How to Get Wallpaper Glue off of Walls

Updated on October 05, 2008
C.S. asks from Burnsville, MN
25 answers

We are in the process of redoing our bathroom. It had wallpaper on it, which we have removed, but the only problem is that there is all this excess glue still on the walls. Does anyone have any methods or ideas for getting this off so that we can paint the walls?

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A.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi C.~

If you are into "green" and non-toxic I would highly recommend Basic-H to you!!!!

Not only can Basic-H get the glue off of the walls but you can use it for multiple other uses around the house.

Feel free to contact me if I can share more with you about it!

Take care~
A.

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H.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

Half water, half liquid dryer softner...its a piece of cake and works best. I am a decorator, done it a million times.

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N.B.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi C.,
I agree with Missy... Dif worked great for getting all my wallpaper (and the glue) off. Since you just have the glue to get off it shouldn't take long with this product. Good luck!

More Answers

A.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi C.~

If you are into "green" and non-toxic I would highly recommend Basic-H to you!!!!

Not only can Basic-H get the glue off of the walls but you can use it for multiple other uses around the house.

Feel free to contact me if I can share more with you about it!

Take care~
A.

1 mom found this helpful
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D.B.

answers from La Crosse on

I use vinegar and water in a spray bottle. It works great and when I ran out of vinegar I used downey and water which worked great too and smelled good too.

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J.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

You can use dishwasher soap with phosphates mixed with water. It removes the glue really well and leaves the room smelling clean. You will have to change the water fairly often and rinse the wall well or the glue will show through your paint. I've used this method several times and other than tired arms, it works fantastic!

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K.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

unfortunately the only way to get this off is a lot of sweat and hard work. i used to be a painter during my summer college years and did a lot of this.
Hot water and dish soap should work.. sponge it on and let it soak a bit then go back with the sponge or rag and scrub scrub scrub until the sticky mess comes off. If soap and water isn't doing the trick you can go to the hardware store for some wallpaper glue removal which you mix with water.
wear gloves either way because your hands are going to suffer. good luck.. ps. if you are pregnant be sure to read any instructions on the glue removal, you may not be able to use it while pregnant.

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T.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

We've used a product called DIF. Use it in a spray bottle - spray it on so it's wet, but not soaking (don't want to damage the drywall) It must have a chemical that helps break down the glue. Go to a paint or wallpaper store to see if there's anything else. Use a flat scraper type tool.

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A.H.

answers from Milwaukee on

That's such a nightmare, I feel for you and know where you're coming from- sometimes you have to try a bunch of different things until you find out what works on your walls. My best suggestion is to mix together liguid fabric softener and water (half and half or whatever you can stand, its pretty smelly) and sponge it on the walls, let it sit for a minute and then go at it with a scraper (like what you would use to spackle.) Sometimes you have to scrape it all off bit by bit and other times you can peel it off after the fabric softener lifts it a little. Good luck!

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M.P.

answers from Bismarck on

Good morning, C.! Have you tried Goo Gone? This stuff will take tar off your car, so it's pretty tough stuff, but it's oily so you might want to make sure you test it on a small spot. Also, there are some pop-up wipes you can try; i forget what the brand name is. My brother is a painter and he uses these wipes to clean the walls and his hands so they must be really good. I know they'll take tape residue off because my son used them to take the residue off his new dryer door. Sorry I couldn't remember the name. Hope this helps. Have a good day!

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T.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

I used a little clothes steamer and a scraper to get glue and really stuck wallpaper off. Another thing you could try is a humidifier in the room for a while. Whatever route you go, you're going to end up doing a lot of scraping and then when you've gotten all you can with the scraper, then it's time to sand it all once it dries again...UGH! :)

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H.C.

answers from Janesville-Beloit on

Unscented fabric softner mixed with water. You mix about 1 cup downy 3 cups of water in a spray bottle. spray wall and let sit for couple miniutes then it should scrap right off. A ice scrapper for your car works best. Be sure to wash wall thuroughly afterwards so that paints sticks to wall when you paint. Note: It must be unscented fabric softner!

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Y.E.

answers from Minneapolis on

a product called Kilz worked great for my sisters project and she found in by asking a man for help at Lowes Home Improvement Center. I also saw on a home decorating show last night a dilution of laundry detergent and water I think with a bit of vinegar into a spray bottle and spraying it onto the wallpaper before removine. The show was on Fine Living Network. Good luck.

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N.B.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi C.,
I agree with Missy... Dif worked great for getting all my wallpaper (and the glue) off. Since you just have the glue to get off it shouldn't take long with this product. Good luck!

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J.S.

answers from Green Bay on

We used DIF that some others had mentioned and a putty knife to scrape the stubborn spots. The walls still didn't look perfectly smooth even after it seemed all the glue was gone, so I ended up rag painting the walls with a slightly lighter shade of the base color to give it a marbled look. That helped mask the slight imperfections left behind. I love how the walls turned out and hope to never have to remove any wallpaper in my lifetime again! :)

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J.K.

answers from Iowa City on

We re-did a bedroom several years ago and went with all the fancy gadgets (adhesive remover, scrapping tools, ect) on one wall! That's as far as those went!!! It took hours and it was the smallest wall. A suggestion was given to us then and I will never go back. Simply use a spray bottle and as hot of water as you can stand to hold and that will also not melt the plastic bottle. Spray it on and wait only a few second and easily scrap it off with a putty knife. You may still come across some stubborn areas but this saved us hours!!!! Good luck and happy scrapping!!

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A.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

I haven't read the other responses so maybe someone already said this but really hot water and some Downey works great. Better than anything else... and I've tried a lot. It's not a fun job but it's doable.

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W.V.

answers from Sioux City on

It looks like you have lots of answers, but here's what I recommend to my clients. 1 cup of "Biz" laundry detergent in a gallon of "HOT" water. Warm water does not seem to work very well. I put mine into a spray bottle after mixing. You can divide it down so you only mix enough to make one spray bottle full at a time. This way the water stays hot. I also have had luck with Dawn dish washing liquid and hot water.

A little about me: I am mother of 2 great teenagers, and have been married to a wonderful guy for 17 years. We own our own interior design mobile design service. This has been a blessing because we get to be around our kids more and still make a living.

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T.H.

answers from Omaha on

vinager and hot water. Put it in a squirt bottle.Let it soak for few seconds and then use a paint scrapper to removed. Worked for me a few years ago and the wallpaper and been on for probably 25 years or more.
Hope this helps

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N.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

My husband and I remodel houses for a living and after you have removed the wall paper you should wash your walls with TSP. It isnt messy and workd great. I usually use a scouring sponge on the difficult areas. It can be found and Home Depot or Lowes (stores like that). It will remove the remaining glue.

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M.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hello:

There is a product called Dif that you can get at Hirshfields, Sherwin Williams or maybe Home Depot that is aweosme...it is a blue thicker spray gel. You apply, let it sit to penetrate and then remove. If it is a big area, you can apply with a roller.

Good luck.

M. S

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R.D.

answers from Des Moines on

I would try Dawn and hot water first and if there is still some residue use TSP and follow the directions on the bottle. It is what you should always use when preparing walls for paint.

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R.N.

answers from St. Cloud on

When I did this to my bathroom I went through a lot of vinager. I sprayed it on with a squirt bottle and then let it sit before scraping it off.

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H.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

Half water, half liquid dryer softner...its a piece of cake and works best. I am a decorator, done it a million times.

M.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

Use a rag or sponge to wet the wall and let it sit and use a paint scrapper or some sort of flat edge scrapper.

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L.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

Just use hot water and Dish soap. Works better than any expensive stuff you can buy at the store. You'll want to put down lots of towels to protect your floor, and then just wash your walls with a lot of elbow grease as well as use a putty knife to gently scrape some of the glue off. Wall paper is not fun to get off and that's why people hate wall paper. Just get off as much as you can, and then get a good primer before you paint. There is one called "Gripper" that will stick to anything! Great to use on paneling or unusual surfaces. We've remodeled everyroom in this house ourselves so if you need any advice feel free to ask:) Enjoy your new room!

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L.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

We've had luck with really, really hot water and Dawn dish soap. It has to be DAwn, though, the original.

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A.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi,
We used a mixture of water and liquid fabric softener. Put it into a spray bottom and spray your walls. Line the floor w/ towels to sop up the stuff that runs down. Let the walls soak for awhile, then scrap off the wallpaper using a paint scraper or wallpaper scraper. It worked really well for us; plus, the room smelled great! And, I think you're in luck b/c bathrooms tend to have more moisture than other rooms in the house, so it should be easier to remove the paper in that room. That was our experience. Good luck!

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