What Is Washable Wallpaper?

Some people think that adding wallpaper to their home is a bad choice, especially in messy areas like the kitchen, bathroom, playroom, or a kid's bedroom. This is because many types of wallpaper are vulnerable to damage and break down easily. However, there is a wallpaper option that's much more durable. It's called washable wallpaper.

You may have guessed that washable wallpaper can be washed. Wallpaper from the 70's says that this wallpaper is covered or made of a plastic coating called vinyl, which means that it shouldn't be damaged by a gentle clean. However, how gentle you have to be depends on the type of wallpaper. There are many different types of washable wallpaper, and some are more durable than others. In fact, some types can be damaged by even just a little bit of water. Therefore, it's important to know what type you have and how to properly clean it, so you don't ruin your beautiful walls.

The many types of washable wallpaper

There are many different types of washable wallpaper, and classifying each one can get a little confusing. To keep it simple, The Best Wallpaper Place lists four types, and each one is identified by a different symbol. Check your wallpaper's roll insert to discover what type you own. If you find one single wavy line, your walls can be gently cleaned with a dry sponge, and they cannot be exposed to water. Two wavy lines mean that your wallpaper can be washed but can also be damaged by water. A symbol with three wavy lines means that your wallpaper can withstand small amounts of water when cleaned. Finally, a wavy line over a symbol that looks like a brush means that your wall can be scrubbed with a soft brush and water. The last option would be ideal for the kitchen or another area where the walls get dirty often.

There are some other classifications as well. Wall Coverings categorizes washable wallpapers into three groups: scrubbable, which can withstand a mild cleaner, washable, which can only withstand a gentle sponging, and stain resistant, which means the material won't show stains. Wallpaper Boulevard also calls washable wallpaper vinyl wallpaper, since it's either made of or covered in vinyl.

Tips on cleaning washable wallpaper

If you have washable wallpaper, the first thing to do before trying to clean your walls is to check the label, per Fantastic Cleaners. As discussed, there are many different types, and knowing what type you have will dictate how it can be washed. Once you know how to clean it, you'll want to clean the mess immediately to avoid damage to your wallpaper. They also recommend dusting your walls at least every three months.

Unless your wallpaper specifically permits the use of commercial cleaners, you should avoid them as they may damage the surface of the vinyl. It's always best to first spot clean, even if you're only using soap and water, to ensure that you don't damage your entire wall. Wallpaper From The 70's points out that solvent-based cleaners should always be avoided, as they can break down the vinyl covering. If your wallpaper can be damaged by water, a soft and dry microfiber cloth will work best.