How to Clean Vinyl Wallpaper

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Vinyl wallpaper's durability is one big reason homeowners choose it. Unlike paper wallcoverings, vinyl wallcoverings resist stains and scratches and can stand up to repeated washing and even light scrubbing. Even so, in a high-traffic area like the kitchen, bathroom or child's playroom, it's bound to get dirty. Clean vinyl wallpaper one to three times a year, depending on the room's traffic level, and you'll prevent dirt and grime from building up and keep your wallcovering looking fresh.

Clean off marks from pens, pencils and crayons with a white cloth dampened in rubbing alcohol. For grease stains like shoe polish or chewing gum, use naphtha. You can buy naphtha, a petroleum-based solvent, at a hardware or paint supply store. Rub stains from the outside edges inward to avoid spreading the discolouration.

Fill a bucket with warm water and mix in two or three drops of mild liquid soap. Fill another with pure water. With a sponge dampened in soapy water, dampen a small horizontal section of the wall from the floor up. Rinse the sponge and wipe down the dampened section to remove surface dirt.

Scrub textured areas gently with a hard bristle brush. Also scrub around any edges in the wall to loosen accumulated dirt.

Rinse the clean section with a sponge dampened in pure water. Work your way up the wall in sections, dampening the wallpaper, wiping it, then rinsing it. Working in sections prevents streaking.

Rinse the sponge to remove all soap. Dampen it in pure water, and rinse the whole wall from top to bottom. Rinse thoroughly because residue from some cleaners can discolour vinyl wallpaper.

Pat the wallpaper dry with a lint-free microfiber cloth or soft towel. Rubbing can damage the wallcovering's finish, causing unwanted shine.

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