How to Remove Hair Spray Buildup From Bathroom Walls

Whether the hair spray taming your wild locks is synthetic or natural, it definitely sticks to your walls, and it can noticeably discolor them. A number of soaps and solvents will remove it, including the soap you use to remove it from your hair, also known as shampoo. These solvents work on most surfaces with the exception of walls painted with flat paint, but you shouldn't have flat paint in the bathroom anyway.

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What's in Hair Spray

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Conventional all-purpose hair spray products contain plastic-like polymers, some water-soluble and some not, and their purpose is to make your hair stiff and sticky. One common polymer -- polyvinylpyrrolidine -- is already part of your house; it's in the glue holding plywood layers together. Products advertised as containing natural ingredients usually contain gum arabic or gum tragacanth, two natural polymers that do the same jobs. These synthetic and plastic polymers are carried in volatile solvents that usually include alcohol and water, and one way to remove them is to spray them with the same solvents. Other removal methods include baking soda, soap and fabric softener.

Shampoo the Walls

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Whenever you're cleaning problem stains from any surface, it's always best to start with the mildest cleaner that is least likely to have adverse affects, and in the case of hair spray, that's shampoo. Mix a teaspoon of any brand of shampoo with a quart of warm water in a spray bottle and spray the affected walls liberally. Give the soap time to emulsify the hair spray and loosen its grip to the surface; then wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. Fill a bucket with clean water and wash the walls with a sponge to finish up.

An Alcohol/Soap Solution

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If you need a stronger cleaner, mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle and add a squirt of dish soap or shampoo. Alcohol is usually the main solvent in hair spray, and soaking residue with it should soften the residue so that you can wipe it away with a cloth. Because alcohol is a solvent, it may damage some types of paint, so it's best to test this spray on an inconspicuous area before using it. Don't use it if the solution softens the finish on the wall or on a cabinet.

Removing Hair Spray From Wallpaper

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Remove hair spray from wallpapered surfaces with baking soda. Make a paste with water and spread it lightly on the surface with a cloth; then wait for it to dry and dust it off. Melamine foam erasers are waterless and another option for quickly removing hair spray, but scrub lightly to avoid damaging the wallpaper. If you want to quickly remove hair spray from fiberglass or ceramic tile walls, you can also do it by mixing a 1-2 solution of fabric softener and water in a spray bottle, spraying the affected area and wiping with a cloth. Finish up by wiping with a cloth dampened with plain water.