It may be a little-known fact, but wallpaper was actually first used in Europe sometime around the year 1500. The trend obviously caught on, and people have been busy pasting and papering ever since.
If your walls are looking shabby or you just fancy a change you can simply choose new wallpaper and you’re ready to go. However, it’s not always that easy!
That’s why we have picked our 5 best wallpaper steamer options to help get on with the job.
Which Is The Best Wallpaper Steamer For You?
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Getting rid of old wallpaper can be a challenging chore. There are a few methods you could use, such as water, vinegar, chemicals or steam.
Really hot water can make light work of wallpaper removal, but you’ll still need extra help with one of our chosen best wallpaper steamer products…
#1: BLACK+DECKER KX3300T Wallpaper Stripper
- Large steam plate
- Safety release valve to prevent the steamer from overheating
- Boil dry safety cut-out safety switch to prevent the steamer from boiling dry
- 4 litre water tank with water level indicator
- Approximately 60 mins of steam-time from one full tank
- Steamer weighs 2.45 Kg
- Can be used to remove vinyl, multiple layers, and painted/textured wallpaper
- Easy fill spout (fill the steamer straight from the tap)
- Storage for steam plate and hose
- Cable length 3m
- Hose length 3.65 m
- 2400 W
Things to Consider
- This steamer is powerful and will wet the paper quickly, but might also crack any weak plaster beneath the wallpaper.
- Speed up the process even more by slashing the wallpaper with a sharp blade before you begin (watch your fingers)!
- Thick vinyl paper will take longer to remove as you will have to steam off the top layer before you get to the paper beneath.
- This steamer has no “on” light – so don’t assume it’s not working once you’ve filled it and switched it on.
- Our top pick for the best wallpaper steamer
#2: Earlex SS77 Steam Wallpaper Stripper
- Environmentally friendly design (no chemicals needed)
- Lightweight at 2.08 Kg
- Easy storage
- 5 litre water tank
- Steaming time of approximately 78 min
- 2300 W
- 3.65 m hose length
- Scraper included
Things to Consider
- Make sure you keep the water level topped up to ensure the steamer works as it should.
- Take care when handling the small black attachment as steam escapes quite easily – it might be worth wearing a heatproof glove to guard against getting scolded.
- Our alternative option for the best wallpaper steamer
#3: Denny International Wallpaper Steam Stripper
- 2200 W
- 5 Litre water tank
- Steam time of approximately 70 minutes
- Tube length 3m
- Large steam plate (28×20 cm)
- Cord length 1.5m
- Steamer weighs 2.66 Kg
- Environmentally friendly (no chemicals, solvents or detergents)
- Easy grip handle for one handed operation
- Pressure relief and overheat protection feature
- Easy to store
Things to Consider
- To operate effectively place the steamer against the wall for approximately 10 seconds to allow the steam to penetrate the wallpaper
- This steamer takes a little time to heat up fully – but once it gets up to temperature it works well
- Cover the floor where you are working – steamers sometimes drip water
#4: Earlex SS125UKP Warrior Wallpaper Stripper
- Approximately 70 minutes steam-time
- 4 Litre water tank
- Takes around 12 minutes to heat up
- 3.65m cool run hose
- 2000 W
- Lightweight – Steamer weighs 2.06 Kg
- 12-month warranty
- Removes multi-layered, painted, textured and Artex wall coverings
Things to Consider
- This product will help you out with the removal of tile cement, use the steamer to soften the cement and remove any adhesive with a scraper.
- This steamer has a “rubber stopper” on the inside which slows down the process of filling the tank with water.
#5: Oypla Professional Wallpaper Steamer
- 2200 W
- Steam Pad Size: 28 x 20 cm
- Steam time of 70 minutes
- 4.5 Litre water tank
- Steamer weighs 2.65Kg
- 3m hose
Things to Consider
- If steam starts coming out of the lid it might be because have overfilled the steamer or not screwed the cap on tightly enough.
Can You Use A Steam Cleaner to Remove Wallpaper?
A well-decorated home is a joy to behold, but we all know that preparing the room for re-decoration can be a pain. Old wallpaper can be tricky to scrape off and a wallpaper steamer can be a real help.
Manufacturers suggest protective gloves and eyewear are worn for safety purposes – and you should always take the time to read through the accompanying instruction booklet before you begin steaming.
This handy wallpaper steaming tool is typically easy to operate, simply fill up the water tank and switch on. The unit will take approximately 10 minutes to heat fully (again, check the instruction booklet for a definitive time).
Once ready, start at the bottom of the wall and hold the steam plate against the wallpaper. Hold the steamer in place for up between 10 and 60 seconds to allow the steam to saturate the paper (you should notice signs of damp) and then remove the plate.
You can make the job even easier by investing in one or two handy tools to compliment your steamer:
Centurion 90239 500ml Flask Wallpaper Stripper
- Concentrated formula
- Simply add water
- Can be applied by cloth, sponge or brush
- Fast acting solution
- Easy to use
WORKRPO Paint Wallpaper Scraper/ Putty Knife Set
- Stainless steel blades hardened to HRC 48-52 for durability
- 4-piece set
- 4 blade sizes: 38mm/76mm/100mm/150mm
- 3 flexible blades and 1 stiff blade
- Mirror polished to resist rust
- Easy to clean
- Ergonomic soft-grip handle for comfort and a non-slip hold
- Finger guide rail in the front and back for ease of use
- Hole in the handle makes storage simple
Is A Wallpaper Steamer Worth It?
Steamers come into their own when used on particularly tough decorating projects, such as removing painted or textured wallpaper. The tool is also a real boon when you’re trying to strip away multiple layers of wallpaper or removing every decorators pet hate – Artex!
You can rent a steamer, however it’s often worth buying one.
Nowadays the models on the market are relatively affordable, and if you have your own you can tackle as many DIY jobs as you like – whenever you want to!
Even with the best wallpaper steamer you’ll need to descale the product now and again. The amount of times you need to do this will depend on the hardness of the water in your area (if you’re not sure you can purchase a water test kit at a DIY store).
As a general rule of thumb, you should descale your steamer following 6 uses.
If you neglect to descale your steamer you might run into problems further down the line. You might find that your steamer doesn’t boil the water properly, or that the device switches itself off after a short period of time.
This is often due to a build of limescale sitting on the heating element (preventing the element from heating the water and causing problems with temperature regulation).
What Should I Look For In A Wallpaper Steamer?
Finding the best wallpaper steamer for you isn’t simply a case of picking the cheapest one or the one with the best reviews. You need to look at the specific features.
Some of the things you might want to look for in a wallpaper steamer include:
- The size of the steam plate (larger ones cover bigger areas quicker)
- The size of the water tank (larger tanks allow for longer run times)
- Usage times (longer usage times means fewer breaks!)
- Safety features (many have automatic cut-offs to prevent overheating)
- Energy usage (higher W means more power but increased energy use)
Naturally, some of the above features will be more important to you than others. That’s why what is the best wallpaper steamer for you may not be the best for everyone!
Can A Wallpaper Steamer Damage Plaster?
The best wallpaper steamers are designed to gently lift away old paper from the wall and using one shouldn’t cause you any trouble in terms of damaging the plaster or drywall. However, like most DIY projects – things don’t always run smoothly!
Do take care that you are not applying excessive steam as this can loosen porous, weak or poorly bonded plaster, causing cracks on your nice paper-free walls. This will result in more DIY – so be warned!
It might be worth checking the state of the plaster before you use your new steamer. Check for weak plaster by gently tapping the wall. If it sounds hollow or the plaster seems to move then you will more than likely damage the plaster by steaming that section of wall.
How Long Does It Take to Steam Off Wallpaper?
It doesn’t take long to steam the paper off your walls. It will take about 10 minutes for the best wallpaper steamer to reach operating temperature. When the unit is ready you will need to hold the plate against the section you want to strip for approximately 10 – 60 seconds (until the steam soaks in and the paper seems damp).
The length of time it takes to strip the entire room will depend on the size of the room and the difficulty of the project, for instance multi-layered or textured wallpaper will take longer to strip from the walls.
Does Fabric Softener and Vinegar Remove Wallpaper?
There are alternatives to using a wallpaper steamer, instead you could opt for an old-fashioned natural solution such as using fabric softener and vinegar. To do this, simply mix one-third of a cup of fabric softener with two-thirds of a cup of hot water.
Alternatively, add one cup of white vinegar to a large bucket of hot water.
Use a sponge or cloth to thoroughly drench the wallpaper, or tip the mixture into a spray bottle and liberally spray the walls. Leave the mixture to soak in for around 15 minutes and then get to work.
Which Is the Best Wallpaper Steamer in the UK?
So, we’ve given you a rundown of five of the best wallpaper steamers in the UK, and we’ve hopefully given you some food for thought in terms of whether it’s worth investing in one. We think any tool that can take the pain out of decorating is worth buying! But which steamer will you choose?
Will it be the BLACK+DECKER KX3300T Wallpaper Stripper, designed to quickly and easily shift paper from walls. It’s large plate and water tank certainly make this one an attractive option.
Or how about the Earlex SS77 Steam Wallpaper Stripper? This versatile tool can remove all sorts of wall coverings, from multiple layers to painted over paper and difficult to shift Artex.
Alternatively, you could opt for the Denny International 2200W 5 LTR Wallpaper Steam Stripper with its large 5 litre tank and sizeable plate you can steam without refilling for longer.
We should also give a mention to our other Earlex product on the list – the Earlex SS125UKP Warrior Wallpaper Stripper. We like that this handy tool combines natty safety features with a user-friendly design.
Finally we have the Oypla Professional Wall Paper Wallpaper Stripper with its 4.5 litre water tank (providing 70 minutes of steam time) – another great buy.
All of the five products we’ve talked about today have great features and will help you to strip your walls bare. Say goodbye to tatty paper and hello to smooth, clear walls – ready to be papered with fresh new rolls.