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Cleaning Wallpaper

Noticing grimy walls in any public place is not just an eyesore anymore. Most of the dirt is caused where people tend to walk by or gather such as corridors and lobbies. So, keeping your facility walls superbly clean was always important, and now even more so, particularly in a COVID conscious environment.

There are numerous benefits to having a textured wallpaper that is cleanable, and that looks professional. Wallcoverings also cost less to maintain because of its washability, which is far less expensive than the frequent labor, shut down, and materials costs of painting. Additionally, it is easy to keep the facilities commercial wallcovering clean and glistening for years when merged in with regular cleaning intervals.

Before you start cleaning, learn all about caring for and cleaning wallpaper. This way, you will clean your walls correctly and get them looking good. Here are some tips:

Prep for cleaning wallpaper / commercial wallcovering

According to the Wallcovering Installers Association, you should first read specific cleaning instructions for your wall coverings. No matter if you have hotel wallpaper or custom printed wall coverings, there are certainly unique specifications to follow for each product.

The good news is that some new wallcoverings can be treated with a clear water-based coating to make cleaning quicker and easier. This is especially convenient for cleaning wallpaper and other commercial wallcoverings in high-traffic environments.

Next, prepare for cleaning the wallpaper. Get a clean plastic scraper and scrape off any excess materials on the wallcovering, like chewing gum, finger marks, and surface dirt. Be gentle and move with the direction of the texture.

Another way to remove any excess dust and debris is to vacuum the wallcovering. This is quite simple, and many experts recommend it. Just use that convenient soft bristle brush attachment on the vacuum and gently apply pressure moving with the textured wallpaper direction.

Choosing a detergent for cleaning textured wallpaper

Note: Find a test piece of wallpaper first, from extra, or test detergent in an inconspicuous location. For cleaning certain wallcoverings, you may want to avoid cleaning agents with alcohol or alcohol-based soaps like hand sanitizer. Strong household cleaners and abrasive cleaners may damage the surface of textured wallpaper.

There are multiple options when it comes to cleaning solutions for wallcoverings. These include:

  • Stain removers to get at individual marks and contaminations
  • Magic Eraser
  • Liquid dish detergent and warm water (a gallon of water and few ounces of cleaner)
  • A mixture with warm water, clear non-suds ammonia, white vinegar, and washing soda for very dirty wallpaper (a gallon of water, and 250ml each of the other ingredients)


Understand that a mixture of cleaning methods may have to be employed depending on the grime type. For instance, you may have to use soap and warm water to wipe down the walls, and a stain remover solution like dish soap and hydrogen peroxide for tougher stains.

Before you start touching the wallcovering with a detergent, test that detergent on an excess piece of wallcovering. You want to be certain it will not cause any damage or lead to color variations. You also want to see how effective the product is at cleaning any commercial wallcovering.

First scrub lightly and wipe the wallcovering

Whether you are looking to clean wallpaper or any wallcoverings, the process is similar. And the end goal remains the same: Get your facilities public spaces looking great.

First, get all the necessary materials for cleaning wallcoverings, like:

  • Hand sponges, bucket, or a sponge mop for wiping with the grain of the textured wallpaper
  • Lint-free towel for surface drying
  • Gloves / Hand protection
  • A trash bag for disposing of dirty towels
  • Gallon buckets filled with hot water and the cleaning solution
  • Gallon buckets to be filled with clean water for rinsing dirty sponges & cloths


Second, before cleaning the wallpaper surface, wet the sponge or cleaning cloth in the cleaning solution. Then, wring the cloth until it is dry moist.

Third, lightly rub over the stain with the sponge or cloth. Be sure to move in the direction of the textured wall covering. After 10 seconds, rinse out the sponge or cloth in the clean water. See if the clean water becomes cloudy from the contaminants. That means you are getting the wall clean.

Continue this same process for all your wall coverings.

Remember: Frequently change your rinse bucket. This ensures your cleaning sponge or cloth will be clean at every new cycle.

Dry and finish cleaning the wallpaper

After you clean a contaminated area on any type of wall covering, dry the area thoroughly with a lint-free cloth. This will ensure the area is dried without leaving any debris.

If a stain persists, use a soft bristle brush along with straight detergent to scrub off the stain. Dry the area and see if the stain has been removed. If not, try a different detergent. If that still does not work, you may have to replace that portion of the textured wallpaper.

Cleaning wallpaper properly

You have made the investment in wallcoverings for your facility, building, or organization. To get the most return on that investment, performing regular maintenance keeps your investment paying dividends in categories such as higher equity values, and lease premiums. Follow the steps above for cleaning wallpaper, and you will have beautiful walls for many years to come!

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