3 Simple Wallpaper Care Procedures

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3 Simple Wallpaper Care Procedures

Staff Writer · Dec 2, 2010

Knowledge of basic wallpaper care is important for any apartment dweller. While a landlord can usually take care of major problems in an apartment, you don’t need to call a landlord for dirty wallpaper or wallpaper with air bubbles or curled corners. Instead, follow any of these tips to get your wallpaper looking new again.

1. Cleaning Wallpaper

The first tenet of wallpaper care is to keep your wallpaper clean and to tackle any stains that may appear. You can actually wash your wallpaper, but be sure to do so gently. Follow these step-by-step directions when cleaning wallpaper:

  1. Make a mixture of about one gallon warm water and 1/8 cup dish or laundry detergent.
  2. Dip a non-abrasive sponge into the mixture and squeeze the excess, leaving the sponge still fairly soaked but not dripping.
  3. Begin at the bottom of the wall, working in circular motions up the wall with the sponge.
  4. Dip another sponge in warm water (without detergent) and squeeze out the excess.
  5. Run the rinsing sponge up the wall in circular motions to rinse away the suds.
  6. Use a lint-free cloth to gently dry the wall, patting up and down in smooth motions. Don’t press too hard.

If your wallpaper is especially delicate, you may choose to use a dry cleaning sponge instead of getting it wet. Even a slice of white bread works to remove some of the dirt on delicate wallpaper.

2. Fixing Wallpaper Bubbles

Air bubbles can sometimes appear in wallpaper, especially if the wallpaper wasn’t affixed properly to the wall and/or the wallpaper is fairly old. Basic wallpaper care can help you minimize the appearance of these bubbles as long as they’re not too widespread. Be sure that you have your landlord’s permission to proceed.

  1. Pinch the air bubble in one hand and carefully use a razor knife to cut a small slit (no longer than a inch) in the middle of the bubble.
  2. Fill a syringe or glue applicator with seam adhesive and squeeze the adhesive under the bubble through the slit.
  3. Flatten the bubble with a seam roller or rolling pin.
  4. Wipe away excess adhesive that protrudes from your slit with a lint-free rag or paper towel.
  5. Be sure that both ends of your slit are placed as inconspicuously as possible together.

3. Putting Down Curled Corners

Curled corners are even more simple to fix than air bubbles. You may not even need your landlord’s permission for this level of wallpaper care. Simply purchase seam adhesive from a hardware store and use a small brush or sponge applicator to cover the back of the exposed corner. Carefully push the curled corner down and be careful to stretch the wallpaper taut–but not too taut–so that there are no air bubbles. Use a seam roller or rolling pin if you’re having trouble. Then wipe away an excess adhesive that protrudes from the sides of the paper with a paper towel or lint-free rag.

While basic wallpaper care is simple and should be the apartment dweller’s responsibility, be careful when dealing with the permanent furnishings of your apartment, as any damage may result in you losing your deposit. Never use abrasive cleaners and be careful when you scrub or use any tools.

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