How to clean wallpapers?

Wallpapers have gained immense popularity because of variety, easy applicability, and visual appeal. Moreover, easy maintenance makes it a favourite design element among interior designers and homeowners.

See also: How to put up a wallpaper?


Know your wallpaper

Vinyl wallpaper: Vinyl can withstand both kitchen and bathroom environments. So, you can deep clean it.

Fiberglass wallpaper: It can be maintained with a mix of dry and wet cleaning tricks.

Cellulose: It fades easily over time and can wither away from water and chemicals.

Bamboo wallpaper: It can be easily damaged by water.

Fabric wallpaper: It can be maintained using fabric vacuum and liquid cleaning.


Steps to clean wallpapers

Clean dust

Items needed: Duster, soft microfiber cloth, vacuum cleaner, mask, and cleaning gloves

Method: The first step to clean wallpapers is to clear dust which gets accumulated day-after-day. Use duster and microfiber cloth, clear the dust from your wallpaper in a slow-and-long horizontal motion. Repeat this process a couple of times from top to bottom. Dust accumulation will be more along the framework and corners. Take time and special care to clean these areas. In case of fabric wallpapers, you will have to vacuum clean instead of dusting.

Clean specific spots

Items needed: Gentle wallpaper cleaner, dish soap, lint-free cleaning clothwallpaper dough, and warm water

Methods: The second step is to treat stains and tough spots that accumulated on the wallpaper. Use any mild wallpaper cleaner, or warm water mixed with dish soap to gently rub the stains. Make sure you use the solution sparingly and do not exert too much pressure while cleaning.

Wipe down the entire wall

Items needed: Soft sponge, warm water, and dish soap

Method: In case you have Vinyl wallpaper, you can wipe the entire wallpaper using warm water and cleaning agent. Apply mild force and avoid heavy rubbing while cleaning it.

Clean the peripherals

Items needed: Soft sponge, warm water, and dish soap

Method: As the walls are not clean you can proceed with cleaning the peripheries which include doors, trims, moulding, etc. These can be cleaned using the same tips and tricks.


What not to do?

  • Fabric wallpapers tend to arrest moisture.
  • Textured wallpaper will lose its integrity if excessive pressure is applied. The same is true for over-exposure to moisture.
  • Strong chemicals can damage the wallpaper, and it can fade.
  • Using steam will result into the adhesive turning loose.



Can I clean all types of wallpapers in the same way?

No, different types of wallpapers require different cleaning.

How can I identify the type of wallpaper I have?

This information is given on the wallpaper’s packaging. You can also find out the type by gently peeling back a small portion of the wallpaper near the corner to examine its composition.

Is it safe to use water to clean wallpaper?

It is safe to use a mild solution of water and small amount of dish soap to clean wallpapers. Avoid using excessive water.

What cleaning tools should I use?

Soft, lint-free clothes, or sponges are usually safe for most of the wallpapers. You may also need a soft brush for delicate wallpapers. Avoid abrasive materials like scrub brushes, as they can scratch, or damage the wallpaper’s surface.

Can I clean wallpapers with water and soap?

Yes, you can clean wallpapers with water and soap.

Can I use commercial wallpaper cleaners?

Yes, you can use commercial wallpaper cleaners but follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the cleaner is suitable for your wallpaper type.

How do I clean stains, or marks on wallpapers?

You can buy a wallpaper stain remover or apply a mixture of water and vinegar to clean specific spots.

Can I use a vacuum cleaner on wallpapers?

Yes, you can use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to gently remove dust and debris from wallpapers.

Is it safe to use steam to clean wallpapers?

Typically, it is not safe to use steam cleaner on wallpapers. It may cause the wallpaper to peel, or warp.

How often should I clean my wallpaper?

Gentle dusting once in two months works fine. In heavy traffic, or cooking areas, more frequent cleaning is required.

Got any questions or point of view on our article? We would love to hear from you. Write to our Editor-in-Chief Jhumur Ghosh at


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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

A Las Vegas Realtor since 2008. Mike has a wide range of knowledge around all things Las Vegas.

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