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How to Get Stains Out of Wallpaper

Jan Czech

No matter how hard you try, you can’t avoid stains in your home, even on the walls. Although most wallpaper these days is washable, it is still difficult to get out the most stubborn stains. Children sometimes use the walls as their own private canvas, leaving you to clean up the wallpaper as best you can.

Stains can be removed from wallpaper.

Stains from cooking can be tough to remove, as can organic stains like blood. But with a little perseverance and many household items, you will be up to the challenge.


  1. Make paste from three parts cornstarch or baking soda and one part water. Apply paste to the stain with your fingers. Rub gently.

  2. Wipe off the paste with a damp cloth or paper towel. Repeat this process until the stain is gone.

  3. Substitute a weak solution of water and dish detergent for the paste mixture and follow the above steps.

  4. Put a paper towel or a flat piece of a paper grocery bag over the stain.

  5. Apply an iron on the lowest setting to the bag or paper towel. Use this method to remove grease stains from non-washable wallpaper.


  1. Dampen a clean cloth with cold water. Do not soak; a wet cloth will spread the stain.

  2. Rub the stain gently.

  3. Blot the area with a dry cloth.

  4. Repeat this process until the stain is gone.


  1. Mix 1/2 a cup of water with 1 teaspoon of liquid bleach. Wet a clean cloth with the solution and wring it out thoroughly. Apply the cloth to the stain.

  2. Dry the area with a clean paper towel or cloth.

  3. Go over the stain again until it is gone.


  1. Scrape off food particles. Use a butter knife or a paint scraper. Be careful not to scrape the wallpaper.

  2. Scrub the stain with a mixture of mild detergent in a bucket of water, just enough to form bubbles. Continue until the stain has disappeared.

  3. Form a slice of plain white bread into a ball. Rub it on the stain to erase it. Repeat with a new slice as necessary to remove the stain.

  4. Tip

    Try a Magic Eraser product, which will work on many types of stains. Don’t wet wallpaper too much or you run the risk of it pulling away from the wall. Never use abrasive cleaners on wallpaper, as they can scratch or tear it. Always test stain-removal products and home remedies on a small area before applying them to the stain. To remove ink, use bleach on a cotton swab and rub gently. Stains are easier to remove when they are fresh.