If your home was built between 1950 and 1980, chances are it has a popcorn ceiling, so knowing how to clean a popcorn ceiling without damaging it is essential.
Popcorn ceilings were a common substitute for smooth, skim-coated plaster ceilings because they were quick and simple to apply, concealed flaws, and provided sound absorption. Popcorn ceilings are a cleaning challenge due to their tendency to attract dust, whether you love them or not.
We’ll walk you through three methods for cleaning a popcorn ceiling as well as a sophisticated stain removal technique. Select the cleaning technique that works best for you, your equipment, and the state of your ceiling.
We will also discuss ways to hide or completely remove your popcorn ceiling if none of them work or if you’ve had enough.
How Often Should You Clean the Popcorn Ceiling?
You will be relieved to hear that popcorn ceilings should only be cleaned once a year. Once every few years is appropriate if your ceiling is free of dust or visible dirt. The less often a popcorn ceiling is disturbed, the less likely it is to sustain damage.
Considerations Before You Get Started on Cleaning
You should also know that popcorn ceilings are prone to asbestos poisoning. Consider testing for asbestos in popcorn ceilings, because the white asbestos fiber used in early popcorn ceiling formulas is now known to cause cancer.
It takes expertise to clean these surfaces because there is a chance that dangerous asbestos particles could be released into the atmosphere.
After confirming that your ceiling is asbestos-free, we suggest you cover any rugs and furniture with bed linens to catch any falling debris. Regardless of how messy some cleaning techniques are, you don’t want to regret not covering your furniture after the fact.
Protect yourself! Wear gloves, a face mask, a hat, and goggles to protect yourself from falling debris and dust.
Materials/Tools You Will Need
Gather the following materials and tools:
- Lint Roller Method: Lint roller with an extendable pole
- Vacuum Method: Vacuum with a brush attachment, ladder, or step ladder (depending on your ceiling height)
- Microfiber Duster Method: Feather or microfiber duster with an extension pole, ladder, or step ladder (depending on your ceiling height)
- Cleaning Stains, Spray bottles, Bleach
How to Clean a Popcorn Ceiling With a Lint Roller?
Out of the three techniques for cleaning a popcorn ceiling, this one is the simplest as it doesn’t require a ladder. It also leaves the least amount of damage to floors and furniture.
Starting with this one is recommended if your space has a low ceiling, like a basement.
Stretch the Pole
Your lint roller’s pole can be extended to three feet (or farther). Although these tools are intended to remove pet hair from floors, they also function well on popcorn ceilings.
Test the Roller
To ensure the adhesive doesn’t harm your textured surface, test the roller in a small area. You shouldn’t use this method if it does.
Roll the Ceiling
Dust can be collected from the ceiling by carefully rolling the sticky roller, which has a 10-inch width, to keep it from falling on the floor or furniture. Continue rolling the remaining ceiling after your roller sheet is full by switching it out for a refill sheet.
How to Clean a Popcorn Ceiling With a Vacuum?
You can clean your popcorn ceiling with your vacuum cleaner if it has a brush attachment. If the telescopic wand on the vacuum is attached, you get extra points.
Follow these steps:
Prepare the Ladder
Arrange your ladder so that it reaches the area that needs cleaning.
Use the Vacuum
Dust and spider webs from the ceiling can be delicately removed by using your vacuum with the brush attachment.
How to Clean a Popcorn Ceiling With a Microfiber Duster?
For this method, you will need an extendable feather or microfiber duster with a rotating duster head that forms a right angle.
Prepare the Ladder
Arrange the ladder so that it reaches the desired cleaning area.
Dust and cobwebs can be collected by carefully running a duster along the ceiling at a right angle with its fully extended headset. If the surface of your ceiling is extremely rough and the microfiber gets tangled in it, a traditional feather duster might be a better option.
How to Clean Stains on a Popcorn Ceiling?
Popcorn ceilings are prone to discoloration due to water damage. Determine the cause of the damage before attempting to remove those types of stains so that they don’t recur.
Here’s how to clean your popcorn ceiling of water damage and other unsightly stains. Although it’s not infallible, this simple, low-cost strategy is worth a shot.
Prepare a Bleach Mixture
In a clean spray bottle, add one part bleach to three parts water. As an alternative, utilize a commercial product that includes oxalic acid, which is frequently found in rust removers and cleaning solutions for wooden decks.
Spray the Stained Area
To draw out the stain, spray the affected area once a day – don’t rub. If that works, keep going until the stain disappears.
This method is not working if the stain still does not go away after three days. Instead of removing the stain, think about covering it.
Aerate and Dry
To dry the cleaned area as soon as possible, open a window, turn on a fan, or do both. A popcorn ceiling can collapse due to excessive moisture.
How to Cover Stains on a Popcorn Ceiling?
You don’t have to give up if cleaning doesn’t get rid of stains on your popcorn ceiling: You can choose. Select the option that best fits your ceiling condition, décor, and budget:
Paint your ceiling to give it a new look. Using a thick-nap paint roller, apply stain-blocking primer first, then paint the textured surface of your choice without damaging it.
Scrap, Skim, Sand, and Paint
Use a 4-inch utility knife or plasterboard knife to scrape away at the texture and smooth out the surface if you want to remove a popcorn ceiling completely. After that, sand it smooth before repainting, and use a thin layer of joint compound to smooth out any imperfections.
Cover With Drywall
Over the popcorn ceiling, install ceiling-grade gypsum board, which weighs a lot less than regular wallboard. For a seamless finish, screw it firmly into the framing and then mud and tape as normal.
This produces a textured ceiling nonetheless, albeit one that might be less offensive, and it’s simpler than taking out all the popcorn.
To achieve this, use fast-setting plasterboard mud to clean and prepare the ceiling, followed by a bonding agent (such as joint compound) and finishing compound applied with a trowel or knife to add the desired texture.
Freshen Up Your Popcorn Ceilings Today!
You can easily create a new look for your rooms by following any of the methods explained to clean the popcorn ceilings. It will freshen up the ceilings and transform the overall appearance of your rooms.