We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

How to Clean Vinyl Wallpaper

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

Loading ...
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

  7. Tip

    Clean stains as soon as they occur. Some substances, such as ink, shampoo and certain foods, stain permanently if not immediately removed.


    Harsh cleaners may discolour the wallpaper or damage the finish. Before using a cleaner like rubbing alcohol and naphtha, first test it on a small, inconspicuous part of the wallcovering. Wear gloves and ensure good ventilation in the room when working with solvents like rubbing alcohol and naphtha.

Loading ...

Things You'll Need

  • 2 buckets
  • White cleaning cloth
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Naphtha
  • Mild liquid soap
  • Sponge
  • Hard bristle brush
  • Lint-free cloth

About the Author

Loading ...