Sick Day Comic 5.

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I’ve never cleaned wallpaper, but when I was a kid I helped my parents steam wallpaper off the walls of our house in Kinsley. It was fucking terrible. You have to get these big steam machines and dissolve the glue holding the paper on the wall. Usually people just papered over old paper instead of taking off the old paper, so there were, like, 4 layers of wallpaper going back to the dawn of time. It smelled like dusty wet glue and paper. We had to stand around like chumps and scrape this shit off the wall for days and days. Only to have to paint the fucking walls afterwards. It’s no wonder people opted to just cover up old wallpaper. It would’ve taken forever to clean. Even if you weren’t using a handful of dough.

I actually looked up wallpaper dough just to see how you actually used it & it turns out you can still buy cleaning dough specifically for wallpaper. As near as I can tell it’s just one company making it now. A small container of pinkish dough that you rub on dirty walls I guess. How annoying would that be?

Probably more annoying than some random artist asking for you to support his work if you find it valuable. An artist like me doing the thing I just typed. Links are above and on the other places. If you love weird comics like this it’s well worth it.


As I heard it, the cleaning dough was primarily meant to get coal soot off the walls because coal was the most common heating fuel of the time.

I have never commented before, and I’m commenting now in mock disgust (but real amusement and interest) at the fact that now I’M having to look up Play-doh and related histories thereof. Wikipedia rabbithole…AWAAAAAYYYYYYYY

I have seen a Play-Doh-esque substance used to clean computer keyboards. I thought that was just downright amazing. Made perfect sense, too; fits in all the cracks and crevices, pulls out all the chettle and other junk, and cleans with simple washing. Brilliant idea. Also saw it used in car detailing.

That it would also be useful on walls is little surprise.

Steam machines for removing wallpaper? I’m assuming America xP Every house I’ve lived it’s been a bucket of soapy water, sponge, scraper, and elbow-grease.
Now that is why I stopped using wallpaper. blegh!

Now go look up the origin of silly putty xD

yeah we used hot soapy water to remove wallpapers
very, VERY, annoying and time consuming XD

Wallpaper removal was the worst. Hell, applying wall-apercsucked, between the slimy paste, the paper hanger flail, and the usually tasteless patterns.

Yeah, plasticine/play-doh had its uses for cleaning all kinds of crap from surfaces — sometimes you could press it on and peel it off, and it would do the job. Other times it would be used like a moldable eraser.

I got a product recently called Absorene — same thing as The Pink Stuff, more or less. Got it to clean some things, but I’m less than thrilled using it— it crumbles far too easily and using it eraser style leaves bits everywhere.

We had a tool called a “Paper Tiger” that would score the wallpaper and let the moisture seep in to help removal. We lived in an old house with solid plank walls and some of the interior walls hadn’t been sheetrocked. There was layer of muslin fabric tacked to the wood and the paper was glued to that. The muslin was pretty crispy and you could just peel all the layers off dry. The worst is vinyl “paper”. It is supposed to be easy to clean but it’s a pain to peel.

Toured some old houses that used to have coal heating, could see the difference in where people could reach to clean the wallpaper and where was too high. Less dramatic then the difference in where the wallpaper had gotten 100 years of sunlight versus the parts that had been covered.

I remember getting wallpaper off in one house in England that was something like eight layers deep.

Must be nice to be able to focus on a conversation this long without already having the phone out and googling stuff – personally, I would at that point, instead of ranting about homework, already be spouting freshly read fun facts about play-doh and wallpapers.

Urgh. I’m not sure if the wallpaper bit would be worse or better than my experience with ripping three stacked layers of cheap carpet off a flight of stairs, all haphazardly attached with an utterly random collection of tacks, nails and staples. The bottom layer had been there so long it was basically reduced to a cloud of yellow dust and random fibers.

As @Sario mentioned, coal smoke was the leading cause of dirty wallpaper. I have seen small, (not very) ‘portable’ space heaters that burned coal; you would hook them up to the flue in your apartment of house. When you moved, you dragged the heater with you.

Another cause of sooty walls was oil lamps. The earlier ones used whale oil (yes, Captain Ahab was after Moby Dick for more than sport) and the later ones used kerosene, now a petroleum distillate but originally made from… coal.

And yes, if you Google pedantic, my picture is next to the definition.

There is a series called “Mysteries At The Museum,” one episode took place in a “Toy Museum,” and they told us the story of Play-Doh.

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