How to clean wallpaper from dirt and yellowing: effective remedies for various types

Yulia PoteriankoLife
The main thing is to correctly identify the type of wallpaper and stains

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

As OBOZREVATEL has found out, it is important to first determine what type of wallpaper you have at home. At the same time, you can take care of it with the help of improvised means that do not require additional spending.

Wallpaper labeling

Whenever you choose a new wallpaper, pay attention to its labeling as 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 be wiped only with a damp cloth;
  • two waves - it 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 abrasion resistant, so you can clean it with a brush.

Follow the labeling to avoid damaging your 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 touches the body, such as 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. However, 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 scrub the stain with a sponge until all traces of it 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 simple dirt. It doesn't matter whether it's laundry soap, some kind of soap like dishwater, or even cosmetic liquid soap if you don't have anything else at hand. Dilute 1 part soap with 10 parts water, use a sponge to clean the soiled wallpaper and wipe it dry.


Alcohol is a solvent for many types of stains, so it can be used for wallpaper as well. For example, it will cope with traces of red wine, juice, or some 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, for example. In this case, you need to moisten a cotton swab with alcohol, put it on the stain and hold it for a while. After a few such procedures, the glue will dissolve. You do not need to wash off the alcohol after treating the wallpaper with it.

Baking soda

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 you just need to 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 a pharmacy concentration is good for removing blood or juice stains. Still, hydrogen peroxide should only be used on light wallpaper as it has bleaching properties. Use a dampened cloth or cotton swab to treat the stain from the edges to the center. 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, depending on the type of wallpaper cleaner you have chosen.

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

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

After the cleaning procedure, 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 be cleaned with a damp sponge if it is double-layer. Single-layer wallpaper can only be cleaned dry.

Non-woven wallpaper is mostly 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 foamed vinyl, which forms a three-dimensional pattern, it can be sensitive to friction and detergents. Thus, it can be cleaned dry or, as a last resort, gently wiped with a damp soft sponge. On the other hand, silkscreen or hot stamped vinyl can withstand active friction and detergents.

Subscribe to OBOZREVATEL on Telegram and Viber to keep up with the latest news

Other News

The process of cooking

Types of saucepans you should never cook food in and why: top 3

Everyone makes the same mistake
How to make tomato paste at home: a simple recipe

How to make tomato paste at home: a simple recipe

Only natural ingredients