How to clean wallpaper from dirt and yellowing: working products

The main thing is to correctly identify the type of wallpaper and stain

Young parents know this problem best. You move a piece of furniture, and behind it is a whole art gallery on the wallpaper. Also, wall decor inevitably gets dirty over time - stains from food and drinks, tobacco smoke and pet marks appear on it. Fortunately, there are many ways to clean wallpaper.

As OBOZREVATEL has found out, it is important to first establish what type of wallpaper you have at home. In this case, they can be cared for with the help of improvised means that do not require additional spending.

Wallpaper labelling

Every time you choose a new wallpaper, pay attention to its labelling - it contains clear care instructions that are placed in the form of icons on the label. First of all, pay attention to the image of waves. They indicate the resistance to washing:

  • one wave - the wallpaper can only be wiped with a damp cloth;
  • two waves - they will be resistant to washing with soapy water and a sponge;
  • three waves - the wallpaper is suitable for washing with a wet cloth with detergents;
  • brush - the product is resistant to abrasion, so it can be maintained by rubbing with a brush.Follow the labelling to avoid damaging the repair. The most durable wallpaper is the one with three waves and a brush at the same time.

Whitening yellowed wallpaper and removing stains

The most common problem with wallpaper is yellowing. Yellow stains appear in places where the wallpaper comes into contact with the body, such as behind the headboard, in rooms where people smoke, in the kitchen where grease stains can appear, etc. In addition to the actual cleaning, you may also need products that can whiten the wallpaper.

Vinegar or lemon

Acidic products are effective against different types of stains. But you need to choose them according to the type of stain. For example, nicotine stains, alcohol markers, or grease are well removed by citric acid, whether in the form of a store-bought product or fresh juice. Dilute the powder or juice with water and gradually wipe the stain with a sponge until all traces disappear. Vinegar dissolves wallpaper adhesive residue well. Take white or distilled vinegar, apply it to the stain with a sponge, leave it on for 5 minutes and rinse it off with the remaining glue. More stubborn stains, such as brilliant green stains, can be removed with hydrochloric acid in a 3% or 5% solution. Put on gloves, moisten a cotton pad with the acid, treat the stain with it and wait 5 minutes - after that, you can wash it off with a damp sponge.


A soap solution is suitable for treating wallpaper from light dirt. It doesn't matter whether it's laundry soap, some kind of soap like dishwashing liquid, or even cosmetic liquid soap if you don't have anything else at hand. Dilute 1 part of soap with 10 parts of water, use a sponge to treat the soiled wallpaper with this solution and wipe it dry.


Alcohol is a solvent for many types of stains, so it can be used for wallpaper. For example, it will cope with traces of red wine, juice or any food. Just moisten a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and gently wipe the stain until it disappears. Alcohol also removes traces of glue from various surfaces and wallpaper, including traces of stickers. Then you need to moisten a cotton swab with alcohol, apply it to the stain and hold it for a while. A few such procedures and the glue will dissolve. You do not need to wash off the alcohol after treating the wallpaper with it.


Soda paste will cope well with mechanical dirt without a large amount of pigment. For example, with food residues. Dissolve dry soda in equal proportions with water to make a paste-like substance, apply it to the stained area and leave it to act for 15-30 minutes. After that, you can gently rub the stain with a damp sponge and remove the remnants of the product.

Talcum powder

Talcum powder has the ability to absorb grease well, so it will save your wallpaper if you accidentally stain it with this type of substance. Immediately apply talcum powder to the stain and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Then all you have to do is clean it off with a sponge or soft brush. You may need to repeat the cleaning procedure. Talcum powder does not help with old grease stains.

Hydrogen peroxide

The substance in pharmacy concentration removes blood or juice stains well, but hydrogen peroxide should only be used on light wallpaper, as it has bleaching properties. Use a damp cloth or cotton swab to treat the stain from the edges to the centre. When the cleaning is complete, wipe the treated area with a damp sponge to remove any residual peroxide.

How to clean waterproof wallpaper

If you have chosen waterproof wallpaper, follow the correct algorithm of actions, regardless of the type of wallpaper cleaner you have chosen.

First, clean the surface you plan to treat from dust. You can do this with a broom or brush or vacuum cleaner.

Then use any of the suggested products, depending on the type of stain. But first, test its interaction with the surface in a small area somewhere inconspicuous, for example, under a table.

After cleaning, rinse off the remaining product. You can skip this step if you treated the wallpaper with alcohol. Then wipe the cleaned area dry with a textile or paper towel.

Cleaning paper, non-woven and vinyl wallpaper

These types of wallpaper are sensitive to water and cleaning agents, so you need to be very careful when cleaning them from stains.

Paper wallpaper can only be cleaned with a damp sponge if it is double-layered. Single-layer wallpapers should be cleaned only with a dry sponge.

In most cases, non-woven wallpaper is used for painting, and the paint usually tolerates washing well. If another material is applied to the non-woven, you should act according to the type of coating. For example, bamboo can only be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner.

Vinyl can be either non-woven or paper-based. If it is a foamed vinyl that forms a three-dimensional pattern, it can be sensitive to friction and detergents, in which case it can be cleaned dry or, as a last resort, gently wiped with a damp, soft sponge. Silk-screen or hot-stamped vinyl can withstand active friction and detergents.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told how to clean the sink from stains and yellowing.

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