How to Clean Popcorn Ceiling

close up popcorn celling surface

Popcorn ceilings were first introduced in the 1950s. By then, they were seen as being more economical compared to the use of plaster. Besides, most home contractors saw the extra texture as a great design element to disguise help in absorbing sound and disguising ceiling flaws. Although many homeowners managed to replace their popcorn ceilings, there are still those who have for one reason or another. Some people prefer popcorn ceilings for the fact that they economical in terms of maintenance. Others just want to avoid the cost of installing a new ceiling when the existing one still serves the purpose.


But one disadvantage of popcorn ceilings is that their bumps and pocks attract a lot of dust. In order to keep them neat and shiny, it is important to clean them at least once or thrice a year. This will prevent insects, spider webs, and ceiling trap dust from making your ceiling dull. Cleaning a popcorn ceiling can be a messy affair. This is because some of the ceiling texture usually becomes loose during the cleaning process. You need to set aside some good time to ensure that a proper job is done. If you can’t do the job on your own, our professional Chicago cleaning team can help you out.


Here are some of the things you will need to get the job done:

• Dishwashing liquid
• Water
• Chlorine bleach



• Safety glasses and a protective mask
• Tarps or drop cloths
• Sturdy step ladder
• Duct tape
• Sponge
• Spray bottle
• Vacuum with brush attachments

  • Step One: Prepare the Room


Collect or gather all the materials and tools and place them where they can be easily accessed. Remove most of the furniture from the room and cover anything that will remain inside. You can use old sheets, drop cloths, or tarps for covering to avoid staining them.



Ensure that you have your musk on before you begin the cleaning process. You should also wear goggles to protect your eyes from dust. Don’t allow anyone to remain inside the house while you are doing the cleaning.


  • Step Two: Get Rid of the Dust


The first step involves removing all the spider webs and dust particles trapped in between the texture bumps. You should use a tool that is perfect for the job. This means a tool that is long enough to reach the furthest corner of your ceiling.


Here are some of the best option:

• Vacuum: Use a vacuum that has a long hose and a wider brush attachment. This will make it easy for you to capture dust and avoid it from spreading all over the house.

• Use a broom: A soft broom can also do a good job when it comes to getting rid of the dust. But don’t be too rough lest you remove the important popcorn.

• Duct tape and paint roller/sticky lint roller: In case you don’t have a sticky roller that’s long enough, then you can wrap duct tape in a paint roller but ensure that the sticky side is facing outside. You can then use it to trap dust as you change it from time to time.


  • Step Three: Brighten Dingy Areas


Start by mixing one teaspoon of a dishwashing detergent with grease cutters using warm water. Put the mixture inside a spray bottle or bottles. With the help of a stepladder, start spraying the mixture on small areas of the ceiling one at a time. Try not to over-wet the ceiling.

After that, use a sponge to blot away soil and the cleaning solution. Rinse the sponge regularly using plain water to get rid of the accumulated soil. It is also possible to use a paint roller to apply the mixture to the ceiling. But you should make sure the roller slightly damp. There should be no water dripping from the roller while using it to apply the solution to different sections of the ceiling.



  • Step Four: Whiten Stained Areas


In case there has been a small leakage or dark section close to the fireplace, a solution of chlorine bleach and water can help remove the stain or stains. Mix the solution using a spray bottle and protect yourself with safety glasses.


Before starting to remove the stains, ensure the stained sections are clean and dry to avoid creating a much worse problem.



  • Step Five: Circulate Air to Speed up Drying


After you have thoroughly cleaned or treated the stains, the next step is to ensure that the whole place dries up as quickly as possible. How do you do that? The best way to do achieve that is to circulate fans at the highest rate.



Don’t attempt to start treating stains again before the whole ceiling dries up completely. Remember that a lot of moisture can easily make the texture disintegrate. Be patient and allow all the areas to dry up so that you can clearly see sections that may still be having stains.


  • Step Six: Conduct a Final Clean Up


Now that you have successfully gone through all the steps, it is time to check if your popcorn ceiling is as clean as you would want it to be. The first thing you should do is to check if there are any stains still visible. The only way you can check that is to ensure that there’s enough lighting in the room.


Once you are certain that all is well, start removing the drop clothes inside the house and use a vacuum to get rid of dust that may have accumulated during the cleaning process. You should find safe way to dispose of all the materials that you used.



There’s no doubt that popcorn ceilings are still common in many homes. While popcorn ceilings are economical, they also need regular cleaning to keep your home presentable and free from dust. We understand how hard cleaning a popcorn ceiling is. That’s why we are here ready to help. Request for your free estimate today!


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