Is dust and dinginess making your textured ceiling an eyesore? Follow this basic cleaning process to restore the interior’s brightness.

Popcorn ceilings, which were fashionable in the mid-1900s, are probable if you live in a property that is more than a few decades old. Contractors loved the spray-on texture because it was inexpensive and simple to apply; homeowners enjoyed it because it muffled noise and concealed any errors in the application process.

However, one disadvantage of these ceilings is that their pocks and bumps readily collect dust, which highlights the texture’s borders like a shadow. Cleaning them at least once a year, if not twice, brightens the surface above and helps many homeowners learn to live with their antiquated ceilings. (Additionally, dusting might provide comfort to allergy sufferers.)

Follow the procedures given here for how to clean a popcorn ceiling to successfully explore all of the nooks and crannies of the texture.

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Before Cleaning your Popcorn Ceiling

Before you attempt a deep cleaning of your historic popcorn ceiling, keep the following in mind: Popcorn ceilings constructed before to the 1980s may contain asbestos, which is harmful if breathed. To avoid the potential of lung-scarring diseases and possibly lung cancer, make sure you follow asbestos-testing requirements.

How To Clean Your Popcorn Ceiling

STEP 1: Set up the room.
Place all tools and materials in a convenient location. Cover your furniture and flooring with huge plastic tarps to keep dust, cobwebs, or liquid cleaning from dirtying (or harming) the furnishings and floors under you while you work. Wear a mask to protect your lungs from dust, and goggles to protect your eyes.

STEP 2: Using a vacuum, broom, or duct tape, remove any dust from the popcorn ceiling.
Choose the dust cleaning method that best matches your needs. You must first select whether you want to clean the ceiling with two feet on the ground using an extended tool or climb a stepladder to clean small portions up close. When using a stepladder, be careful not to overextend your range, which can cause instability and loss of balance; instead, clean within a set range (a few square feet) before going down, repositioning your ladder, and addressing the next area.

  • Vacuum: Using the attachments on your vacuum, pick up surface dust and cobwebs. Choose the broadest brush attachment you can find, one that doesn’t have any hard plastic components that might chip or harm your paint. You can operate while standing on the ground if your vacuum has a long handle. If you opt to use a stepladder, go slowly up and down with your machine in tow.
  • Broom: Rotate a long-handled broom so that the wide, soft-bristled brush is facing the ceiling. Allow the dust to fall onto the tarps as you sweep the brush across the ceiling.
  • Duct tape: Wrap duct tape around a paint roller or use a lint roller. Climb the stepladder and roll the ceiling carefully. The majority of the dust should adhere to your tool. When dust no longer clings to duct tape or lint paper, replace it.

STEP 3: Before addressing stains, test a cleaner on a hidden section of the ceiling.
Test a tiny, inconspicuous section of the ceiling before attempting to fade or remove stains produced by water, smoke, or grease to verify you’ve chosen an effective cleaning product that won’t damage the ceiling. The solution’s strength will be determined by the source, age, and intensity of the stains.

  • Oil stains: The amount of cooking grease that becomes airborne during meal preparation is likely to cause some discoloration in a kitchen. To fix the problem, combine a moderate solution of warm water and liquid dish soap in a big spray bottle that you can easily hold on your stepladder. Spray the stain with the solution and softly dab the affected area with a cloth or sponge. Allow for many hours of drying time.
  • Water, mildew, and smoke stains: In a spray bottle, combine water and bleach and apply to the ceiling. To avoid more water damage, lightly spray the area. Begin with a one-part bleach-to-five-parts-water solution. Wait for a few hours. If the stain does not remove, apply additional bleach and softly spray the area once again. Allow the test area to dry overnight to see if the remedy is effective.

STEP 4: Use your preferred cleaner to deep-clean any exceptionally dirty sections of your popcorn ceiling.
Mist the rest of the ceiling area with the cleaner that has been found to be safe for your ceiling—either the liquid dish soap solution or the bleach solution. (When working with these cleansers, you should still use safety gear, such as goggles and a face mask.) If you’re utilizing a stepladder, keep in mind that you should only work within a certain range, descending down and repositioning your ladder on a frequent basis. Allow the ceiling to dry overnight while keeping any windows open and circulating fans running to keep the space aired.

STEP 5: Repaint or remove the popcorn ceiling if you are dissatisfied with how it appears after cleaning.
Consider repainting your popcorn ceiling if any stains remain, even if they are faded. Now that you’ve cleaned the surface dust, your ceiling is ready for a fresh coat of paint! If you are still dissatisfied with the appearance of your popcorn ceiling, it may be time to remove it entirely.

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