The Best Way To Remove Wallpaper Glue From Your Walls

Wallpaper glue can be tricky to remove if you don't know what method to use. It comes in two forms, seam adhesive and border adhesive. Seam adhesive is used in corners where two pieces of wallpaper need to overlap, according to Totally OFF The Wall. It dries like white glue, making it easier to remove than border adhesive. The second type of wallpaper glue dries like rubber cement and is used to add borders over vinyl, foil, and specific fabric wallpapers. Since it is a stronger glue, you will need to use a more aggressive removal method.

That being said, you don't need to buy a commercial wallpaper remover to get stubborn wallpaper glue off your walls. There are many ways to do this, some of which include products you likely already have in your home. These methods range from mixing solutions of hot water with vinegar or baking soda to sanding or even using a heat gun. Choosing the right removal technique depends on how tough your wallpaper glue is. Try one of the homemade solutions if you can remove it with a putty knife or wallpaper scraper without much effort. However, if the wallpaper glue won't budge from your walls, there is one method that stands above the rest.

Dish soap and baking soda

One way to DIY your own wallpaper glue remover is to mix a solution of hot water, dish soap, and baking soda. You can either put the solution in a bucket and apply it to the walls with a sponge or pour it into a spray bottle. For a bucket of hot water, you will only need a couple of drops of dish soap and 1 tablespoon of baking soda, according to Murals Your Way.

Working in sections, apply the solution to your walls and leave it to sit for a couple of seconds. You will know that it is working when the glue becomes soft again. This is when you can take your putty knife, wallpaper scraper, or a clean rag to get rid of the adhesive. A putty knife will make the job easier in more stubborn cases. After the walls are clear, take a clean cloth with some water and wipe off the solution.

Hot water and vinegar

Vinegar is a great way to remove wallpaper glue. The acidity breaks down the adhesive, making it easy to remove, according to DIY Without Fear. There are two ways to use this method, depending on what products you may already have in your home. 

The first method is to mix a solution of hot water and distilled white vinegar, with 1 cup of vinegar for every gallon of water. The second way is to take the dish soap and baking soda solution and add 1 cup of vinegar. These solutions can either be put into a bucket or poured into a spray bottle. The latter will make the application process easier. Once the vinegar is applied, leave it for a couple of seconds to absorb into the glue. Then scrape the wallpaper glue off of the walls and wipe them down with a clean cloth and water.

Hot water and fabric softener

Fabric softener is another common household item that can be used to remove wallpaper glue from your walls. For this method, Limitless Walls recommends putting the solution in a spray bottle. It should be mixed in a 1:1 ratio of hot water to fabric softener. The brand or scent of fabric softener doesn't affect how it will dissolve the wallpaper glue, so feel free to use the cheapest option or whatever you already have at home.

After the solution is mixed, pour it in a spray bottle and apply it to the walls, working in sections. To remove just the glue, the mixture only needs to soak on the wall for a couple of seconds. You will know it's time to get to work when the glue has softened. Then you can position your putty knife or wallpaper scraper at an angle and scratch the glue off of the wall.

Heat gun

Using a heat gun will get even the toughest wallpaper glue off of your walls. This method works by heating the glue so it will soften and unstick from your wall, making it easier to scrape off. When using a heat gun, it is important to not hold it over one spot for too long or you run the risk of burning your walls. According to Tips Bulletin, the gun should be held about 6 inches away from your wall.

As you work in sections, you will want to move the gun over the wall to heat up the glue, then turn it off before placing it down. Once the glue is hot, you will be able to scrape it off the wall with a putty knife or wallpaper scraper. Working in small sections is important with this method so that you can get rid of the glue while it is still hot.


When no other method has managed to get rid of that stubborn wallpaper glue, sanding is the best option because it will cut through any remaining residue. This technique also has the potential to remove layers of your wall, so you will need to be careful not to overdo it. It is also important to wear proper protective gear when sanding; this includes a dust mask and eye protection.

Fantastic Cleaners recommends using either medium or fine-grit sandpaper. If the glue is very thick, you can start with the medium-grit sandpaper and then move to the fine-grit sandpaper. To sand the glue off your walls, you will first put the sandpaper onto a sanding block. Then move the block over your walls by going back and forth over an area until the glue is removed. As you work in sections, you will notice that the sandpaper becomes less effective. When this happens, place a new piece on the block. Once all the glue is removed, you will need to wipe away the dust from your walls with a cloth and some soapy water.