How To Clean A Popcorn Ceiling – Everything You Need To Know

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Popcorn ceilings are famous for being a retro installment, not to mention a ceiling with a lot of stigma due to the asbestos scandals of the 70s. Consider also that this ceiling type is famous for being high maintenance and difficult to clean. If you’ve inherited a popcorn ceiling in your home, you might be wondering how you can clean this notoriously difficult ceiling type. We’ve researched various methods to clean popcorn ceilings to share the best technique with you.

Popcorn ceilings require careful cleaning. To clean the ceiling, prep your vacuum by putting on a brush extension, then gently run it along the ceiling. If you do not have a vacuum on hand, dusting the ceiling with a microfiber duster can help. While dusting is easy, popcorn ceilings can get stained, which require special care to remove. 

Popcorn ceilings are famous for being rough to clean, but you don’t have to work too hard if you know what to do. This guide will give you the full scoop on how you can clean your ceiling without damaging it. Please, keep reading!

A popcorn ceiling with a heating or cooling vent, How To Clean A Popcorn Ceiling - Everything You Need To Know

How Should You Clean A Popcorn Ceiling? 

Popcorn ceiling with a heating or cooling vent

Popcorn ceilings really have only one way to clean them, and that’s through the use of dusting. Dusting can be done through the use of a duster, a cloth, or a vacuum. Most people find that a vacuum with a brush is the best way for quick, routine cleaning.

However, if you  have a stain that you want to scrub away, you may need to do the following:

  1. Start by doing a spot test in one corner of your home. Spray the ceiling with water to see if it disintegrates. If it doesn’t, proceed to step two.
  2. To remove basic stains, mix half a teaspoon of dish soap with warm water in a spray bottle. Lighty spritz it on and dab the ceiling stain with a paper towel. Rinse, and let air dry.
  3. If you have staining due to smoke or other more severe issues (like mildew), mix one-part bleach with five parts water. Dab with a cloth until the stains disappear.

Can Popcorn Ceilings Cause Allergies?

Popcorn ceilings don’t directly cause allergies since there is nothing in the ceiling’s material that people can be allergic to. Modern popcorn ceilings are basically just hard foam, so it’s hypoallergenic. However, that doesn’t mean that these ceilings haven’t been linked to allergic reactions. 

The reason why they get linked to reactions deals with dust. Popcorn ceilings have a structure that naturally seems to trap dust. This makes it prone to sparking allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to dust. 

Are Popcorn Ceilings Out Of Style?

For the most part, popcorn ceilings are considered extremely outdated, unless they’re being added for a room meant to record sounds. Part of the reason for this deals with a stigma because these ceilings used to contain asbestos. Other times, it’s due to the aesthetic, while even more often, it’s the difficulty in keeping them clean. 

Regardless of what you might peg them for, it’s important to realize that this is one trend that is notorious for being outdated. It’s a lot like that weird wood paneling designers were obsessed with during the 70s. 

How Can You Tell If Your Popcorn Ceiling Has Asbestos?

The biggest reason why popcorn ceilings fell out of favor deals with how they used to be made. Back when popcorn ceilings first hit the housing market, it was made of asbestos. This posed a serious risk for peoples’ health since asbestos has been linked to a slew of cancers, including mesothelioma—one of the deadliest types of lung cancer.

Thankfully, this is probably not something you have to worry about. The only popcorn ceilings that contain asbestos were made in the 80s, which means that any modern popcorn ceiling probably doesn’t have it. However, if you want to be 100 percent sure, your best bet is to call an asbestos testing center to get your ceiling tested. 

What Are The Advantages Of A Popcorn Ceiling?

Popcorn ceilings are mostly done to add a fuller, more textured look to a room. If you’re a fan of the retro look, this is a great way to make it work. People who have acoustic issues may also want to invest in getting a popcorn ceiling installed in their room. The popcorn-like texture actually helps absorb sound. The result? A quieter room with better acoustics and low echo.

Are these advantages worth the hassle of cleaning? It can be hard to decide, but it’s up to you to figure out what you want to do. 

How Do You Add A Popcorn Ceiling To Your Home?

Though some more steps needing to be addressed, the basic gist of modern popcorn ceiling installations is that you will need to spray it on or roll it on. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Start by putting protective sheeting on the walls and floor. 
  2. Make sure that your ceiling is clean and prepped without dust.
  3. Grab some ceiling texture spray (or bucket) and apply the texture to the ceiling. Make sure to choose the right type of paint roller here!
  4. Let the ceiling dry. It’ll pop down!

How Do You Remove A Popcorn Ceiling From Your Home?

Removing a popcorn ceiling can be far more labor-intensive and complicated than installing it in the first place. If you want to remove a popcorn ceiling, you may need professional help. Here’s what you need to be aware of:

  1. Before you begin, determine if you need an asbestos test. If you don’t know the ceiling age, hire a person to do an asbestos test before you try anything. 
  2. If it contains asbestos, hire an asbestos removal company immediately. Please do not attempt to remove it yourself, as it’s a major health hazard. 
  3. If it’s free of asbestos, prep the area by putting protective sheeting on the floor.
  4. Take a scraper and scrape it off. You may need to get a bucket and some protective gear to do this. It will take a while, but eventually, you will be able to remove it all. 
  5. Before you remove the sheeting, sweep the area to get rid of any existing debris.

In Closing

Popcorn ceilings are one of those things that you either love or hate. If you love your textured ceiling, you will want to do everything to keep it clean and pristine. Thankfully, it doesn’t take too much to do this. Careful vacuuming and gentle washes are all you need to maintain a typical popcorn ceiling. 

However, a lot of people tend to dislike popcorn ceilings. They are generally considered outdated decor, and even when it’s a retro look, they can carry a serious stigma. Part of this is rightfully earned; some popcorn ceilings contain very dangerous materials. If you are not in the mood to keep up your ceiling, you can always remove it. Whether or not it’s worth doing, though, remains up to you to decide.

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