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How to dispose of wallpaper paste

by | Feb 15, 2023

Getting rid of the paste you use to glue down wallpaper is something that is fairly important. You don’t want to dispose of it in the wrong way and end up ruining tools or furniture that don’t have to be touched if you did things in the right method.

Also, it may come to mind that you could potentially have a smaller environmental impact too if you’re able to dispose of your wallpaper paste in the right way.

So, read on for the answers as the solution could vary depending on the facilities you have available and your preferences.

How to dispose of wallpaper paste

In the process of disposing of wallpaper paste, there is a good chance that the paste you have is simply a dilutable substance and you can easily add water to it.

After you have added this water, it should be easy to pour down the drain or down the toilet. It is useful to note that the more you’re able to dilute the substance with water the less likely it is to clog a drain.

On top of this, you should pour water down the sink after you have disposed of the glue to thoroughly wash down all the glue from the drain. If you poured it down the toilet then give the toilet a couple of flushes.

As you do this, make sure you’re careful of splashes as these can dry on the places that are harder to wash away and dry to become even harder to remove.

If this happens you may have to resort to scraping away the glue using tools that could risk damaging the furniture that the glue is on.

So, be careful and clear up any splashes straight away.

wallpaper paste that needs to be disposed of

What if the wallpaper paste is not able to be diluted?

For thicker glues, it is recommended to just contain the glue in something you don’t mind throwing away and then throw this out with the general waste bin.

You may have to check the specific requirements of the disposal facilities where you live as you may be able to recycle something like this in your general waste or you may have to go to a recycling centre.

Either way, there are instances where wallpaper paster shouldn’t be put into any kind of water system as the glue is simply too thick and won’t be able to wash down the piping of the wallpaper properly.

Should you let wallpaper paste dry out before you dispose of it?

Sometimes, it can be easier to let the wallpaper paste dry out if you’re disposing of it in the general waste of a property. This means the wallpaper paste won’t leak.

If you try to condense the wallpaper paste and then throw it away, you could find that the paste leaks and dries within a bin which can be a big hassle to remove. 

Is wallpaper paste toxic?

Wallpaper paste can be toxic depending on the type of paste and its ingredients. 

Some wallpaper pastes may contain toxic substances such as fungicides, formaldehyde, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which you can read more about on this website.

In particular, if the wallpaper paste is ingested, inhaled over a long period of time or absorbed through the skin, wallpaper paste can become even more harmful.

Water-based wallpaper pastes are generally considered to be less toxic than solvent-based pastes. They are made of natural materials such as wheat or rice flour, and contain fewer chemicals.

Either way, make sure you handle wallpaper paste with precaution in general, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and seek medical attention if you ingest or have an adverse reaction to the product.

Tips, tricks and precautions when using wallpaper paste

If you’re not sure how to dispose of wallpaper paste as you conduct home improvements, there is a good chance you don’t know much about the substance anyway. As you read on, we will be going over some basic facts about it.

This includes making sure you’re storing wallpaper paste correctly, making sure the paste lasts long after manufacturing and mixing the paste too.

How to store leftover wallpaper paste

Leftover paste should be stored in an airtight container so that the paste doesn’t dry up. 

This is the most important thing you should make sure of when storing the paste as even if the wallpaper paste dries up a bit it could be usable in the future.

Other than this, general common sense storage methods apply such as storing in a cool dry place and checking the paste again before using it for a second time.

If you don’t check and apply it to the wallpaper straight away, you could end up having to remove wallpaper paste from a wall using sugar soap which is a time consuming process.

finishing with wallpaper paste to throw it away

How long does wallpaper paste last after manufacturing?

Typically, wallpaper paste will last a few years. The reason why it does not last longer is because there are organic materials in the paste such as rice flour that prevent it from lasting longer.

As a result, unless you’re wallpapering a property every year or so or you wallpaper different properties as part of a trade, it is likely you’ll have to continuously keep buying wallpaper paste.

Giving your paste away or selling it when you’re done on a second hand site such as Facebook Marketplace seen here could be a good idea.

Should you mix wallpaper paste?

Yes, most wallpaper pastes are made for mixing. You have to read the instructions on the packaging to make sure you get the measurements correct.

Wallpaper paste that isn’t mixed correctly could fall off the wall over time or potentially have too many lumps in between if you mix the paste too thick.

It is vital that you read the individual instructions of the wallpaper container because some are made for mixing whereas others aren’t so whether you should mix the paste varies case by case.

On top of this, certain wallpapers demand different types of wallpaper paste. For instance, a heavier paper like a vinyl wallpaper will need a stronger wallpaper paste or a paste that doesn’t need mixing.

What is the best wallpaper paste to use?

Wallpapering involves you knowing what type of wallpaper to put on a property. To decide, you should first determine what type of effect you want on the wall.

How to mix wallpaper paste

Wallpaper paste can be mixed with water in a bucket or in the same tin that it comes in. In general, you have to mix until the paste is still thick but able to be easily applied to a wall.

Use tools such as paint brush to mix the substance and be sure to mix thoroughly as it is easy to have an inconsistent mixture.

Table of measurements for mixing wallpaper paste

Below is an average of the amount of water you should add to a wallpaper mix in order to achieve the right viscosity. Here you can see hot heavier wallpapers such as those that are embossed and heavy require less water and will cover less rolls of wallpaper.

This is useful when planning out large amounts of wall such as above a stairwell.

The manufacturer of a wallpaper and the manufacturer of a wallpaper paste may also have their own guidelines that are more accurate but the below tables provide an average in case you don’t have access to it.

Application Water quantity per sachet Coverage per sachet
Normal wallpapers 3.4 litres 3 rolls
Paste the wall wallpapers 2 litres 1-2 rolls
Blown vinyl and vinyl wallcoverings 2.8 litres 2-3 rolls
Embossed papers 2.3 litres 2 rolls
Heavy embossed papers 2 litres 1-2 rolls

How much should you dilute wallpaper paste when sizing?

If the above table doesn’t show a clear enough guideline, there is a general rule that wallpaper paste or wallpaper glue should be mixed enough so it is runny but doesn’t easily drip like water.

A similar consistency to a thick soup or honey would be a good measurement to go by.

Nonetheless, for best results, you should always refer to the guidelines set out by manufacturers as they know their product the best.

What happens if you don’t mix wallpaper correctly?

The failure to mix wallpaper properly could lead to a host of issues in the glueing of wallpaper to a wall. For instance, if there is a thicker substance, this could cause lumps in the wallpaper.

As you attempt to remove these lumps by pushing out the glue, the wallpaper could tear or become warped.

If your wallpaper is too thin, this could result in the wallpaper falling off the wall over time which is not great for obvious reasons.

Wrapping things up

The easiest thing to consider about the disposal of wallpaper paste is that throwing the wallpaper down the toilet or sink after it has been diluted is the most effective.

You can also throw it away directly into the bin with the right container or wait for the paste to dry but the choice is up to you.


Why is my wallpaper paste drying too fast?

One of the reasons for wallpaper drying too fast could be because of the improper mixing of wallpaper paste. Refer back to the instructions and make sure you are following everything correctly

How do you water down wallpaper paste?

In order to water down wallpaper paste, carefully add water little by little as you don’t want the paste to be too thin and add too much

How do you dispose of wallpaper remover?

To dispose of wallpaper remover, check the product label for specific instructions. In many cases, it can be disposed of in your household waste or taken to a local recycling centre

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Donnell Bailey

Property expert

Donnell is a property expert focusing on the property market, he looks at a combination of legislation, information from property managers, letting agents and market trends to produce information to help landlords.