Although not the rage anymore, popcorn ceilings are still very common in homes. From the 1950s to the 1980s, the popcorn ceiling was inescapable. They were the best, quick, and inexpensive way to add a finish to ceilings in apartments and homes across the nation. The process was simple: spray a stucco mix on the ceiling, which left a bumpy lumpy texture. Hence, the “popcorn”. Many homeowners have foregone the popcorn ceiling in the last half century. However, many ceilings still show that sign of the 1900’s. And if you live in a house that does… your ceilings are bound to need a good cleaning.
Check out the following tips to clean the popcorn ceiling, remove cobwebs and stains, and bring them back to their former glory.
(At least until a ceiling renovation is in the budget,)
Cover the ground and furniture in the room with tarps to protect them from the dust and dirt that will come off the ceiling during cleaning. Use your vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment to gently vacuum over the ceiling. This should remove the basic cobwebs and dirt. Feather dusters may be useful as well, but if you have dirt buildup, the feather duster is not going to be strong enough to get the job done.
In the case of cigarette smoke and cooking grease, you’re going to need a liquid cleaner. Popcorn ceilings cannot withstand much moisture, so you much be careful when removing built up stains such as grease and smoke. Test a small portion to see if it will disintegrate, and then proceed to gently clean the ceiling with the liquid cleaner.
Your liquid cleaner will be a mix of warm water and dish soap. Wet a soft wash cloth, wring it out and use it to gently dab the stains on the ceiling. Be careful not to get the ceiling too wet.
If your roof has leaked previously, water damage may cause yellow discoloration on the ceiling or even mildew. Use a solution with a small amount of bleach and dab the stains with a wet wash cloth. Again, take caution to not over dampen the ceiling.
It is possible that over the years, the stains may become too tough to remove. You can simply repaint your ceilings as an alternative to replacing the popcorn ceiling. Purchase pain specified for ceilings.
Note of Caution
Homes constructed before 1979 could contain asbestos. If you have an older home, have a professional inspect for asbestos. In the event of asbestos, you will need to replace those parts affected, such as the popcorn ceiling.