How to Remove Mold from Popcorn Ceiling

mold on a popcorn ceiling
Mold on a Popcorn Ceiling

Popcorn ceiling can be a huge nightmare for any homeowner. If you’re sick of looking at your popcorn ceiling or have discovered that your ceiling texture is infected with mold, you need to learn how to remove mold from a popcorn ceiling.

Not only that, but you should also learn how to properly clean your popcorn ceiling to keep it free of dust and spider webs. If you’ve moved into an older house and the popcorn ceiling has never been cleaned, getting rid of the dust and grime can brighten a room and really make your house more attractive.

But if you have mold, grease stains, smoke stains, or water damage in your popcorn ceiling, you’re going to need to learn how to deal with it in a more effective way.

How Do You Get Mold Off a Popcorn Ceiling?

Getting mold off a popcorn ceiling can be an absolute nightmare. Mold is usually the result of a roof leak. It can also be the result of accumulated moisture inside your ceiling. If you’ve noticed yellow stains appearing on your popcorn ceiling, normally in the corners, it means you probably have mold growing inside the texture.

The best solution in this case is to get rid of the popcorn ceiling altogether. If there’s water damage and mold, it’s better to scrape the popcorn ceiling off, clean the underlying drywall, and paint the ceiling normally.

But if you simply want to remove the mold and the water stains, there is an easier method that’s completely free and doesn’t takes up so much time. Follow these four easy steps to remove mold from a popcorn ceiling.

Step 1: The first step is to mix 3 tablespoons of bleach into 1 cup of room temperature water. Make this mixture inside of a spray bottle and shake it well.

Step 2: Next, go ahead and mist the ceiling with your spray bottle. Don’t make the ceiling too wet. Just dampen the area where you’ve seen the water stains, where the mold is likely infesting.

Step 3: Let the ceiling dry completely. You don’t need to do any scrubbing at all. Make sure the ceiling has been misted well and then let it try. This should cure the mold stains.

Step 4: If mold is still a problem and the stain doesn’t go away, try adding extra bleach to the solution and trying it again. If the stain persists and won’t go away with bleach, the only option you really have left is to scrape off the texture.

As a side note, remember to always use a mask and goggles to protect yourself while misting the ceiling with bleach.

How Do I Get Rid of Black Mold on My Ceiling?

Black mold occurs when you have a problem with humidity. When you have moist and warm air interacting with your cool ceiling, there is condensation that promotes the growth of interior mold. Over time, if your ceiling remains moist, mold will grow and become a problem.

You can recognize mold growth by the yellowish or black stains. Mold growth because of humidity can easily be spotted along the perimeter of the room. This kind of mold growth is almost always worse in the corners.

If you have mold because of a roof leak, you’ll usually get a yellowish stain in a circular pattern in just one spot on your ceiling. If the mold grows and grows, this stain will spread and get larger.

The best way to get rid of black mold on your ceiling is to improve airflow and natural light in the room. If there’s a leak, that leak obviously needs to be fixed and the water needs to be cleaned up. If it’s a humidity issue, make sure there is proper ventilation by adding fans or dehumidifiers.

Mold also loves darkness. Allow as much natural light as possible into the room to prevent mold colonies from growing on your ceiling. It’s also important that your home has proper insulation. Without insulation, mold can easily grow inside of the ceiling because of warm air on the inside and cold air on the outside meeting and causing condensation, resulting in the growth of mold.

To remove black mold from your ceiling, follow these simple instructions.

Step 1: The first step is to recognize mold. Mold can be black or green, brown or orange, or even yellow. The universal sign of mold is discoloration, black streaks, a damp smell, and peeling paint.

Step 2: If you’re dealing with popcorn ceiling or drywall, it’s going to be hard to clean the mold and it might come back later. The best option here is to remove the affected portion of the ceiling. Popcorn ceiling is easy to scrape off and drywall can easily be patched.

If you have a painted ceiling, it’s recommended that you scrape the paint off the ceiling, wash the affected area, then repaint the ceiling. This is the most effective way of permanent removal.

Step 3: If the mold hasn’t already damaged your ceiling beyond repair, you can create a mold removal solution to wash the mold off. One of the most common combinations is to use 2 tablespoons of Borax, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and 2 cups of hot water.

Mix your solution into a spray bottle and then mist the affected area of the ceiling. This solution is not dangerous to breathe in, and vinegar even contains a mild acid that normally kills 82% of mold species.

You can also use bleach in your solution, though keep in mind that bleach does produce dangerous fumes and should be handled carefully.

If you want to use a natural solution for killing mold, try tea tree oil. It’s expensive but completely harmless to people and animals. Tea tree oil also contains antifungal an antibacterial properties that help to destroy mold in its tracks.

When spraying your ceiling, be sure not to soak it. If you’re trying to wash a textured ceiling like a popcorn ceiling, don’t scrub the ceiling or you’ll end up removing the texture. Simply spray and let dry.

If you’re spraying a drywall ceiling or a painted ceiling, you can spray the ceiling mold and then rub gently with a scouring sponge until the mold stain has vanished. It sometimes takes up to a day of drying for the mold to fully disappear. You may also need to spray and scrub multiple times.

How Do You Clean Popcorn Ceilings?

If you have a popcorn ceiling, you should maintain a regular cleaning schedule. Dust and dirt, and even spider webs and grime can quickly build up on your ceiling and make the room appear dark and dirty. Plus, nobody wants spiders crawling around in the rough texture of their ceiling.

The best method for cleaning your popcorn ceiling is a feather duster. Be sure that you cover your face to protect yourself from breathing in dust and then work in small areas to clear out all the dirt that has become trapped in the grooves and nooks of the ceiling.

Alternatively, you can use a long vacuum attachment with a brush to lightly suck out all the dirt inside the irregular texture. Just be sure that you don’t scrub or scrape the ceiling, otherwise the texture will probably crumble off. Be as gentle as possible with your fragile ceiling.

And as a side note, it might be ideal to lay down tarps or cloths for your first major clean, as there could be a lot of falling debris.

How Do You Remove Stains from Popcorn Ceilings?

Removing stains from a popcorn ceiling can be very difficult because of the irregular texture. Whether you’re dealing with water stains, mold stains, or cigarette stains, all you need is some dish soap, a spray bottle, a microfiber cloth, a bit of bleach, and a small dose of hydrogen peroxide.

To remove grease stains, fill your spray bottle with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Then all you need is to carefully spray the area and dab at the grease with your microfiber cloth. After drying for a few hours, the stain should be gone.

To remove nicotine stains from your popcorn ceiling, bleach or hydrogen peroxide work best. Fill your spray bottle with nothing but hydrogen peroxide and then mist the area stained by the tobacco. Allow the area to dry and mist again as needed. You don’t need to do any scrubbing. The cigarette stains should eventually fade.

What Can I Spray on Popcorn Ceiling to Remove It?

Unfortunately, there is no magic material that you can spray on a popcorn ceiling to remove it. The best method for easily removing popcorn ceiling texture is water. Scraping off the popcorn ceiling texture when wet is far easier than when dry.

The best tool for the job is a garden sprayer. By simply misting the ceiling with ordinary water, the popcorn texture will weaken and become easier to scrape off with your putty knife or drywall taping knife.

In fact, all you need to remove your popcorn ceiling is to spray it gently with water and scrape it off, one section at a time. Just be sure that you let the water absorb into the texture for about 15 minutes before you start scraping.

Final Thoughts

Mold is a huge problem when left unchecked. If you have developed mold in your ceiling because of accumulated moisture or a water leak, the best option is to scrape off the affected areas of the popcorn ceiling immediately and use a patch material to fix the damage.

If the mold is mild, you can clean with a solution of vinegar, bleach, or even tea tree oil. The most important thing is to catch the mold early on and vanquish it before any serious damage is done to your ceiling.


How to Clean Popcorn Ceilings: Quick & Simple Tips | LoveToKnow

How to Remove Ceiling Mold (with Pictures) – wikiHow

How to Remove Popcorn Ceilings in 5 Simple Steps | Architectural Digest

  • Gregory A Seely
  • Gregory A Seely

    Greg is a self taught home renovator and writer for RenoViso. His shares his experiences with Southern Living, Traditional Home and other publications.

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