Wallpaper is a lovely way to decorate your home and to give a very unique look to any space. It is also a bear to remove. You can buy wallpaper steamers that help to soften and loosen the glue to make the wallpaper easier to remove, these too get dirty however. Learning how to descale and clean your wallpaper steamer can help prolong its life and get you even more bang for your buck.
How Does a Wallpaper Steamer Work?
A wallpaper steamer is made a great deal like a clothes or fabric steamer. It has a reservoir or tank, a heater, a hose and the tool on the end that works to remove the wallpaper. The steamer heats water that has been added to the tank up until it turns into steam then forces it up the hose and out of the tool or end that is being used.
The steam helps to heat up and break down the wallpaper glue through the paper. Wallpaper glue is water soluble so the steam helps to break the bonds of the glue through hydrolysis. When the glue is broken down, the wallpaper can be scraped off of the wall and removed so that it can be painted or so that new paper can be applied.
This process helps to make removal of wallpaper faster, cleaner and helps to remove the paper nearly completely so that you can get to work on putting up new wall coverings or putting up new wallpaper. Steamers are a great way to cut down the time that it takes to remove wallpaper so that you can get it off the wall without the chemical strippers, without the heavy duty scraping tools and without much of the work you would deal with otherwise.
Why Might Your Wallpaper Steamer Get Clogged?
Just like a normal steamer, wallpaper steamers can get clogged and can cause problems with the overall ease of use. If your wallpaper steamer is dirty, if the water you are using is hard water, or if there is any sort of build up in the steamer it can cause problems. If you live where hard water is common or where the water that you are using might be harder than normal, build up and mineral deposits can form in your steamer and can cause a real problem with your steamer and how it works.
Wallpaper steamers can get clogged in the hose, in the steamer head and even in the tank. It can be so hard to keep your wallpaper steamer clean and descaled, but descaling can help it last longer and work better each time you get it out to use it.
How to Descale your Wallpaper Steamer?
There are a few different ways that you can descale your wallpaper steamer and can help to get it clean and ready to use each time.
- Remove old water
- Add clean, distilled water and descaler solution
- Run the stripper until the reservoir is half empty
- Check effectiveness
- Dump out remaining water and clean the stripper head
The first step is going to be to remove the water that might still be in your wallpaper steamer. If the water is still very hot or if you have just used the steamer, you want to give it plenty of time to cool off so that you can avoid burns and you can avoid getting hurt when trying to remove the water.
After removing the water from the reservoir, you then want to put distilled water into the tank along with the descaling product of your choice. There are a few different products that you can choose from, make sure you choose a descaler that is compatible with your steamer and that is not going to cause any damage within it. You can then follow the instructions that are included with the product to make sure you add the right amount.
After you have added the descaling solution, you need to turn the steamer on and allow it to run until the tank is about half the way empty. This does a few things, for starters it helps to make sure that the solution is making it all the way through the machine and that it has the chance to remove build up from the entire machine. This also allows you the chance to check and see how the machine is working. If it seems to be working well and with no issues, you can turn it off and allow the water to cool before disposal.
If the steamer is still clogged or does not seem to be working well, you can run the remainder of the tank through the steamer. After you have used the descaling solution in the machine, you can dispose of the water and allow the steamer to cool and dry before putting it away. You do want to make sure that you are cleaning the steamer head fully when you do put it away so that the glue does not dry and harden on the steamer head.
How to Make Your Wallpaper Steamer Last Longer
The first thing that you should keep in mind with a wallpaper steamer is that it is a tool that you are not likely to use super often. Unless you are working in an industry where you are stripping wallpaper every day, you are not likely to be using your steamer more than once a year. This means that when the steamer is put away, it needs to be clean and it needs to be as dry as possible.
Your first step is going to be to clean out your tank as soon as you are done using it. Dump out all the old water, do a wipe down if necessary, and even rinse out the tank to make sure that there is no residue or build up in the tank. You also want to make sure you run some sort of cleaner through your steamer when you are done to help remove build up from the inside out.
You also want to make sure that the head of your steamer is clean and that there is no glue or residue on the head before you put it away. With any sort of steamer, it is always best to make sure that you remove as much water as possible before you put it away to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. With a tool like a wallpaper steamer that you are not using all that often, it is not a terrible idea to descale it after each use.
A wallpaper steamer is a great thing. It helps to make the process of removing wallpaper faster, cleaner and simpler and is a super helpful tool. If you are using a wallpaper steamer, you want to keep it clean and to make sure that it is not being put away with water still in it. Keeping your steamer clean and descaled is going to help you keep it working longer so that you can get as much use from it as possible. Wallpaper steamers are not inexpensive, making the most of it is a must.
Meta Description: Is your wallpaper steamer looking a bit dirty? Here are five steps to descale it to get the most out of this machine.