Doing a spot of decorating? Then the first task on your list might well be removing some old wallpaper. This sometimes messy and time-consuming job is made much simpler with the help of a steam wallpaper stripper, which you can buy or hire from any DIY store.
Wallpaper Stripper Safety
Working with steam carries a particular set of safety risks. Follow the tips below to make sure that you protect yourself and your home from injury and damage.
- Make sure you buy or rent your wallpaper stripper from a reputable dealer, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
- If you’ve bought your own wallpaper stripper, it’s important to register it with the manufacturer so that you can be contacted if a safety notice or recall is required. It also makes it easier for you to return a faulty product or order a repair. To register any of your appliances, regardless of age, visit Register My Appliance.
- Use our free online checker to see if you have any recalled electrical items.
- Check that your appliance has a UK plug; if it doesn’t, don’t try to use a UK travel adaptor. Get in touch with the retailer and ask for their advice.
- Do regular checks of the plug and socket for burn marks, sounds of ‘arcing’ (buzzing or crackling) or if it feels too hot to touch. If you have fuses blowing or circuit-breakers tripping then contact a registered electrician to investigate.
- Any socket you plan to use to plug in a wallpaper stripper should have RCD (residual current device) Protection. An RCD is a life-saving device that protects against dangerous electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires. If you don’t have RCD protection in your fuse box for your sockets, consider using an RCD plug to protect you and your property from serious appliance faults.
- Before you start work, ensure that the cord is long enough to easily reach the area you’re working in – if it isn’t, plug the wallpaper stripper into a fully-unwound extension lead to extend your reach.
Using your wallpaper stripper safely
- Hot steam can burn, so it’s best to wear gloves, a dust mask and eye protection when using a wallpaper stripper.
- If you’re stripping a ceiling, it’s a good idea to wear a hat and long-sleeved clothing to protect yourself from any dripping condensation. You should also make sure that the ladder you’re using is in good condition and stable.
- Perforating the wallpaper before you get started ensures that the steam can get through and should make the job quicker and easier.
- Securely cover any light switches and sockets in the area you’ll be working in before you begin; if you’re working near electrical fixtures like fireplaces or ovens, you might also want to switch off the power at the mains.
- To prevent the steam from causing any problems, cover all furniture and open any windows.
- Old glue residue and paper can cause the stripper to work less effectively so be sure to clean the paddle thoroughly after each use.