Project Guide

How to Clean Wallpaper

1
Dust the Surface
a woman wearing gloves to clean wallpaper with a cloth


Before using any type of cleaning solution, it is important to first dust the wallpaper thoroughly. Before using any type of cleaning solution, it is important to first dust the wallpaper thoroughly. 

  • Wipe down the surface with a duster or a soft microfiber cloth. These materials will help brush away light dirt and dust without scratching the paper. 
  • Take special care along any framework and the corners, where dust tends to accumulate. 
2
Consider Spot Cleaning
hands spraying cleaner on wallpaper and wiping with a cloth

After you’ve dusted the entire surface of your wallpaper, step back and assess the condition of the paper. If you only have a few smudges and marks, spot cleaning the wallpaper is the best option. 

After you’ve dusted the entire surface of your wallpaper, step back and assess the condition of the paper. If you only have a few smudges and marks here and there, spot cleaning the wallpaper is the best option. After you’ve dusted the entire surface of your wallpaper, step back and assess the condition of the paper. If you only have a few smudges and marks here and there, spot cleaning the wallpaper is the best option. 

  • Stay away from abrasive cleaners. Start by adding a little bit of dish soap to warm water and using a little at a time to scrub the wall. 
  • When you start to spot clean, test your cleaning method in an inconspicuous area to make sure it does not damage the finish of the wallpaper.


If the wallpaper doesn’t hold up to the moisture of this solution, spot cleaning with a wallpaper dough is another option. 

  • Simply pull a bit of wallpaper dough from the container and use your hands to roll it into a ball, much like a kneaded eraser. 
  • Roll the ball of dough over the area where you have dirt or fingerprints, and the grime should lift away. 
  • When deciding to how to clean textured wallpaper and surfaces with more grooves, wallpaper dough can be especially helpful.
3
Wash the Entire Wall
a hand wearing a glove to scrub wallpaper with a brush

Many modern wallpapers are crafted of vinyl, not paper. This means they hold up to moisture more easily. Learning how to clean vinyl wallpaper is easy because you can use a water and soap solution without fear of damage. 


If you are going to wipe down an entire wall, use a soft sponge wet with water and dish soap.

  • Immediately follow behind it with a dry microfiber cloth so water doesn’t sit on the surface of the wallpaper. 
  • If the water and dish soap solution isn’t doing the trick, cleaning wallpaper with vinegar and water is another popular choice. 
  • Try using a half cup of vinegar for every cup of water.
4
Clean the Doors and Trim
a hand wearing a glove wiping wallpaper near the baseboard

Once the wallpaper is nice and clean, dirty crown molding, baseboards and door trim will stand out even more. 

  • Use the same cleaning solution you’ve made for cleaning the walls to wipe down all the trim as well.
  • If small paint touchups are needed, this is a great time to do that. 
  • When you’re done, the entire room will look like it received a full refresh.