TriSodium Phosphate is some great stuff for removing wallpaper, but, now we know it also does things like leaching into the water supply and killing living things, too, so it's pretty hard to find these days and probably shouldn't be used anyhow.  Also, I just plain didn't want to use such a nasty chemical in my house.  So, I bought some non-toxic, no-drip, fancy-schmancy blue stuff and did a test run with it.  I sprayed it right on the wallpaper, I scored the paper and sprayed it on, and I stripped off the plastic layer of the paper and sprayed it on the fuzzy, glued-on leftover paper.  After waiting for the recommended 15-20 minutes, I ended up with this:

1.  wallpaper that was still stuck on.
2.  wallpaper that was still stuck on.
3.  partially-dried wet, gloppy, blue goo wallpaper that could be scraped off but was covered in some strange chemical that I had also probably inhaled while I was spraying it on.

Hmm, not the gloriously easy results I was hoping for.  So, I tried something out - just plain old water.  And it worked. But I wanted it to work better, so here's what I did:

a wall with hideous wallpaper that you desperately want to remove
A spray bottle or a sponge and bucket
warm water
a scraper or your fingernails

Peel off the outer plastic layer of wallpaper.  Start in a corner and begin pulling away from the corner with a steady, even pressure.  You should be able to get big pieces off with minimal effort (this is guaranteed to be a good time for anyone with OCD tendencies along these lines).  Now, you'll be left with a fuzzy paper surface like this:

Mix together 1 part vinegar to 3 parts warm water and add a few drops of dish soap.  Either spray this onto the fuzzy paper or wipe it on with a cloth or sponge and let it soak in for 5-10 minutes.

Use a scraper tool to pull of a strip of the paper. It should come off easily.  If it sticks to the wall, spray it again and wait another 5-10 minutes.

There may be a few fuzzies that are left, which you can scrape off with a tool or, as I did, your fingernails (someday I'll be a real girl and have nice nails...).

Enjoy your wallpaper-free walls!


  1. Sadly, this hideous wallpaper is in my dining room!
    I guess it does look a little dated. It may be time to remove it using your directions. Thanks.

  2. Oh, no! It was refreshing to have plain walls again... it's amazing what a little change will do!

    Best of luck to you if you decide to take it down :)

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