How to remove wallpaper glue residue

A wallpaper removal project may leave glue residue behind. Before you put up new wallpaper or paint your walls, you must first fully remove the old wallpaper glue residue. Commercial products can help you remove the residue, but so can products from home. Natural remedies for wallpaper glue residue removal are just as effective and save money and chemical exposure.

Combine 1/2 cup liquid fabric softener and 1 qt. hot water in a bucket. Slosh the solution around to mix.

Pour some of the fabric softener solution into a paint tray. Dip your paint roller into the diluted fabric softener, then roll it over the walls. Allow the fabric softener to sit on the glue residue for a few minutes to soften and loosen it.

Soak a clean sponge in hot water. Scrub the wallpaper glue residue with the sponge. Continue to rinse the sponge in clean water and wipe away the wallpaper glue, adding more fabric softener spray, if needed.

Wipe down the walls with a clean towel, dampened with water to remove all traces of wallpaper glue residue and fabric softener solution. Dry your walls with a towel. Allow the walls to air-dry fully before applying new wallpaper or paint.


Use undiluted fabric softener on stubborn wallpaper glue residue.


Be careful if using a scraper to remove wallpaper and wallpaper residue as you can rip or damage your walls if they weren't properly prepared before they were originally wallpapered.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup fabric softener
  • 1 qt. hot water
  • Bucket
  • Paint tray
  • Paint roller
  • Sponge
  • Clean towels
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.