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We recently bought our first property and it had woodchip wallpaper throughout. Having spent some time at a relatives house helping remove this blight I knew the value of a decent wallpaper steamer. I pretty much just chose the cheapest one as it had the same water capacity as the more expensive models and same reach.
I bought this off of amazon well in advance of when we needed it (Our solicitor took way longer to complete than we anticipated and seemed to be allergic to the telephone and sending e-mails.) it was delivered promptly and apart from a brief stint out of the box while we checked it created steam it stayed in the box for a few weeks.
As soon as I got the keys I got up to the flat and used an orbital scorer to cut through the paper in every room and sprayed t with a water pump The next day I got up early and started stripping the ceilings. Even with the steamer it was pretty hard work but it really was as reliable as clockwork.
It takes about ten minutes to warm up and then gives an hour and a half of constant steam. The hose is long enough to reach high ceilings and did not drip hot water at all. The steam plate creates a decent amount of steam over as large a surface area as it is convenient to work. the trick is to work in a solid pattern, always using one hand to steam the area you want to remove next while you scrape off the paper you just steamed with the other hand
A friend helped remove some woodchip in the hallway and used the more expensive 'Black & Decker Wallpaper Stripper KX3300T' which looked more impressive and while it went from cold to ready in a shorter period had a real tendency to drip from the hose and just wasn't as good.
Being used in a working environment this did get knocked over and take a few bangs which it took in it's stride. The design is really solid and the only way the hose will come off is if you take it off intentionally.
It took me just under a week to remove all the paper. Some rooms were easy and some were really hard, without a steamer it would have taken about a month. I can only compare this to one other model and it was much better but considering the main concern I had when purchasing was cost I am really happy with how well this performed. It is back in the box now and I don't anticipate having to use it until we move but I am confident that it will still work perfectly well.
As some of you might be aware from some other recent reviews, we've recently moved house. We previously lived in a 1970s semi where all the walls were painted, but we've moved to a 1960s semi where the previous owners were keen on wallpaper.
To give you some idea, one bedroom had nine individual layers of wallpaper and lining paper; they'd just kept putting one on top of another! Several rooms have also got the dreaded woodchip paper, which in itself has also been painted.
Up until now we had no need for a wallpaper stripper. We considered hiring one, but with the quantity to do, we felt it more economical to buy one. There are a lot available, but this one at only £20 on Amazon had excellent reviews. The machine comes in four sections: a lead, a water vessel, a pipe and a plastic oblong you hold on the wall (I'm sure it has a proper name, but I can't think of it!)
The machine itself is very easy to set up. You simply connect together all the parts, fill the reservoir with water, and switch it on. In effect, it works just like a kettle. An element inside the water reservoir heats the water; the difference is that when it's boiling it keeps boiling rather than switching off. It takes about 10 minutes to come to the boil, and I gather that the water lasts for about 70 minutes.
Once the water is boiling, steam is send up the pipe and into the plastic oblong. You hold this part against the wall in order to moisten the paper, and make it easy to strip. For the best results, I found that you had to hold it in place for 10-15 seconds before moving it. Of course, once you're going, you get quite a good rhythm in operation because as you're holding it in one place, you can be stripping the previous with the other hand. You have to be a little careful as the pipe does get quite hot, and some hot water drips from the top.
Overall, it's tackled all the jobs we've set it with ease; even the dreaded woodchip. Given that my arms begin to ache before the 70 minutes is up, I'm not sure whether it lasts that long or not; 45 minutes is about my limit! Its great asset is that it's so simply to set up and get working. No instruction manual was needed, and I only glanced at the pictorial diagrams on the side of the box.