Wallpaper removal is a tough job. Commercial products help to speed up the process. If you have ever wondered what is in the products, here are the basic ingredients in most wallpaper removal products.
Sodium Hydroxide To Melt Glue
This is a chemical acid. It is the main component of wallpaper removal products, also called strippers. It seeps through the wallpaper to the backing and breaks down the glue to make it easier to peel off. That's why the directions tell you to allow it to sit for a length of time, usually an hour, before pulling the wallpaper off.
Enzymes For Consistency and Speed
Enzymes are added to help the sodium hydroxide adhere to the wallpaper. It is what gives the wallpaper remover its gel-like texture. It also speeds up the process of breaking down the glue. There are products available that do not contain enzymes. These products do not work as well as products that do have them. They will actually say "enzyme" on the container.
Water For Safety
Wallpaper removal products are mostly water. The chemicals are so strong that it would be unsafe to use them in your home without the added water.