Cleaning Discolored Or Stained Wall Covering
CLEANING DISCOLORED OR STAINED WALL COVERING
A. This procedure includes guidance on cleaning stained or
discolored wall covering. Most wall coverings are
classified as either "non-washable", "washable", or
"scrubbable". General procedures for each type are
included below under Execution.
B. See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be
reviewed along with this procedure. These guidelines
cover the following sections:
1. Safety Precautions
2. Historic Structures Precautions
4. Quality Assurance
5. Delivery, Storage and Handling
6. Project/Site Conditions
7. Sequencing and Scheduling
8. General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)
These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing
this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
along with recommendations from the Regional Historic
Preservation Officer (RHPO).
A. Absorene Manufacturing Co.
A. Paste Spot Remover (available in local hardware store,
home improvement centers, or paint/wallpaper stores)
B. Commercial wallpaper cleaner such as "Absorene" - a
doughy wall cleaner (Absorene Manufacturing Co.)
C. Erasers, such as powdered draftsman's pad or Opaline
pads, or hard vinyls like Staedtler or Art Gum.
D. Denatured Alcohol:
1. Other chemical or common names include Methylated
2. Potential hazards: TOXIC AND FLAMMABLE.
3. Available from hardware store, paint store or
printer's supply distributor.
4. Denatured alcohol should be a satisfactory
substitute for ethyl alcohol for stain removing
E. Mild dish-washing detergent
F. Household Bleach:
1. An unstable salt produced usually in aqueous
solution and used as a bleaching and disinfecting
2. Other chemical or common names include Bleaching
solution*; Laundry bleach*; Sodium Hypochlorite
(NaOCl); Solution of chlorinated soda*.
3. Potential Hazards: CORROSIVE TO FLESH.
4. Available from chemical supply house, grocery store
or supermarket, hardware store or janitorial supply
G. Blotter/paper towels
B. Putty knife
E. Clean, soft cloths or towels
F. Soft-bristle brush
3.01 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
NOTE: ALWAYS TEST CLEANING METHODS IN AN INCONSPICUOUS
LOCATION TO DETERMINE THE SAFEST AND MOST SUITABLE METHOD.
A. For Washable Coverings: These usually have a plastic
1. Wash the surface using a damp sponge and a mild
dishwashing detergent mixed in cool water; wipe the
surface from the bottom up; wipe using a circular
motion in overlapping strokes.
2. Pat the surface dry using a soft cloth or towel.
3. If a second washing is necessary, allow the wall to
completely dry before beginning the cleaning
B. For Scrubbable Coverings (usually vinyl or vinyl-
1. Scrub the surface using a sponge or soft cloth and
a foam cleanser or all-purpose detergent.
2. Rinse the cleaner from the surface using a clean,
3. Pat the surface dry using a soft cloth or towel.
C. For Fabric Coverings (such as burlap or grass cloth):
1. Remove loose dirt using a clean cloth or vacuum.
2. Spot clean only using a sponge or soft-bristle
brush and a mild detergent. For stubborn spots,
try adding 2-3 tablespoons of bleach to the
3. Rinse the area thoroughly with a clean, damp sponge
or soft cloth and water.
4. Pat the surface dry using a soft cloth or towel.
D. For Non-washable Coverings: Clean using a commercial
wallpaper cleaner. Follow manufacturer's instructions.
E. For Stain Removal:
1. For Fingerprints, Smudges, and Pencil Marks:
a. Rub gently with art gum (or other eraser-type
material, or use commercial wallpaper cleaner,
following manufacturer's instructions.
b. If paper is washable, marks may be removed
using a damp sponge and a solution of mild
dishwashing detergent and cool water.
2. For Grease Spots:
a. Set blotter or paper towels over stain and
press with a warm iron. Grease should be
loosened and absorbed by the towels.
b. If stain still remains, apply a paste spot
remover and allow to dry; brush off powder
from the surface.
c. For washable wallpaper, wipe off grease using
a sudsy sponge, followed by damp sponge.
3. For Crayon Marks:
a. Scrape off excess crayon using a putty knife.
b. Set blotter or paper towels over stain and
press with a warm iron. Crayon should be
loosened and absorbed by the towels.
c. For non-washable papers, apply a paste spot
remover and allow to dry.
Gently wipe the stained area with denatured
alcohol or spot remover. Use a clean, soft
cloth to apply the solvent.
NOTE: THESE SOLVENTS ARE FLAMMABLE AND VAPORS
ARE TOXIC, SO BE SURE THERE IS NO FLAME,
SPARK, OR PILOT LIGHT IN AREA, HAVE PLENTY OF
VENTILATION. USE ONLY ON SMALL SPOTS.
d. For washable papers, wipe off crayon using a
sudsy sponge followed by a damp sponge and
allow to dry. Try not to smear the residue.
END OF SECTION