How to Clean Popcorn Ceilings: Quick & Simple Tips

Published December 15, 2020
Popcorn Ceiling

Learn how to clean a popcorn ceiling using simple steps. Get tips and tricks for tackling anything from grease to smoke stains on your popcorn ceiling.

How to Clean a Popcorn Ceiling - Regular Maintenance

If popcorn ceilings are great at one thing, it's catching dust. However, trying to remove that dust and grime can be a chore. Make it easy with a few simple tools.

Steps to Cleaning Ceiling

You can choose to use the duster on a pole or the vacuum with an attachment to clean your ceiling. However, if you have a high ceiling, you need to have a long attachment on your vacuum.

  1. Use the tarps or clothes to cover your furniture from falling popcorn.

  2. Put on your face covering to protect from breathing in dust.

  3. Use the duster on the painter's pole or vacuum to remove the dust from the ceiling.

  4. Work in small areas, ensuring the ceiling is completely clean before moving to the next area.

Caution With Popcorn Ceilings and Asbestos

Before you go messing around with your popcorn ceiling, think about the date of your house. Prior to 1979, popcorn ceilings contained asbestos, which is dangerous. Therefore, it's important to have your popcorn ceiling tested for asbestos if you are unsure before cleaning it.

How to Remove Stains From a Popcorn Ceiling

Stains on your ceiling can come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the part of your house. One of the most common stains is grease stains, especially in the kitchen. But you might also find water stains, mold, and nicotine stains. To tackle stains, you need:

  • Dawn dish soap

  • Large spray bottle

  • Microfiber cloth

  • Bleach

  • Hydrogen peroxide

  • Goggles

  • Mouth covering

Removing Grease Stains From Popcorn Ceiling

Before you go spraying water on your ceiling, you need to make sure it can handle it. Therefore, you want to spray a small section to make sure it doesn't cause any issues. If it's all good, then follow these steps.

  1. Fill a large spray bottle with warm water and 3-4 drops of Dawn.

  2. Shake it up.

  3. Carefully spray the area.

  4. Dab at the grease with the microfiber cloth.

  5. Allow to dry for several hours.

How to Remove Water Stains and Mold From Popcorn Ceiling

If you had a roof leak, you'd notice yellow stains on your ceiling. These stains might have even caused mold and mildew to form. To remove these, you need to grab the bleach.

  1. Mix 3 tablespoons of bleach to 1 cup of warm water in the spray bottle.

  2. Mist the mixture on the stain. (The key is to give it a light mist.)

  3. Allow the ceiling to completely dry.

  4. If the stain is still lingering, add more bleach to the solution and try again.

When misting the bleach, use a mouth covering and goggles to protect your eyes.

How to Clean Cigarette Smoke From Popcorn Ceiling

If you were a smoker or a smoker lived in your house, you might have nicotine and smoke stains on your popcorn ceiling. You can try the bleach solution to see if that lifts the stain. However, you might also try hydrogen peroxide.

  1. Fill a spray bottle with straight hydrogen peroxide.

  2. Mist the smoke stain.

  3. Allow it to dry.

  4. Repeat as needed.

Use protection for your mouth and eyes when using this method.

Repainting or Removing a Popcorn Ceiling

If you find your stains are stubbornly staying on your ceiling, then it might be time to repaint the ceiling. In this instance, you need to first prime the ceiling after removing the dust then painting. This is especially true if you have nicotine stains on your ceiling. Another option for a stubbornly stained popcorn ceiling that could have asbestos is removing it altogether and getting a new ceiling.

Scrapping a popcorn ceiling

Cleaning a Popcorn Ceiling Perfectly

Popcorn ceilings can be a bit of a bear to tackle, but that doesn't mean they have to be dirty. There are lots of different ways for you to rid your popcorn ceiling of any stain.

How to Clean Popcorn Ceilings: Quick & Simple Tips