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How to Steam off Wallpaper? Guides on Cleaning Wallpaper and Remove Stains

how to strip wallpaper with a steamer

Wallpapers typically come with intriguing designs that accumulate in a captivating interior design. However, it is hard to clean them. Steaming off wallpaper is relatively easy whenever you get bored of their design by steaming them off.

As such, this article will walk you through the tool you need and the guides on steaming off wallpaper by yourself.


Tools and Materials You May Need

wallpaper scoring tools and materials

Before you start steaming off your wallpaper, ensure you have the following tools and materials with you:


  • Steamer
  • Scraping tool or a putty knife
  • Wallpaper-perforating tool
  • Screwdriver
  • Drop cloths
  • Rubber gloves
  • Stepladder


  • Electrical tape
  • Sponge
  • Warm water


How to Steam off Wallpaper?

how to strip wallpaper with a steamer

To steam off your wallpaper, follow the below steps:

  • Step 1: Preparing of the work area

Before you start the steaming process, ensure you:

Fill your handheld steamer with hot water and let it sit for about 35 minutes as you proceed with the below activities.

Cover your floors with drop cloths to prevent water from spilling on them. Therefore, they will not be slippery.

Remove the faceplates on the walls you want to steam so as not to damage them.

Use your electrical tape to cover any electrical outlets you may have on the wall. Doing so will prevent liquids from damaging them.

  • Step 2: Perforating the wallpaper

Use a paper tiger to poke tiny holes into your wallpaper, through which the steam will penetrate and effectively loosen the wallpaper.

However, be careful not to exert undue pressure while carrying out this procedure to prevent damaging your wall surface.

But, if it accidentally happens, use a spackling compound to fill the nicks.

  • Step 3: Applying the wallpaper steamer

At times, wall steamers drip hot water. Therefore, ensure you put on your rubber gloves.

With your rubber gloves on, place your steamer’s steaming pad on the wallpaper to enable steam to pass through the earlier made perforations and loosen the glue.

However, do not rush the process as the more time you dedicate towards this stage will result in less time invested in the scraping off stage.

  • Step 4: Using wallpaper scraping tools

With step 3 completed, take your wallpaper scraping tool or a putty knife and start the scraping process from the edge of a perforation.

However, if you find the wallpaper being troublesome to remove, it means you did not steam that section well. As such, take your steamer and reapply steam to the area as required till the wallpaper becomes easier to scrape off.

If you do not have either a wallpaper scraping tool or a putty knife, you can use a drywall knife. It will still be as effective as the earlier two.

  • Step 5: Cleaning the wall

After you remove all the wallpaper from your wall, you will notice some traces of the wallpaper and glue residue remain behind.

Use a clean sponge and warm water to scrub the glue residue and wallpaper traces to get a clean finish.

  • Step 6: Cleaning the room

With all the above process complete, all you have to do now is clean the room as below:

Soak up any water that worked its way to your floor.

Remove the scrapped off wallpapers and discard off them appropriately.

If you do not plan on dealing with the wall for a while, you can remove the electrical tape covering your electrical inlets and put your faceplates back on the wall.


How to Clean the Wallpaper Regularly?

best way to steam wallpaper off

Following are detailed steps on wallpaper cleaning:

  • Step 1: Identifying your wallpaper type

The type of wallpaper you have installed will determine how you clean it as follows:

If you have vinyl wallpaper, you can scrub it to a clean. However, avoid using any scrubbing material that might be too abrasive.

If you have coated fabric wallpaper, you will find they tend to be covered using vinyl or acrylic covering that you can wash.

If you have plain paper wallpapers, you should avoid getting them wet. Therefore, consider spot cleaning the wallpaper.

  • Step 2: Cleaning the wallpaper

Having identified your wallpaper type, now it’s time to clean it:

Make a soapy solution by adding two tablespoons worth of clear dish soap with a bucket of warm water.

Dip a clean piece of cloth into the solution and wring out the excess solution.

Test the effects of the solution on a small unnoticeable region of your wallpaper. If you get desirable results, proceed to the next step.

Wipe your wallpaper surface in the vertical seams’ direction, starting from the top and using circular motions.

  • Keep the following in mind

Use as little soap as possible since large amounts of soap in the solution will make dirt stick.
Use only soft pads to clean the wallpapers since abrasive pads will result in the wallpaper's damage.

  • Step 3: Rinsing the wallpaper, then dry it

Use warm water and a clean piece of cloth to rinse the soap off the wallpaper, then use a piece of terry cloth towel to dry the surface to prevent the wallpaper from becoming damp.


Other Methods to Refresh Wallpaper

If you desire something different from steaming off your wallpapers, you might consider refreshing the wallpaper.

Refreshing wallpapers occur in dusting and cleaning, all of which you will find detailed below:

how to get stubborn wallpaper off

Dusting your wallpaper can be achieved by 3 steps:

  • Method 1: Remove dust with a vacuum

Of all the above dusting methods, vacuuming is the most efficient. To use a vacuum in cleaning your wallpapers:

Take your wall brush extension and attach it to your vacuum cleaner. The brush extension will prevent you from scratching the wallpaper.

Start from the top of the wallpaper and gently brush the entire wallpaper till you finish.

If you cannot reach the top sections, utilize a step ladder.

  • Method 2: Clean wallpaper with a broom

Take a clean piece of cloth. A microfiber cloth will be best. Put it over your broom.

In the left to the right manner, swipe the cloth-covered section of the broom over the wallpaper. Ensure you deal with the corners.

Step back and look at the progress and tackle any sections that are still dirty.

  • Method 3: Wipe it with a dry piece of cloth

Take a clean, dry piece of cloth.

Use it to clean the wallpaper as with the broom.

If you cannot access all the wallpaper parts, utilize a step ladder.


How to Remove Stains from Wallpaper?

quickest way to get stains off wallpaper

Different types of stains might find their way onto wallpapers. However, the cleaning of these stains varies depending on the stain type, as you will see below:

  • Fingerprints

To remove fingerprints from your wallpaper:

Use an art gum eraser to rub the area affected by the fingerprints hence absorbing the dirt and oil.

For vinyl types of wallpapers, soap and water will do the trick.

A piece of bread will also suffice. Leave the bread on the stain for about two minutes, then remove it. Gluten in the bread will dislodge the stains.

  • Grease spots

Place clean towels over the stains.

Set your iron to low heat, then run it over the towels. The heat will dislodge the grease that will be absorbed by the towels.

Remove the towels.

You can also apply talcum powder over the spot using a washcloth, leave it for 10 minutes, then use a soft dry brush or sponge to remove the powder from the wall.

  • Crayon marks

Scarp off the excess crayon using a putty knife.

Place clean towels over the stains.

Set your iron to low heat, then run it over the towels. The heat will dislodge the crayon stains, which will be absorbed by the towels.

Remove the towels.

  • Red wine stains

To remove wine stains from your wallpaper:

Use peroxide and dish soap to wet a clean piece of rag.

Apply the above combination to your wallpaper.

Leave the combination on the wallpaper for about five minutes.

Use a damp piece of cloth to wipe off the combination.

Dry the wallpaper using a dry towel

If the above procedure fails, use a sodium bicarbonate cleaner in place of dish soap and peroxide, then follow the earlier steps.



These are some questions that are frequently asked, which are expected to help you:

1. How long does it take to steam off wallpaper?

Steaming off wallpapers does not take that long. Once you have made your perforations, the steam will make light work of the glue, and within 20 to 30 minutes, you will be through with the process.

2. Can a wallpaper steamer damage plaster?

When properly used, wallpaper steamers will not cause any damage to your plaster walls.

However, in the case of drywall, be careful during the process. Dry walls easily absorb moisture and can chip or crack when they become damp.

3. Can I use an iron or fabric steamer to steam off wallpaper?

If you are dealing with a small area, then yes, you can use an iron or fabric steamer to steam off your wallpaper. However, if the spot is large, this method will not be suitable.



If you are looking to replace your current wallpaper with a better one, or you desire to instead paint the wall, steaming off the old wallpaper is a good way to remove it.

Moreover, if cleaning the wallpaper is what you desire, use the above-stated methods by following the listed procedures duly. In case you encounter any issue that you cannot handle, please note, you can always contact a professional.