the center.
  • Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry with a clean cloth.

How to deal with ink or marker stains on wallpaper?

Ink or marker stains on wallpaper can be effectively removed by following a series of steps specifically designed for tackling these types of stains. To begin, it is important to act quickly and not let the stain dry. Start by using a clean sponge or cloth to gently blot the stain, being careful not to rub it as it may spread further. If the stain persists, try using a mild detergent mixed with water and gently scrub the area using a soft-bristled brush or a wall brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner. Test the cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area of the wallpaper first to ensure it doesn’t damage the wallpaper. For removable wallpaper, using a paint roller with a brush attachment can be a good idea to avoid excessive moisture. Once the stain is removed, gently rinse the area with clean water and pat dry with a clean cloth.

Are there homemade wallpaper cleaning solutions?

Yes. When it comes to cleaning wallpaper, many people wonder if there are homemade solutions that can be used. Using homemade wallpaper cleaning solutions can be an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to commercial cleaners.

1. Vinegar and Water Solution: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the wallpaper and gently wipe it clean with a soft cloth or sponge.

2. Baking Soda and Water Paste: Create a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. Apply the paste onto a soft cloth or sponge and gently rub it on the wallpaper to remove stains or dirt.

3. Dish Soap and Water Mixture: Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water. Dampen a cloth or sponge with the solution and gently wipe the wallpaper to clean it.

4. Rubbing Alcohol Solution: Dilute rubbing alcohol with water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the wallpaper and use a soft cloth or sponge to remove any marks or stains.

5. Lemon Juice and Water Solution: Mix equal parts of lemon juice and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the wallpaper and wipe it clean with a soft cloth or sponge.

6. Cornstarch and Water Paste: Make a paste by mixing cornstarch with water. Apply the paste onto the wallpaper and let it dry completely. Once dry, use a clean cloth or brush to brush off the paste, removing any dirt or grime.

7. Hydrogen Peroxide Solution: Dilute hydrogen peroxide with water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the wallpaper and gently wipe it clean with a soft cloth or sponge.

8. Salt and Water Solution: Dissolve salt in warm water to create a cleaning solution. Dampen a cloth or sponge with the solution and gently scrub the wallpaper to remove dirt or stains.

How to make eco-friendly wallpaper cleaners?

  • Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the wallpaper and wipe it clean with a soft cloth.
  • Create a paste by combining baking soda and water. Apply the paste to any stains or marks on the wallpaper using a paintbrush or sponge. Gently scrub the area and then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
  • For more stubborn stains, make a solution with warm water and a small amount of mild dish soap. Dip a sponge or cloth into the solution and gently scrub the affected area. Rinse with clean water and pat dry.
  • If you have vinyl wallpaper, you can use a mixture of warm water and a mild detergent. Apply the solution with a sponge or cloth, and then rinse and dry the area.

When should you hire professional wallpaper cleaners?

While tackling the cleaning job yourself can be cost-effective, there are situations where opting for professionals is the wiser choice. If you have delicate or costly wallpaper, professional cleaners possess the expertise to manage it without causing harm. If you’re dealing with extensive areas of wallpaper or challenging-to-reach spots like high ceilings or stairwells, professionals come equipped with the necessary tools and experience for effective cleaning. Hiring professional wallpaper cleaners is also advisable when faced with tough stains or if you seek to save time and effort. By entrusting the cleaning to specialists, you can ensure clean walls and preserve the beauty of your home decor without any hassle, particularly when dealing with marks from wallpaper, abrasive products, traditional wallpapers, crayon stains, and wallpaper manufacturer recommendations.

How to repair torn or peeling wallpaper?

Within this segment, we’ll tackle prevalent concerns such as discolored wallpaper, issues with wallpaper seams and bubbles, and damaged wallpaper. Our aim is to offer straightforward solutions for resolving these issues, ultimately ensuring your wallpaper maintains its fresh and well-maintained appearance. By adhering to these simple steps, you can easily mend torn or peeling wallpaper and rejuvenate the look of your walls, whether you have natural fibers, fiberglass wallpapers, bamboo wallpaper, non-woven wallpaper, or other types of wallpaper. The key is to work on a clean surface and have a matching piece of wallpaper ready for repairs.

What to do if wallpaper is discoloured?

If your wallpaper is discoloured, there are several steps you can take to repair torn or peeling sections.

  • First, assess the extent of the damage. Determine if the discolouration can be resolved through cleaning or if the wallpaper needs to be replaced.
  • If cleaning is possible, start by removing any loose dirt or debris using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment.
  • Next, mix a mild cleaning solution using warm water and a gentle detergent. Test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the wallpaper to ensure it doesn’t cause further damage.
  • Gently scrub the discoloured area using a sponge or soft cloth dampened with the cleaning solution. Be careful not to oversaturate the wallpaper.
  • Finally, rinse the area with clean water and pat it dry with a clean cloth. Allow the wallpaper to air dry completely before assessing the results.

How to Fix wallpaper seams and bubbles?

Start by flattening the bubbled area using a wallpaper smoothing tool or a credit card. Apply a small amount of wallpaper adhesive underneath the bubble and gently smooth it back down. If the seam is coming apart, use a small brush to apply adhesive along the edges and press the seam firmly against the wall. Allow the adhesive to dry before applying any additional pressure. If the wallpaper is vinyl or washable, you can also try using a damp sponge to press the bubble or seam back into place. In some cases, you may need to completely remove and reapply the wallpaper if the issue persists.

What are the steps to replace damaged wallpaper?

  1. Start by cleaning the wallpaper around the damaged area to ensure a smooth surface for the new wallpaper to adhere to.
  2. Carefully remove the damaged section of wallpaper using a utility knife or scissors. Be sure to cut along the edges of the damaged area to create a clean and even edge.
  3. Measure and cut a piece of new wallpaper that matches the pattern and size of the removed section. Apply a small amount of adhesive to the back of the new wallpaper and carefully press it onto the wall, aligning the pattern with the surrounding wallpaper.
  4. Smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles using a wallpaper brush or a clean, damp sponge.

Do you need different Wallpaper for Different Rooms?

No, when it comes to choosing wallpaper for different rooms, there are a few factors to consider. Bedrooms often benefit from calming and soothing wallpaper options, such as floral patterns or soft, muted colors. Living rooms can accommodate a wider range of styles, from bold and vibrant designs to subtle textures. Kitchens and bathrooms, on the other hand, require wallpaper that is resistant to moisture and easy to clean, such as vinyl or washable wallpaper.

What types of wallpaper work best in bedrooms?

Here are a few options to consider:

  • Textured wallpaper: This type of wallpaper adds depth and dimension to the walls, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
  • Floral wallpaper: Floral patterns can bring a touch of elegance and tranquility to the bedroom, creating a soothing environment.
  • Geometric wallpaper: For a modern and contemporary look, geometric patterns can add a stylish and sophisticated touch to the bedroom decor.
  • Neutral wallpaper: If you prefer a more minimalistic approach, neutral wallpapers in shades of white, beige, or gray can create a calm and serene ambiance.

What are suitable wallpaper options for living rooms?

When choosing the type of wallpaper for your living room, consider the room’s overall style and theme. Bamboo or wood wallpapers can infuse warmth and texture for a natural and organic look. For high-traffic areas, durable and easy-to-clean laminate wallpapers are a practical choice. If you’re aiming for a rustic or industrial ambiance, consider brick or concrete wallpapers to add an urban touch. Using wallcoverings with paint or primer can help achieve a seamless, polished look across the entire wall, enhancing various styles of wallpaper such as modern wallpaper, fibreglass wallpaper, liquid wallpaper, and vintage wallpaper. Your selection depends on your personal style and the desired ambiance in your living room, taking into account wallpaper texture and wallpaper benefits.

What are suitable wallpaper options for kitchens?

  • Vinyl wallpaper: This type of wallpaper is highly durable and easy to clean. It is resistant to moisture, making it a great choice for kitchens.
  • Washable wallpaper: As the name suggests, washable wallpaper can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge. It is designed to resist stains and can withstand frequent cleaning.
  • Wallpaper with a protective coating: Some wallpapers come with a protective coating that makes them more resistant to moisture and stains. This type of wallpaper is ideal for kitchens where spills and splatters are common.
  • Wallpaper with a textured or embossed finish: Textured or embossed wallpapers can add depth and interest to your kitchen walls while also hiding any imperfections.

What are suitable wallpaper options for bathrooms?

Choosing bathroom wallpaper involves considering a variety of wallpaper and the consideration of high moisture and humidity levels. Not all wallpapers are suitable for this environment due to potential damage. Vinyl-coated wallpapers, easy to clean and moisture-resistant, are a popular choice. Vinyl wallpapers with a fabric backing add durability and moisture resistance. Natural materials like grass cloth or cork can work if well-sealed. Select bathroom wallpaper that can withstand moisture and humidity while achieving the desired aesthetic to prevent mould build up.

How to clean wallpaper without damaging it for renters?

Suitable wallpaper options for bathrooms include vinyl or moisture-resistant wallpaper, which can withstand the humid and damp environment of a bathroom. Wallpapers with a washable or wipeable finish are ideal for easy maintenance and cleanliness. Choosing patterns or designs that are water-themed or have a calming effect can create a soothing atmosphere in the bathroom. Consider a professional end of lease cleaning service if you are moving out, or use our Bond Cleaning Checklist and do it yourself.

Using removable wallpaper for temporary decor solutions.

An effective method for maintaining the cleanliness of removable wallpaper without causing any damage for renters is to regularly dust and wipe it down with a microfiber cloth. This simple cleaning routine will help keep the wallpaper looking fresh and vibrant. Here are a few tips to further protect the wallpaper and ensure its longevity:

  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners as they may damage the wallpaper.
  • If there are any spills or stains, gently blot the affected area with a damp cloth. Avoid scrubbing vigorously.
  • Test any cleaning products on a small, inconspicuous area of the wallpaper before applying them to the entire surface.
  • If the wallpaper becomes damaged or needs to be removed, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid causing any harm to the walls.

What about Wallpaper Care for Kids and pets?

For renters, maintaining wallpaper in households with kids and pets requires careful cleaning techniques to prevent damage. When cleaning wallpaper, it is important to consider the type of wallpaper you have. For painted wallpaper, use a soft cloth, sponge or microfibre cloth dampened with a mild detergent solution to gently clean the surface. Avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals that can strip the paint or damage the wallpaper. For non-painted wallpaper, such as vinyl or washable wallpaper, you can use a slightly damp cloth or sponge to wipe away any dirt, stains or crayon marks. Be cautious not to oversaturate the wallpaper as excessive moisture can cause it to peel or warp. Using a wallpaper cleaning tool can help you reach high areas, such as the wall or ceiling, without causing damage. By following these cleaning techniques, renters can effectively clean their wallpaper without causing any harm.

Wallpaper vs paint : what is the difference?

Wallpaper:

  • Comes in a variety of patterns, colors, and textures, allowing for a more personalized and customised look.
  • Can hide imperfections on walls and add depth to a room.
  • Requires proper cleaning techniques to avoid damaging the material, such as using a mild detergent and a soft cloth.
  • May need professional removal if desired to change the design.

Paint:

  • Offers a smooth and uniform finish to walls and ceilings.
  • Comes in a wide range of colors and sheens.
  • Can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge.
  • Requires regular touch-ups and repainting to maintain its appearance.

Understanding the differences between wallpaper and paint will help renters make informed decisions when it comes to cleaning and maintaining their walls.

Wallpaper vs contact paper : what is the difference?

The main difference between wallpaper and contact paper is their intended use and application. Wallpaper is typically used to cover and decorate entire walls, while contact paper is often used for smaller, more temporary projects like lining shelves or drawer interiors. Wallpaper is generally made of thicker, more durable materials, while contact paper is thinner and often self-adhesive for easy application. Wallpaper offers a wider variety of patterns, textures, and designs to choose from, while contact paper tends to have simpler and more uniform options.

Wallpaper vs texture paint : what is the difference?

The key difference between wallpaper and texture paint lies in their application and appearance. While both options can add visual interest to a room, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart. Here are the key differences to consider:

  • Application: Wallpaper is generally applied by pasting it onto the wall using adhesive, while texture paint is applied with a roller or brush directly onto the wall surface.
  • Appearance: Wallpaper features a wide range of designs, patterns, and textures, offering more versatility in terms of aesthetics. Texture paint, on the other hand, creates a textured surface with a subtle or pronounced pattern, depending on the application technique.
  • Durability: Wallpaper is generally more durable and resistant to wear and tear, making it a suitable choice for high-traffic areas. Texture paint may require touch-ups or repainting over time.
  • Removal: Wallpaper can be more challenging to remove, often requiring the use of chemicals or steam. Texture paint can be easily painted over or sanded down if a change is desired.

Cleaning wallpaper requires a systematic approach and attention to detail. By following these steps and using the appropriate tools and cleaning solutions, you can effectively remove dirt, stains, and grease from your wallpaper without causing any damage. Remember to always test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire wallpaper surface. Regular maintenance and gentle cleaning will not only preserve the beauty of your wallpaper but also extend its lifespan, ensuring a visually appealing and fresh atmosphere in your home for years to come.

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