How do you clean wallpaper without ruining it?

Maintaining vibrant wallpaper is essential amidst daily chaos. Identify its type, dust regularly, and perform a wet patch test for water resistance. For stains, use a simple cleaning solution ...

3 min read

Kids, pets, and, well, life can get the better of wallpapers. And while they are most certainly easier to maintain than paint, cleaning wallpapers is an important task.

 Most of us often opt for wallpaper over paint due to the short time it takes to put it together, the play of patterns one can experiment with, and its low maintenance. The benefits of wallpaper are many. And while they can be easy to clean, they need some TLC to keep looking vibrant and as good as new. If you are worried about how to clean your wallpapered walls, we have just the guide for you. Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1 to cleaning wallpaper: Find out your wallpaper type

Before you even begin cleaning wallpaper, you need to know its type so that you can pick cleaning products accordingly.

Usually, home wallpapers range from common vinyl ones to those made of fabric. At times, they are made of eco-friendly natural materials, and some wallpapers can even be metallic.

The care instructions for each of these vary as they are not all resistant to water and cleaning solutions. It is essential to find out which category of wallpaper you have used before you proceed.

If you are unsure about any of this, please check with the wallpaper company for more information.

Step 2 to cleaning wallpaper: Begin by dusting the wallpaper

The first step to a clean, dirt-free wallpaper begins by getting rid of dust particles settled on its surface. If your home is prone to frequent dust, it is vital that you dust the wallpaper every two weeks or as and when you see dust settled on it.

For regular upkeep, once a month is ideal. This step not only keeps dust mites at bay, it gives it a fresh look with every wipe.

Since dusting is done without any solution, it can be safely done on any type of wallpaper without damaging it. For this, take a clean, dry rag or microfibre cloth and wipe it from the top of the wallpaper to the bottom uniformly.

Remember not to scrub too hard, as this is simply to wipe off any dust or cobwebs on the wallpaper. You could also vacuum the dust but try it on a small patch before proceeding to the rest of the wall. For textured wallpaper, a vacuum cleaner is best suited to get out dust from nooks and crannies with its suction power. 

 Step 3 to cleaning wallpaper: Do a wet patch test on your wallpaper

Once you know if your wallpaper is water-resistant, you can clean it using plain water. Dip a soft sponge in plain or lukewarm water. Then, wring it well to remove excess water and start wiping from the top of the wallpaper to the bottom.

Do a small patch test in a less prominent part of the wallpaper to check if it doesn’t alter the colour or design and effectively cleans its surface.

While water-resistant wallpaper can be left to air dry, using a soft cloth to dab it dry is also a good idea. This will prevent any moisture build-up.

Step 4 to cleaning wallpaper: Make a wallpaper cleaning solution

Some stains and grease don’t always come off with just water and require something stronger.

You can make a simple solution using one part cleaning liquid and three parts lukewarm water. Alternatively, you can also use a mild washing detergent or dish cleaning liquid as these are not too abrasive.

Apply using a sponge on the required spot and then wipe it off again using a damp cloth or sponge of plain water to avoid soap residue on your wallpaper.

Next, dab it with a dry, soft cloth.

If the stain is deeper, make small, circular motions using the sponge dipped in the cleaning solution, but avoid vigorous scrubbing to get it out.

Leave the solution on for a few minutes before you wipe it off with a damp cloth and pat dry.

If your wallpaper is textured, chances are it will have some dirt settled in the crevices over time. To get rid of this, use a Q-tip dipped in a cleaning solution, followed by one dipped in water. While this can be time-consuming, you can reserve this step for deep-cleaning the wallpaper once every few months.

Remember, it is essential to know if your wallpaper can be cleaned with water or a mild solution before you go ahead with it to avoid ruining its design or its adhesive from loosening up.

Tips for regular wallpaper upkeep:

  • Dust your wallpaper once every two months or monthly if you’re in a dust-prone neighbourhood so it doesn’t look old and faded.
  • Don’t use harsh liquids that can damage the wallpaper.
  • If you stain the wallpaper, clean it immediately and avoid scrubbing too much.
  • Always clean the wallpaper in one sweeping motion from top to bottom.
  • Maintain your wallpaper by avoiding touching it with greasy hands.

With this easy step-by-step wallpaper cleaning guide, your walls will keep looking fresh for longer.

Subscribe Subscribe