How to Clean Different Types of Wallpapers

No matter how often and how thoroughly you dust or vacuum your home, it will probably never look clean if your wallpaper is covered with stains, dirt, grease splatters and fingerprints. More often than not, people avoid cleaning their wallpaper-covered walls due to the fear of accidentally ruining the material. However, there are a few tried and tested methods for cleaning wallpaper that will not only get rid of any unsightly spots but also make your home look bright and spotless.


the best way to clean wallpaper
Make sure to dust your walls every month or so to keep them clean

Wallpaper is literally one of the easiest ways to cover up walls without paint. It is also just as easy to clean.

The best way to clean wallpaper is by dusting it. Ideally, you must dust the walls in your home every month or so with a microfiber feather duster. Meanwhile, grease stains, scuff marks, water damage and mildew must be treated immediately. 

If your wallpaper looks particularly dingy and lifeless, despite being dusted, then it’s safe to assume it requires some deep cleaning. However, some wallpapers are washable while others aren’t. Therefore, you first need to determine what type of wallpaper you have in your home so you don’t end up inadvertently damaging it during the process.

In case you aren’t sure what type of wallpaper is present in your home and how to clean it, you can do a quick test to figure out the best course of action. Just make a solution of warm water and mild dishwashing liquid, then apply a small amount of it to an inconspicuous area of the wall. If the material soaks up the liquid and forms a stain or if you notice the colour starting to bleed, you must stay away from using any water-based cleaning products.

On the other hand, if you know what type of wallpaper you have in your home, this guide has all the information you need to make your walls look clean and flawless.


How to Clean Vinyl Wallpaper
Wallpapers in brighter hues can make a room look bigger than it actually is

Although there is a wide range of wallpapers available in the market today, solid vinyl or vinyl coated fabric wallpapers appear to be the most popular among homeowners. These wallpapers come in a variety of designs and patterns, are easy to install, extremely durable, and above all, easy to clean and maintain. 

To clean vinyl wallpaper, mix one or two teaspoons of a mild dishwashing liquid into a cup of warm water. Next, dip a soft sponge into the cleaning solution and squeeze out all the water before wiping away the dirt stains and scuff marks on the surface. It’s always better to start wiping from the bottom of the wall and work your way to the top to avoid any dirty dripping marks. It is one of the easiest methods for cleaning wallpapers.

Moreover, do not scrub the wallpaper to get rid of stubborn stains, as you might ruin the material. Similarly, make sure the sponge is just damp and not soaking wet. Otherwise, the wallpaper might get too wet and tear up.

Once you’ve cleaned the entire wall, wash the sponge with clean water and squeeze out all the liquid before wiping away the soapy solution from the wallpaper. You can then wipe away excess moisture from the surface using a soft lint-free cloth. 

To remove water stains from wallpaper, mix about one-fourth cup bleach in a cup of water. Then dip a Q-tip in the solution and rub it on a hidden spot on the wall. Wait for 10 minutes and then check for discolouration. If everything appears fine, dampen a sponge or cotton pad with the bleach solution and clean the affected area. Let the mixture sit there for about five minutes before wiping it clean with a damp sponge followed by a dry cloth.


how to remove grease stains from wallpaper
Fibreglass wallpapers are not only durable but also very environment-friendly

Fibreglass wallpapers, also known as glass cloth wallpapers, are also extremely popular among homeowners and interior designers owing to their all-natural composition that promotes a healthy environment. Fibreglass is a sustainable, eco-friendly finishing material that is durable, resistant to general wear and tear, and impervious to rot. These wallpapers are also available in a variety of colours and designs, adding value to one’s home décor.

Like vinyl, fibreglass wallpapers are also washable. In fact, you can use the same cleaning solution of water and dishwashing soap to get rid of dirt and stains from its surface. However, if that doesn’t work, you can try cleaning wallpaper with vinegar. Just mix half a cup of white vinegar into a cup of water, then use a sponge to apply this solution to the affected part of the wall. Make sure to gently buff the wallpaper in the same direction as its pattern. You can then wipe it clean with a damp sponge before drying the surface with a hand towel. It is one of the easiest methods for cleaning wallpaper in your home.

This recipe can also be used to remove grease stains from wallpaper.


how to remove scuff marks from wallpaper
Non-woven wallpapers can make your home look warm and cosy

Non-woven wallpapers are part of the latest trend in wallpapers. They are environment-friendly, easy to install and remove, long-lasting, resistant to mildew or mould, and allow the walls to breathe. However, non-woven wallpapers are made of synthetic and natural fibres, which means they are washable. Also, you don’t have to worry about the material shrinking or expanding. 

Much like vinyl wallpapers, the non-woven ones can also be cleaned with a solution of water and mild liquid soap. Simply dampen a sponge in the solution and wipe away all stains and splatters on the wall.


how to clean fabric wallpaper
Fabric wallpapers have always been a popular choice among interior decorators

Fabric wallpapers are essentially timeless. They are usually made of materials such as silk, linen, cotton, felt and velvet. Although they are relatively more expensive than other types of wallpapers on the list, embossed or textured fabric wallpapers can make your home look elegant, classy and luxurious. Owing to their breathable nature, these wallpapers are ideal for humid rooms as they are resistant to mildew and mould infestation. They are also good for insulation.

When it comes to cleaning fabric wallpapers, the best course of action is to dust them with a microfiber duster or use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the dust particle trapped in the material. In case of stubborn stains, it’s better to contact the manufacturer for guidance or consult an expert, because these wallpapers are not suitable for liquid cleaners. If you want to clean textured wallpaper, the best way to go about it is to use a piece of dry cloth and gently rub it across the surface. Usually, the raised texture effect does a good job of hiding slight imperfections and scuff marks.


how to clean textured wallpaper
Plain paper wallpapers are available in a wide variety of patterns and colours

Plain paper wallpapers are one of the most common and affordable types of wallpapers available in the market. They are also very fragile and usually don’t come with any protective coating on top. Needless to say, paper wallpapers aren’t washable. That means you can’t use any liquid cleaners to remove scuff marks from wallpaper. 

However, if you want to clean paper wallpaper in your home, you can either use an eraser or a slice of plain white bread to get rid of the grime and restore your walls to their former glory. Of course, you need to be extra careful while cleaning old wallpaper, as it can tear up another pressure.

Another way to clean paper wallpaper is by using wallpaper dough. You can simply roll a handful of dough across the surface to lift up the grime and then re-roll the dirt into the centre of the dough ball to clean more area. You can also use this dough ball to clean fabric wallpaper.

So, which of these methods for cleaning wallpapers will be using next? You can share your thoughts and comments with us by sending an email on

Meanwhile, check out our guide on how to wallpaper your room like a pro for some home décor inspiration. On the other hand, if you are not a fan of wallpapers, here are some DIY hacks to clean your walls without damaging the paint.

Stay connected to My Blog – the top lifestyle and real estate blog in Pakistan – for more DIY cleaning tips. Moreover, you can subscribe to our newsletter on the right to stay updated about the latest construction, home décor and property trends in the country.

Kashif Qureshi
Salam! I am an i-National Marketeer, Business Developer & Realtor Pakistan with a great career history of 19 years. Having lived, studied and worked in multiple countries, I am multi-lingual and I welcome you to my website.

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