How to Remove Stains From a Popcorn Ceiling

Lead Image
  • 2-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-150
What You'll Need
Spray bottle
Pure bleach
Drop cloth, a sheet, or plastic
Step ladder
Eye goggles
Face mask
Popcorn ceiling cleaning solution

Installing a popcorn ceiling is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to finish a ceiling in any interior room. They require little maintenance and they last for a long time. Like any surface, they get dirty. Because of water spots and stains, a popcorn ceiling needs to be cleaned from time to time. Here’s a quick how-to list on getting your popcorn ceiling back into tip-top shape.

Step 1 - Prepare Your Area

Cover the furniture and the floor section directly underneath the stain to protect the surface from contact with bleach or the popcorn ceiling cleaning solution. You may wish to enlist the help of an assistant to keep everything covered while you spray the solutions. It also helps for someone to hold a drop cloth close to the ceiling when you are spraying to prevent unnecessary overspray.

Check the work area to make sure it has proper ventilation, and get eye goggles and face masks. You'll be using bleach in the next step, which is toxic to breathe in.

Step 2 - Fill a Spray Bottle

Fill a clean spray bottle with pure bleach. The bleach must be undiluted because pure concentration works best on stains and water spots on the ceiling. Keep moisture away from your popcorn ceiling to prevent water saturation.

Step 3 - Get in Position

Place your step ladder directly under the stain. Step high enough to comfortably touch the ceiling with your hand without overextending your body. Keep your eye goggles on the entire time you're spraying to protect your eyes from bleach or solution overspray. Spray the stained area well. Cover the entire area with bleach. Do not be afraid to overspray.

Step 4 - Dry

Allow your popcorn ceiling to dry completely. If you are sensitive to smells, open the windows and doors to allow the bleach smell to escape the room. Doing so will also allow the ceiling to dry more quickly.

Step 5 - Add Popcorn Ceiling Cleaning Solution

After 24 hours have passed, examine your popcorn ceiling for stains and water marks. If your ceiling is completely clean, remove the drop cloths from the room. If there are still stains, spray a popcorn ceiling cleaning solution over the area. This type of product is usually tinted to match most popcorn ceilings. It should cover any remaining stains.