How to Clean and Maintain Your Residential Wallpaper

Residential wallpaper comes in a variety of designs, styles, textures and types. Because of this, finding the right wall covering products that will make any room aesthetically pleasing and reflect your personality, artistic flair, and preference at the same time won’t be difficult.

With the right wallpaper, a small room can look bigger. It can also add volume to any space and make the ceiling appear higher. Moreover, it can brighten any area in your home that needs additional light.

If you want to create a statement wall, wallpaper with geometric prints is an excellent option. This particular design can add dimension and a layered style to any room, including entryways and hallways.

Preserving and Prolonging the Quality of Your Wallpaper

To have wallpaper in your home that remains eye-catching for a long time, you need to learn how to take care of them properly.

Below are some tips for cleaning and maintaining the wallpaper in your home:

1. Keep and refer to the cleaning guide that came with your wallpaper

When buying wallpaper, ask the supplier for the instruction guide that comes with the product. Make sure you read and keep this item so that you know how to clean it properly.

Pay particular attention to the recommended cleaning solutions or items for the wallpaper. Keep in mind that if you use the wrong product, your wall covering could lose its print or design (and you wouldn’t want that to happen, especially if you chose pretty damask wallpaper designs).

Using an abrasive or extremely strong cleaning solution on otherwise delicate wallpaper can cause irreparable damage as well.

2.     Do a patch test before cleaning the wallpaper

If you lost the care manual for your wall covering material and don’t remember which cleaning solutions are recommended, carry out a patch test before giving the wallpaper a good wipe down.

Put a small amount of cleaning solution on your cloth or sponge and wipe a small inconspicuous part of the wallpaper. If it does not discolor or damage the wall covering in any way, proceed with wiping it.

In case the wiped area gets damaged, avoid using the cleaning solution.

If you are not sure if the wallpaper is even washable, do a patch test on a tiny, usually unnoticeable area, too. However, this time, wet your cloth or sponge with a solution of water and dishwashing liquid. In case the wall covering darkens or absorbs water, clean it with wallpaper dough instead.

3. Follow the right steps for wet-washing wallpaper

To maintain the condition of your wallpaper, follow these tips when washing it:

  • Remove all loose dust and dirt using a brush from top to bottom first.
  • When wiping the wallpaper, use only a slightly wet sponge or cloth. Always squeeze out the excess water first.
  • Wipe the wallpaper following the seams from top to bottom. This will prevent you from making streaks and drips on the area below.
  • Once done, wipe the finished area dry with a clean and dry towel before moving to the next section. By doing so, you will prevent the wallpaper from soaking up too much water, which can cause tearing.

4. Use wallpaper dough to clean delicate wall coverings

Fabric, reed, and uncoated are three types of wallpaper that can be easily damaged by water. To clean these products thoroughly without damaging them, use wallpaper dough.

Wallpaper dough is a product specially made to clean delicate paper-based wall coverings. It works by lifting stains off the surface.

To use this cleaning product, roll a handful of dough into a ball and rotate it across the wallpaper. This will lift the dust and dirt off the wall covering.

Once the dough becomes too dirty, knead the dirt into the center of the ball to uncover a cleaner surface that you can use on the other areas.

You can buy wallpaper dough at home improvement centers or hardware and paint stores.

5. Vacuum your wallpaper regularly

To keep the natural look and condition of your wallpaper, clean it often using your vacuum cleaner.

Use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum to remove dust and dirt from the wallpaper. Run it over the wall from top to bottom, working on two panels at a time.

Be careful of cobwebs on your wallpaper. It is best to use a vacuum to remove them since brushing them can leave streaks on the surface that are harder to clean.

Use the vacuum to clean the wallpaper every two months or so. However, if your house tends to accumulate plenty of dust, you may have to do this chore more often.

6. Remove stains as soon as possible

No home is perfectly safe from risks and damage. Your wallpaper won’t be immune from possible minor cosmetic issues, either.

However, the faster you tackle any stain on your wallpaper, the easier it would be to remove it. As such, once you spot any blemish, get rid of it immediately.

If your little tyke has been using crayons to doodle on your living room or kitchen wallpaper, remove the stains by sprinkling baking soda or a mild detergent on a damp sponge or cloth and running this gently on the soiled area.

To remove ink stains on the wallpaper, create a baking soda paste and put a small amount on a damp cloth or sponge and rub it gently on the stain.

If your wallpaper was splattered with grease or cooking oil, make a cornstarch paste and apply it to the stained area. Once the substance becomes dry, use a vacuum or brush to remove it.

When removing any stain, always do a patch test first since your cleaning solution may still discolor or damage the wallpaper.

By adding cleaning and maintaining your wallpaper to your list of chores, your walls will continue to be appealing facets of your home.


James Prathap is one of the Directors of NGC Nafees, top importers and exporters of wallpapers, floorings and fabrics in India. The business also offers high-quality panoramics, coordinated fabrics, and creative stickers for residential and commercial projects.