Clean Wallpapers: Complete Way

clean wallpapers

Wallpaper is a surface that even the most meticulous cleaner may overlook. Dust and dirt are attracted to wallpaper. Therefore, regular cleaning is beneficial for the majority of wallpaper. Your wallpaper may need to be dusted and stains may need to be cleaned, depending on its condition. Continue reading, you will learn how to clean wallpapers.

Are Wallpapers Washable?

In fact, some wallpaper varieties can be cleaned. To be exact, solid vinyl and fiberglass. These two items are frequently chosen over others due to their durability as well as the fact that they are water-resistant and machine-washable. Solid vinyl wallpaper can last you up to 20 years, so it’s definitely a wise investment to take into account, especially for high-humidity and easily soiled rooms of the house like the kitchen and bathroom.

The majority of synthetic materials can generally be maintained with wet-cleaning techniques, though this is not always the case. One of the reasons for this is their glossy protective coating. However, moisture can harm wallpaper made of natural materials like bamboo, fabric, plants, and the like. Both wallpapers made of natural and synthetic materials fall under the latter category.

Examining your wallpaper’s label is the best way to be certain; there, the composition and washable/non-washable characteristics should be listed. Searching online for information is also an option if you can see the name of the manufacturer.

Which Types Are Your Wallpaper?

Determine what kind of wallpaper you have before performing a deep clean. The most popular type of wallpaper is vinyl, but thanks to new materials and technologies, wallpaper is experiencing a revival. As a result, there are more options available, and each has a unique set of cleaning considerations based on the material’s durability. The seven things to know are listed below.

  • Vinyl: Due to its low cost and all-around durability, this type of wallpaper is most frequently found in homes. Older or inexpensive versions can have an “artificial” or plastic look, although newer vinyl papers can also imitate stone, wood, and other natural surfaces. Vinyl wallpaper is frequently used in kitchens and bathrooms because it is rather resistant to water and dirt damage. This same durability also allows vinyl wallpaper to withstand a deeper clean than most types of wallpaper. Vinyl wallpaper is made to last 10 to 20 years.
  • Fiberglass: Also known as “glass cloth” wallpaper, fiberglass is an ultra-durable wall covering that is also flame-resistant. It can be used to patch wall cracks or completely cover the ceiling or wall with subtle decorative patterns. It is a pricey but effective option with a 30-year lifespan. Similar to vinyl, it is stain-resistant and can be cleaned with soap and water as well as non-abrasive cleaners. The fact that it is extremely resilient, fade-resistant, and costs less to maintain and repair over time is best of all.
  • Cellulose: The primary ingredient in traditional vintage wallpaper, including well-known brands like Morris & Company (founded by designer William Morris), is cellulose, a plant fiber made from wood pulp. Over time, colors have a tendency to fade, and water can damage them. Modern technology combines cellulose and cotton fiber to create liquid wallpaper, a breathable and environmentally friendly wall covering that is applied like paint but offers more texture options. All types of wallpaper made from plants should not be cleaned with abrasive chemicals or exposed to high humidity.
  • Fabric: These days, wallpapers with embossing, texture, and textile are more and more common. They may also be very costly, particularly when made of premium materials like silk, linen, velvet, or raffia. When cleaning fabric wallpaper, be careful because fabrics’ water resistance varies. Use dry vacuuming and dusting instead of liquid cleaners for the best care. Speak to the manufacturer or an expert if there are any lingering stains.
  • Bamboo: Bamboo is a renewable, plant-based material that is also environmentally friendly. Additionally, it protects against some microbes and allows walls to breathe. It’s not suggested for high-humidity areas like bathroom vanities and kitchen backsplashes because they can be damaged by moisture. Do not clean with water.
  • Hybrid: Natural and synthetic fibers are combined to create non-woven wallpaper. Eco-friendly and breathable, this hybrid material is ideal for use on walls. It also costs more and cannot be washed, so dusting and daily maintenance are necessary.
  • Removable: “Temporary” wallpaper, made from high-performance vinyl or woven polyester (or even more eco-friendly options), offers flexible home design. Residents of rental properties and homeowners alike can remove the backing and apply the adhesive to a wall. With semi-gloss, satin, or eggshell paint finishes (rather than matte), the low-tack adhesive coating performs best. Removable wallpaper has a long lifespan when installed in low-humidity areas.

Stick to Step 1 (below), only lightly dusting or vacuuming walls if your wallpaper is cellulose, fabric, bamboo, hybrid, or removable. Before attempting to remove a stain, get in touch with the manufacturer as many natural fibers and fabrics can be harmed by water and cleaning agents.

clean wallpapers

The exceptions, which are among the most resilient of the group, are vinyl and fiberglass wallpapers. Either can be cleaned using all-purpose cleaners or the delicate cleaning technique described below. However, proceed with caution to prevent scratching, tearing, or other surface damage by using only non-abrasive cleaners (no powders) and soft cleaning pads or sponges (no scouring pads). Don’t use any melamine scrubber that contains very fine abrasives, such as Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.

What Tools Should You Need?

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Long-handled sweeper
  • Cordless vacuum
  • Large bucket
  • Dish soap
  • Cellulose sponge
  • Rubber gloves
  • Gum eraser
  • White bread
  • Bleach
  • White vinegar
  • Cotton pads

How to Clean Washable Wallpaper?

While washable wallpaper may seem easier to clean, there are still some things to keep in mind and be aware of.

  • Dust from top to bottom – You must start by giving the wallpaper a thorough dusting. In the alternative, once you start washing with water, you’ll have a huge mess. Use a vacuum with a brush attachment to get rid of all accumulated dust more quickly and easily. Although you can use a duster if you prefer, using a vacuum cleaner is the better option. In order to eventually collect any dropped dust from the floor, start at the top and work your way down.
  • Mix the soap and water – There is no need to use abrasive or aggressive chemical cleaners because the first could scratch the wallpaper’s protective layer and the latter could set off a reaction and leave discoloration marks. To restore your wallpaper’s surface to its original shine and cleanliness, just use soap and lukewarm water. 1-2 tbsp of soap to 2 l of water. Add more water if you notice that the solution becomes too soapy.
  • Wash every part of the wallpaper – We suggest that you divide the wall into two equal sections and work on each section separately. You should only dampen the surface, not completely submerge it. Stains can be worked on later; do not concentrate on them now.
  • Dry the surface with a clean microfibre cloth – The wallpaper surface should be dried with a cloth as soon as possible after washing. By doing so, you’ll be able to collect the last of the moisture and dirt and avoid streaks.
  • Treat the stains – Wallpaper can be cleaned with vinegar, but only the washable varieties should be treated. For getting rid of greasy food, mold, or brown spots, white vinegar can be very helpful. It has many beneficial qualities, including the ability to destroy grease and kill bacteria and fungi. Later on, we delve into various staining techniques.

How to Clean Non-washable Wallpaper?

Due to the fact that they cannot be cleaned with water, these wallpaper types need a little more care and consideration when it comes to cleaning. You are capable of handling this task, though.

  • Remove the dust – Using the brush extension on your vacuum, remove the dust from your wallpaper. Remember that wallpaper made of textured materials, velvet, or other types of fabric can be easily damaged. In order to extract the dust, do not apply excessive pressure with the brush.
  • Inspect the wallpaper – You can quickly search for stains after the dust has been eliminated. Recall those so you can address them later.
  • Lift stains and spots – The fact that non-washable wallpaper cannot be cleaned with spray cleaners or any other kind of liquid cleaner may make this a little more difficult. You can choose between these two alternatives to dry cleaning. One of them is to use a dry cleaning sponge on the area. It can get rid of smoke, soot, and other junk. It is completely safe to use on non-washable materials and is reusable. The second option is to clean your wallpaper with dough or another dry cleaning product that resembles putty. Though it may sound strange, did you know that play-dough was first created specifically for cleaning wallpaper? It turns out that this is a suggested option for delicate wallpapers because it poses no risk to the material and requires only a simple roll of dough over the surface to remove the grime.

How to Remove Stains from Wallpaper?

Let’s now concentrate more specifically on the wallpaper stain removal procedure, which is the most difficult aspect of the job.

Fingerprints and Food Grease

It’s possible that until you closely examine the wallpaper, you won’t even notice the fingerprints. The coated and smooth surface can then be attempted to be cleaned of them using a gum eraser once you have.

If that is ineffective or there are simply too many, handprints and grease-rich food stains from vinyl and other washable wallpaper can be removed using a solution of vinegar and water. Remember that vinegar dissolves grease?

The heat from an iron or a blow dryer can safely remove the stain from more delicate materials. We would advise using a blow dryer as a last resort for a number of reasons. On the one hand, it is simpler to control how much heat is applied to the wallpaper, and on the other hand, there is no chance of leaving an unsightly burn mark in the shape of an iron on your wall.

You can try using the blow dryer to melt the stain and paper towels to wipe it away. If that is insufficient or if you are determined to use the iron method, place a cloth over the stain and heat it with the iron. In this manner, the greasy substance can be transferred to the fabric.

clean wallpapers

Mould and Dark Spots

The most likely culprits for any dark spots on the wallpaper are water or mold. You must take action before they spread because neither should be disregarded.

To find and permanently fix any leaks in your home, you’ll probably need the help of experts. When it comes to mold, in some instances, a solution of vinegar and water may be sufficient to eliminate it as well as some cigarette smoke-induced dark spots. Once more, vinyl and fiberglass wallpapers that can be cleaned with liquid cleaners are the best candidates for this.

A bleach and water solution will work better if there has been a significant buildup of black mold, though. But keep in mind that bleach can bleach materials, so it shouldn’t be used on dark-colored wallpaper. Start with a weak solution of 1l of water and just 1-2 tbsp of bleach as well. Before you apply more of it, you should definitely test it on a less noticeable area to see how it responds.


Don’t jump to panic if your children have chosen to use the wallpaper as their drawing surface. There is a way to fix this, so it’s not the end of the world. Although you can experiment with various cleaning methods, using heat is likely the safest and most efficient option. This increases your likelihood of removing the majority of the crayon without having to scrub very hard from the wallpaper.

A clean rag or piece of paper towel can be used to absorb the stain after using the iron or blow dryer method mentioned above to remove it.

Start by using a plastic scraper to carefully remove the extra material from the wall. Use the blow dryer to continue melting the remaining crayon. If your wallpaper permits it, carefully wipe off any visible residue before washing any stains with soap and water.

What Are the Dos and Donts of Cleaning Wallpaper?

And now, some important wallpaper cleaning guidelines to keep in mind so that you can achieve satisfying results, avoid critical errors, and possibly avoid wallpaper replacement.


  • Prior to beginning any cleaning, always examine the wallpaper for damage. By doing so, you can locate any damage or stains that need to be cleaned up as well as the material’s identity.
  • In terms of identifying the material, always search for a label, brand, or other identifiers that could point you in the direction of cleaning and maintenance guidelines for the specific product.
  • When stains come from food or beverages with a lot of colors, like coffee or wine, clean them up right away. They won’t be easy to lift once they embed themselves in the wallpaper.
  • Only washable and long-lasting wallpaper should be treated with white vinegar, bleach, and a solution of soap and water.
  • At least every three months, dust your wall coverings. At least once per year, thoroughly clean and spot-treat the surface. The kitchen, bathroom, and kids’ room are high-risk areas that can benefit from more frequent cleaning.


  • No matter if the wallpaper is made of a washable or non-washable material, never clean its surfaces with abrasive products.
  • If you are unsure of the wallpaper’s composition, wait before beginning to clean it. You might irreparably harm it.
  • On wallpaper that you are aware is delicate and cannot be washed, avoid taking a chance by using water or water-based cleaners. Even though it may seem obvious, sometimes people choose to experiment anyway, and the outcome may not be pretty.
  • Speaking of experiments, don’t forget to test each cleaning technique you choose to employ on a small, inconspicuous area of the wall before moving forward with the full cleaning.

Can You Clean Textured Wallpaper?

It is especially important to use a sponge if your wallpaper is textured so you can clean it effectively. Again, use long, even strokes and light pressure to thoroughly clean the area. Test a small area first to see if any color starts to bleed, and if it does, stop immediately.

How Do You Clean Wallpaper With Vinegar?

Mix equal parts vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle, The owner of the Cecil Snider Painting Company in Shreveport, Louisiana, is Cecil Snider, a paint and wallpaper specialist. After applying the mixture to the wallpaper, give it 15 minutes to soak.

Can You Use Magic Eraser on Wallpaper?

Do not use magic eraser sponges on your wallpaper. These sponges are actually very fine sandpaper, despite the fact that they may seem like a quick and simple way to remove stains. This means that they are actually scraping off the top layer of your wallpaper, which will eventually remove the design completely.