What is the BEST wallpaper remover?

What is the best wallpaper remover?  You’re not going to believe me when I tell you, but you should, because I have more wallpaper removal experience than any mom should be allowed to have;)

When we bought the house we currently live in, the inside was covered with dark wallpaper that we both disliked immensely…ok…hated.  We hated the wallpaper.  So, very soon after closing, we began the monumental task of soaking and scraping, and slowly worked our way through several rooms.  We tried several different wall paper removers like this one and  a wallpaper scoring tool like this one  to let the wallpaper remover soak in better, but it was always smelly and unbelievably time consuming!  Until we discovered the BEST wallpaper remover ever!  Are you ready for it?  DOWNY fabric softener!

We’ve been regulars at Home Depot since we moved to Atlanta and are on a first name basis with a couple of the guys there – I won’t say who because I don’t want anyone to get into trouble for this.  One Saturday we were standing in the aisle complaining, yet again, about taking down more wall paper when one of the guys we knew said, “Don’t waste your money.”  I’m sure we looked confused.  “Well, if we don’t use a wallpaper remover, how are we going to get all that glue off?”  He leaned in, gave us a big wink and said “Do y’all have any Downey?”  What? Was he serious?! “You mean fabric softener?” we asked.  “Yep!  That’s the one.”

Our wallpaper whisperer had been a paint and wallpaper guy for many years.  He told us Downey was the only thing he used.

The directions he gave us were as follows:

  1. Put on a pair of heavy dishwashing gloves.
  2. Then put the hottest water you can get out of the tap into a 5 gallon bucket – about 2/3 full.   Ad several capfuls of liquid Downy fabric softener. (I use April Fresh:).  Now mix it together.
  3. Soak a large sponge in the hot water/Downy mixture and then, starting at the top of the wall, wipe over the wallpaper with a very wet sponge.  Slowly, work your way down to the bottom of he wall going back and forth horizontally in sections about 3-5 feet wide.  (We usually do about a 5 foot wide section.)
  4. Soak your sponge whenever you feel it is getting too dry.
  5. Then move to the next section of wall and repeat.
  6. When 5- 10 minutes has elapsed for the first section go back to it and start peeling the paper.  If you need to soak your sponge and put a bit more of the hot water mixture on as you work your way down the wall.
  7. Do this for the whole room.  Change the hot water mixture when it gets too “gluey”(if that’s a word).
  8. Once you have peeled the paper go back to the first section and just wash off any remaining glue that remains so the wall is nice and smooth.

We still use a wall paper remover tool like this one  to scrape some wallpaper where necessary.

Downy works GREAT – better than any of the wall paper stripping products we have tried on the market.  It also smells much nicer than anything you can buy at the hardware store. So…bonus!  We’ve been using Downey ever since that day at Home Depot and we won’t ever go back.

Give it a try for yourself! Let me know what you think!

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