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How to remove wallpaper glue

You’ve removed the dated wallpaper that once adorned your walls, and now you need to know how to remove wallpaper glue. Thankfully, there are several ways to do this, all of which we’re going to explain in our guide below.

You’ve removed the dated wallpaper that once adorned your walls, and now you need to know how to remove the wallpaper glue that remains. Thankfully, there are several ways to do this, all of which we’re going to explain in this guide.

Getting rid of the sticky glue residue is important. This is because leaving it can trap nasty bacteria or mould beneath a fresh layer of paint or wallpaper. Also, as glue residue isn’t smooth, it causes lumps and bumps that make any new paint or wallpaper application unsightly.

It goes without saying that getting rid of glue residue is a labour-intensive job. So, why not hire a painter or decorator your neighbours recommend to do this for you?

How to remove wallpaper glue

If you’re set on completing this task yourself, the first thing to do is prepare the room. If you’ve already removed some wallpaper, you’ve likely moved your furniture already. So, do a quick check to make sure everything is covered with tarps to protect your floors and catch water. We also recommend covering your outlets and switches with painter’s tape so you don’t accidentally electrocute yourself.

How to remove wallpaper glue easilyTools you’ll need for the job

Here’s what to use to remove wallpaper glue:

    • Liquid soap
    • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Rubber gloves
  • Sponges and rags
  • Putty knife
  • Bucket
  • Bin bags

The next section is going to cover how to remove glue residue with vinegar.

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How to remove stubborn wallpaper glue with vinegar

Step 1: Mix a DIY wallpaper paste remover

Use liquid to remove wallpaper glueTo make your paste, take your bucket and combine a tablespoon of baking soda, three tablespoons of liquid dish soap, 1 cup of vinegar and a gallon of hot water. Mix to form a paste.

Step 2: Apply wallpaper adhesive remover

Once your paste is ready, put on your gloves and use a damp sponge to apply the solution to the walls. Leave for a few minutes before removing with a dry rag. For more stubborn areas, use your putty knife instead.

Top tip: Work in smaller sections instead of the entire wall. Some areas will need soaking more than once.

Step 3: Clean your walls

After the glue is removed, clean down your walls and leave them to dry for 24 hours. Check they’re smooth and retreat any stubborn areas.

Still won’t budge? Hire a professional to apply a chemical stripper spray.

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How to remove wallpaper glue with fabric softener

How to get rid of wallpaper glue with fabric softenerThe best way to remove glue residue is debated. Some people prefer the fabric conditioner method because it smells better than the vinegar method. If you feel the same way, you’ll need the following:

  • Fabric softener
  • Spray bottle
  • Scraper

How to remove wallpaper glue residue from walls with fabric softener

  1. Mix one part water to one part fabric softener in a spray bottle
  2. Spray your walls in sections, fully saturating the area
  3. Wait 15 minutes for the solution to get to work
  4. The adhesive should now be loosened enough to scrape off with your scraper
  5. Consider sanding down your walls before applying new paint or wallpaper

How to remove old wallpaper glue from plaster walls

If the above methods didn’t work (all of which are suitable for plaster walls), you can try some industrial wallpaper stripper, which you can buy online. Make sure you follow the manufacturers instructions closely to avoid any mishaps.

How to remove wallpaper glue. Image: Woman removing wallpaper glue with steam and a scraper

Alternatively, hire a professional your neighbours trust to make sure this job is completed efficiently and effectively. Check out our wallpaper removal cost guide to see how much it might set you back.

How to remove wallpaper glue from painted walls

In order to remove glue residue from painted walls, you’ll need to strip the current paint and treat it using one of our methods listed above. You’ll then need to repaint your walls for a smooth finish.


What can I use to remove wallpaper glue?

There are various methods available. You can use one of our eco-friendly DIY solutions above, hire a professional, or use an industrial remover.

How to remove old wallpaper glue from drywall

You can use any of the methods stated above to remove old wallpaper glue from your drywall.

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