How to remove water stains from paper


How to remove water stains from paper

For those who have wallpaper in their homes, it is vital to be familiar with ways on how to remove water stains from paper. Water stains are likely to develop on wallpaper due to a variety of causes, but it is often from a roof leak or ruptured pipe.

Remember that it is possible to clean water stains from some types of wallpapers as long as you will utilize the right materials and techniques. Read further to learn the different ways on how to remove water stains from paper.

A close look at the nature of water stains

When the surface of the wallpaper gets wet, the moisture can seep into the wall and once it dries up, it results in a ring stain on the paper’s surface. In most instances, moisture from a plumbing issue or roof leak can seep out from within the wall.

Tannins that are present in structural wood might transfer to the plaster or drywall via moisture and later on leach out of the wall covering that manifests in the form of a yellow or brown stain. Depending on your wall covering, it is possible to get rid of these unsightly stains, at least to make them less noticeable.

Before attempting this, make sure that any leaks are fixed and the wall has fully dried. Unable to do so can lead to mold growth behind the paper or within the wall. Lastly, check if the paper properly adheres to the wall. In case it has bubbled or peeling up at the seams, it should be fixed first before attempting to remove the stain.

Recommended materials and techniques for water stain removal

When cleaning water stains from wallpaper, start by carefully cleaning any remaining dirt away with a moist sponge. Dry the site thoroughly using paper towels or a fresh towel or cloth.

Prefer videos? Check out the How2RemoveStains channel.

Combine clean water and an unscented variant of bleach in a basin with the ratio of 2 parts water and 1 part bleach. With a fresh, dry sponge, cautiously tap a small amount of the solution onto the site of the stain and leave in place for a few minutes.

Monitor the site carefully for possible signs of fading or discoloration of the wallpaper. If either two occur, quickly wipe the site with clean water. Ideally, the bleach solution will allow the water stain to fade without damaging the paper pattern or its color. After rinsing the bleach solution off, lightly dry using a soft cloth or towel. Just take care not to leave behind any traces of moisture.

Dealing with stubborn water stains

In case the water stain is too vivid or extensive, there is a need to perform the procedure discussed above one or more times. An alternative is to use an art gum eraser or a drywall eraser but you must be careful to avoid causing any damage to the wallpaper.

If the stain seems to have an oily or greasy nature, add a limited amount of colorless dish liquid to break it down.

Sadly, in cases where the stain does not go away, the ideal approach is to place a piece of art over the site or rearrange the furniture in a manner to make it less noticeable.

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How do you clean old paper?

When a wallpaper cannot handle water and soap especially the old ones, there are dry alternatives available. A wallpaper dough can be utilized to lift stains away from the wall. You can find one packaged in a pot from hardware stores and it is reusable.

Pull a small part of the wallpaper dough from the pot and roll it into a ball. With your hand, roll it over the dirty areas of the wallpaper. While doing so, you should see the dirt or debris being lifted away.

Once the surface of the dough becomes dirty, simply re-roll the dough so that the dirt is absorbed into the middle part and then reuse. When the dough is completely packed with dirt, throw it away and start with a new roll.

How to remove water stains from wallpaper?

When wallpaper gets wet, so does the walls behind it. If you have wooden walls, the brownish discoloration originates from the tannins present in the wood being absorbed by the wallpaper.

Let us now take a close look at the steps in removing water stains from wallpaper.

  • With a bowl or basin, fill it with warm water and add a small amount of dish soap.
  • Moisten a soft cloth with the solution and gently scrub the site of the water stain. Avoid placing too much moisture.
  • When all the surface dirt and debris has been removed, it is time to deal with the water stain.
  • Combine one part bleach with two parts of water.
  • Blot a small amount of the bleach solution on the site of the stain with a sponge or soft cloth. Leave in place for 5 minutes and monitor carefully for discoloration.
  • Rinse with clean water using a clean cloth.
  • Allow the site to dry using a soft clean cloth. Make sure that you will observe the site for discoloration of the wallpaper.
  • Thoroughly rinse using clean water using a clean cloth.
  • Dry the site with a new, clean cloth.

How do you clean non-washable wallpaper?

There are certain types of non-washable wallpaper. One way to check if it is washable is to dab some water with dishwashing liquid on a concealed area on your wall. If the wallpaper darkens or absorbs water or if the color bleeds, the wallpaper is not washable.

If you want to clean non-washable wallpaper, you can use wallpaper dough. Simply roll a handful of dough into a ball across the wallpaper to lift stains. Once the surface of the dough gets dirty, re-roll the dirt into the center so that you will have a fresh surface for cleaning.

Another alternative is a dry cleaning sponge for stubborn stains, debris, and dust. The sponge works by removing soot, dirt, grime and other stains by utilizing a cleaner and later absorbing it without leaving behind any residue on the wallpaper. Make sure to test it first in a concealed site.

Let’s wrap it up

Cleaning your wallpaper is a simple task. Now that you are familiar with the different ways on how to remove water stains from paper, you will have clean and stain-free walls.

How to remove water stains from paper
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