How to Clean Stains From Wallpaper

How to Clean Stains From Wallpaper
How to Clean Stains From Wallpaper


Wallpaper is challenging to remove. It does not tolerate moisture, tends to tear, and is more or less flammable.

Therefore, cleaning wallpaper stains is better when they are not yet dry.

The treatment supported by the wallpaper differs depending on the type of coating:

  • Non-washable wallpaper: dry cloth, an eraser, or breadcrumbs only.
  • Washable wallpaper: it can be moistened but very slightly.
  • Vinyl wallpaper: it can be wet.
  • Non-woven vinyl wallpaper: it can also be wetted.

Caution: after treatment, wipe immediately with a clean, dry cloth.

Cleaning DIY and gardening stains on wallpaper

Oil paint stains (glycerophtalic)

It is impossible to remove an oil paint stain from wallpaper.

However, you can replace the offending strip or paint it over.

Water-based paint stains (acrylic)

To remove an acrylic stain from wallpaper:

  • Apply a cloth soaked in a few drops of white vinegar to the stain.
  • Then wipe with a cloth and a little water.
  • Wipe off.

Note: if the paper is not washable, stain removal is impossible.

Grease stains

To remove a grease stain from wallpaper:

  • If the wallpaper is washable, rub it with a cotton ball moistened with turpentine.
  • If the wallpaper is not washable, stain removal is impossible.

Tar/oil/fuel stains

To clean a tar stain on wallpaper:

  • Lay a thick absorbent cloth (or even two) over the stain.
  • Pass the iron at medium power on the zone to be treated.
  • If stains remain, gently dab a cotton swab dipped in ammonia.
  • If, after several tries, the result is not satisfactory, change the stained cloth.

Another effective detergent is Montmorillonite.

Mold and mildew stains

To remove a mildew stain on the wallpaper, rub the stain with a cotton swab soaked in diluted bleach.

Note: if the wallpaper does not wash, stain removal is useless.

Resin stains

To erase a resin stain on wallpaper:

  • Place an absorbent paper towel over the stain.
  • Approach the sole of a hot iron on the paper. 
  • Finish the treatment with a cloth dampened with white spirit.
  • On a washable fabric: on a non-washable fabric, change the material.

Grass stain

To remove grass stains from wallpaper:

If the wallpaper is washable:

  • Gently apply a vinegar-soaked cotton swab to the stain.
  • Press an absorbent tissue to loosen the detergent.
  • If the stain is too deep, it is indelible.

If the wallpaper is not washable:

  • Wipe away the stain with a schoolboy eraser.
  • If the stain remains, it is impossible to remove it.

Another effective detergent is a bread crumb.

Mud stain

  • To remove mud from non-washable wallpaper, erase with a bread crumb or eraser.

For washable wallpaper:

  • Using a towel soaked with vinegar, smear the stain.
  • Press a cotton ball against the area to absorb the moisture.

Other effective detergents: soap and lemon.

Gasoline stains

To remove a mud stain from an upholstery:

  • Soak up the dirt with a paper towel.
  • Dab a cotton ball soaked in turpentine.
  • Sponge with a bit of water.

Note: an upholstery that does not wash is soiled.

Mechanical oil stains

To remove a mechanical oil stain on wallpaper:

  • Place some Montmorillonite on the stain with a brush.
  • Leave it on for several hours.
  • Remove the detergent gently with a brush.
  • If stains remain, repeat the operation by adding ammonia to the Montmorillonite.

If the paper is not washable, rub a bread crumb on the stain. If the stain persists, replace the stained strip.

Moisture stains

How to Clean Stains From Wallpaper

To remove a moisture stain from wallpaper, press an absorbent paper over the moisture.

Note: a stain can remain permanent on non-washable wallpaper.

Glue stains

To remove a glue stain from wallpaper:

  • Remove the excess with a spatula.
  • Pour Montmorillonite on the stain.
  • Add a sheet of blotting paper on top.
  • Approach the soleplate of a hot iron.

 The dirt will come off and nestle on the blotting paper.

Rust stains

To remove a rust stain from the paper:

  • Remove the cause of the oxidation (it may be a rusty nail, for example).
  • Apply a cotton swab moistened with lemon juice and salt to the stain.
  • Rinse with a sponge and a little water.
  • Press an absorbent paper to remove the moisture.

Caution: if the wallpaper is not washable, it is already permanently damaged. It would then help to change the strip.

Soot stains

To remove a soot stain on the wallpaper, reduce the stain with a cloth containing bleach.

Other effective detergents are ammonia and dishwashing liquid.

Hope this post helps you clean stains from wallpaper. We will soon develop a new article on removing food stains from wallpaper. Stay posted!

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