How To Clean Popcorn Ceiling

How To Clean Popcorn Ceiling

If you have recently moved or are planning to move into a somewhat older house,  there’s a high chance that the house might have what one would call Popcorn Ceiling or Acoustic Ceiling.

This type of ceiling used to be heavily popular in the mid 20th century. The infatuation occurred as a result of their beautiful appearance that blinded visitors to the other imperfections of a home.

However, owning a popcorn ceiling comes with its own set of challenges. The texture is too easy to damage, and they are horribly susceptible to dust. While they provide better noise insulation and affordability than smooth ceilings, many popcorn ceilings cost more to maintain than they are worth. If you want to move into a house with a popcorn ceiling, you will need to learn how to clean it, provided you can’t always take help from professional home cleaning services.

1. Start With The Cobwebs

You are going to have to find a vacuum cleaner that’s handheld and has a hose extension so it can reach the ceiling. If your ceiling is really high, you should make do with a ladder. Just point the vacuum cleaner at the ceiling and the force of it will do the job of sucking up the cobwebs.

Vacuum cleaners are a great way to rid the ceiling of cobwebs without compromising the texture.

If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner with a suitable extension, a feather duster might help. Combine the feather duster with a pole extension or simply use a ladder to reach the height of your ceiling. Use the duster over each cobweb and immediately remove it so that it doesn’t leave marks elsewhere.

Also, clean up the duster after each sweep so that the cobweb doesn’t stick to other parts of the ceiling when you are reusing it.

In case you don’t have a vacuum cleaner or a feather duster, a lint roller can save the day. You can get non-sticky ones from the stores. Tape the end of the rollers so that it doesn’t leave scratch marks on the ceiling while applying it.

Now, roll it over the whole ceiling and you can easily throw away the webbing that comes down after each sweep. Replace the tape after each roll because the webs can stick to it.

2. Dusting Time!

Paint rollers are usually the perfect fit for popcorn ceilings. But for extra caution, you can choose to wrap it with duct tape. Wrap it real tight and stick the sides up. Compared to a broom, this one has zero chances of damaging the ceiling.

Now, move the roller all over the ceiling as gently as you can. Automatically, the dust will be gathered to the tape. If you see that the duct tape has become so congested that it can’t attract dust anymore, change the duct tape. Since paint rollers are flexible by nature, you should also be able to clean up the corners with ease.

If you don’t have a paint roller, you can make use of a broom. That is, with the knowledge that once you start dusting, the flakes and dust from the ceiling will fall over you and your floor. Check that the broom is clean before you do it. Otherwise, you will only be exposing your popcorn ceiling to more dust. Again, brush your broom across the ceiling with utmost gentleness. Dust and flakes will fall off naturally.

For safety purposes, wear a mask and eye protection gear when you do this. This is both in case you have dust allergy and that Popcorn ceilings before and around the 1970s might contain asbestos, which can be harsh for the eye.

3. Take Care Of The Stains!

Again, it’s the best idea to proceed with a paint roller in this case. They are soft and rounded, so they cause no harm to the texture of the popcorn ceilings. Preferably, the paint roller should be 19 mm thick. Combine it with an extension handle so that reaching the ceiling becomes easier.

Coat the roller with water. However, don’t overdo it. The roller should just have enough water for it to be damp, but it should not drip all over the place. Now, apply the roller over the stains. Move the roller in a specific line, so it doesn’t re-apply the stain it has just removed. Do it gently and don’t push too hard.

Rinse the roller once it gets too dirty. This way, you won’t be spreading more dirt on the ceiling. You need to be cautious enough to squeeze out extra moisture. Remember, the trick is to be wet, not dripping.

The water method is only for mild stains. For dripping cleaning, you will need to make a DIY solution out of vinegar and water in equal parts. Again, dip the paint roller in the solution, enough to be wet but not enough to dampen the popcorn ceiling.

You can also make use of a spray bottle in this case. Just climb up a ladder, and spray the solution over the stains in selective measures. Wait for the solution to dry up on its own. Don’t even contemplate removing it as that would have the opposite effect, and cause further damage to the popcorn ceiling.


The vacuuming and dusting can be an easy business, but for cleaning deep stains, you need to be extra cautious. Popcorn ceilings have extremely vulnerable texture, and it’s better if someone without experience doesn’t go near it.

You can always hire a professional cleaning service, like us, for this purpose. We, at SwiftClean, value the safety and beauty of your home as much as you.

We’re also a company that provides all kinds of cleaning services around the clock, be it daily, bi-weekly, weekly or monthly. We promise to live up to our reputation as the number one cleaning service in Southern California.

You can get in touch with us through our live chat, and we will provide you with a quote based on what kind of professional cleaning help you need.

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