How to Keep Hairspray From Building Up in a Bathroom

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Hairspray buildup can be a headache.
Image Credit: Oscar Wong/Moment/GettyImages

Hairspray is a hairstyling essential in many homes, whether you need a quick spritz to hold down flyaways or seal in a style. However, the problem with hairspray is that it gets everywhere, and while creating a hairspray shield for walls sounds nice in practice, it can quickly become impractical every time you need hairspray. Fortunately, hairspray buildup, also known as overspray, can be cleaned up without repainting walls or refinishing floors.

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How to Remove Hairspray Overspray on Walls

The more overspray from your hairspray is allowed to build up, the more difficult it becomes to remove. To combat the overspray, you will need a solvent to break through the buildup without damaging the surface below. Fortunately, 91 percent isopropyl rubbing alcohol dries fast and effectively combats the hairspray buildup without leaving streaks behind or damaging the surfaces.

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Experts recommend that before cleaning a surface, you should test the rubbing alcohol on a small area to ensure it does not lift paint from the walls. If you're in the clear, pour the rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle, spray the affected surface and wipe with a microfiber cloth.

For more stubborn buildup, allow the rubbing alcohol to sit before wiping it down with the cloth. If you so desire, you can also use the rubbing alcohol on mirrors, faucets, countertops, tile and laminate. However, always test a small area before cleaning.

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How to Remove Hairspray Overspray on Wood and Floors

Rubbing alcohol can remove hairspray buildup on stained wooden doors and woodwork. However, if you don't want to use rubbing alcohol on a stained wood surface, a dab of hair shampoo on a damp cloth could also do the trick. Remember to wipe up the shampoo afterward with a damp microfiber cloth and then dry it off. If you see any remaining shampoo residue, be sure to remove it.

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When combating buildup on hardwood floors, create a solution of 1/4 cup of dishwashing liquid or Murphy Oil soap in warm water. Scrub at the buildup, follow with a clean cloth dampened with plain water and then dry.

If you are removing overspray from vinyl floors, create a mixture of vinegar and water with an optional drop of mild dishwashing liquid and mop the floor. If the buildup is stubborn, use rubbing alcohol instead of the vinegar solution. Afterward, mop with plain water regardless of the solution used.

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Hairspray Shield for Walls

Hairspray shields are designed to protect the face from overspray. Hairspray shields are shaped like a hand mirror and are held against the hairline so the surface will catch the overspray before it hits the face. Because of their small size, using a hairspray shield for walls would be ineffective against catching the overspray.

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If you are still looking for a surface to protect the walls, hang an old shower curtain, tarp or bed sheet and stand in front of it when using hairspray. You can also protect your walls and floors from overspray by standing in the shower to spray. The water from your next bath or shower should wash away the buildup.

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Ultimately, the best way to prevent hairspray from building up is to regularly clean the affected surfaces to prevent the buildup from becoming out of control. For regular cleaning and maintenance, create a 50-50 mixture of 91 percent isopropyl rubbing alcohol and water. For best results, add a few drops of dishwashing liquid too.

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