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How to Clean Popcorn Ceiling?

If you have a popcorn ceiling installed in your house, cleaning work must be a nuisance. You should consider cleaning it by removing cobwebs, discolorations, and stains. How to clean the popcorn ceiling effectively and fast?

Notably, cleaning requires following top-notch steps that will make the process safe and easier. Here we have some tips for you.

clean dust from popcorn ceiling

What Tools and Supplies Will You Need?

Popcorn ceilings keep on catching dirt after a period. Therefore, the removal of grime and dust is a chore that can take time to finish.

Make the work easier by using a few materials while cleaning. Tools and supplies that leave the ceiling spotless include clothes or tarps, facemask, vacuum with a brush attachment, paint roller, protective goggles, sponges, spray bottles, gloves, water, dishwashing liquid, and bleach.

Keep in mind that the above resources help in the thorough cleaning of the ceiling and ensures you are protected from fluids and falling debris.


  • Clothes or tarps
  • Vacuum with a brush attachment
  • Paint roller
  • Protective goggles
  • Sponges and spray bottles
  • Dishwashing liquid and bleach
  • Gloves


Steps on Cleaning the Popcorn Ceiling

Here are some specific guides on cleaning the popcorn ceiling:

Step 1: Preparations

Start the procedure of cleaning the popcorn ceiling by preparing the room and yourself. If possible, remove as much furniture as you can from the area.

Use drop cloths, old sheets, or plastic tarps to cover the entire space plus the furniture and floor. Additionally, debris, dust, and some pieces of the ceiling might fall.

Also, gather all the tools and supplies and place them in an area where they are accessible. Protect yourself by wearing protective face masks, goggles, and gloves.

Keep in mind that you should avoid coming into contact with cleaning chemicals and dirt for health purposes.

Step 2: Dusting a popcorn ceiling

clean grease off popcorn ceiling

Removing the dust particles that have been trapped in the acoustic ceiling is a crucial step.

Also, dirt is mostly found between the texture bumps; hence you have to choose the right tools.

Consider using equipment with long handles enough to reach every corner of the ceiling or use a step ladder. Some of the methods you can apply while dusting and removing cobwebs include:

    • Using a vacuum

A handheld vacuum is a simple and straightforward way of cleaning your popcorn ceiling. Also, consider using a vacuum with a long hose and a brush attachment to capture the dust.

Note that the long pipe prevents dust from dispersing in the entire house. Additionally, be gentle as you are getting rid of the stubborn dirt to avoid breaking the texture.

    • A feather duster

In case you do not have a vacuum cleaner, you can resort to a feather duster. Notably, it is an outstanding old fashioned duster designed to catch dust particles from the ceiling. Also, attach a long pole to avoid straining your hands while dusting.

    • Duct tape and paint roller

When dust gets stuck in the popcorn ceiling, use duct tape to remove it. Wrap it around a paint roller and leave the sticky side facing out.

Then roll it across the area to trap all the dirt. Notably, the dust sticks on the tape; hence keep replacing it after a few moves on the acoustic ceiling.

Step 3: Removing the stains

If your ceiling has other problems besides dust and cobwebs, you are required to take specific measures.

Also, the popcorn ceiling is prone to stains caused by residue from grease, smoke, or mildew that discolors the bright white surface.

You have to apply a liquid solution that gets rid of the stains completely. Before trying any technique, test a small area and ensure the solution does not damage the ceiling. Below are the options you can use to remove stains.

Step 4: Mixing Liquid dish soap and warm water

Mix warm water and liquid dish soap while taking care of everyday stains caused by cooking grease or smoke from cigarettes.

Apply the mixture using a soft paint roller or a sponge when you are cleaning the acoustic ceiling. Ensure you wring out the excess solution with the soft sponge to prevent unnecessary destructions.

Also, rinse the roller frequently or if you prefer a spray bottle, use it to smear the liquid.

Step 5: Bleaching

While using this mixture, make sure that you have worn safety glasses. Mix a solution of water and bleach to remove mildew and stains caused by water.

Take a spray bottle and fill it with the liquid. Spray lightly on the areas which have the stains. Also, let the popcorn ceiling air-dry completely for the solution to be effective.

After the surface has dried, check whether the stains persist and treat the place again if marks are still there.

Step 6: Painting

how do you clean a textured ceiling

Popcorn ceilings can be extra while reacting with moisture. Therefore, you can brighten up the ceiling and eliminate the stains by applying paint.

Note that this procedure will protect the roof from damages caused by moisture in the future. Use a thick paint roller to apply an oil-based, stain-blocking primer and acrylic paint to cover the set-in stains.

Also, you can use a paint sprayer to achieve the best coverage.

Step 7: Performing a final clean up

After you are done with cleaning and removing all the stains, consider using circulating fans to dry up the ceiling as quickly as possible.

Notably, do not retreat the ceiling after it’s dry since too much moisture might disintegrate the texture. Also, remove the drop cloths from the room and vacuum away any fallen cobwebs, popcorn, or dust.

Carefully dispose of the dirt for the safety of those living in the house and pets.


How Often to Clean the Popcorn Ceiling?

One downside of these ceiling is it keeps collecting dust, insects, and spider webs.

Corners and vents tend to capture dirt from fireplaces, stains from cooking gas or cigarettes.

Also, the texture of the popcorn ceiling causes it to become dull with time when not regularly cleaned.

Hence do a detailed cleaning twice a year to ensure the surface overhead is bright. Notably, as a homeowner, a clean ceiling offers relief to allergy sufferers since it is free of grime.

Remember that if you repeat the process of removing dirt many times, the texture degrades.



A popcorn ceiling provides a top-grade look provided you love the mid-20th century appearance and style. However, it requires maintenance that includes cleaning it to ensure that it is ever bright. Therefore, use the above tips to help deal with dirt on the surface and bring a popcorn ceiling back to its prime.