Ways to Get the Dust off a Painted Popcorn Ceiling

The uneven surface of popcorn ceilings can make them difficult to clean. And, In some cases popcorn ceilings can't be cleaned, because they contain asbestos. Painted popcorn ceilings are safe to clean because the surface of the popcorn isn't exposed. Cleaning unpainted popcorn carries the risk of dislodging asbestos fibers and releasing them into the air. So, have your unpainted ceiling checked for asbestos before attempting to clean it.


Use a feather duster to knock dust off popcorn ceilings.

Use a vacuum cleaner with the upholstery-brush attachment to dislodge and suction the dust. Brush off the surface with short motions to pull the cobwebs down rather than pushing them into the crags of the ceiling. Work one small section at a time in order to avoid missing spots.

Feather Duster

Use an acrylic duster rather than a natural one, as feathers can get stuck and remain lodged in a popcorn ceiling. Use a downward flicking motion with the duster to pick off cobwebs and other dust particles. Avoid pushing the strands back into the crags of the ceiling.

Clean Dust Smudges

Pushing the dust with a vacuum attachment or feather duster may create dark smudges; with water and a wet sponge gently wipe away the smudge marks. Don't dislodge the popcorn. The paint provides some protection, but just a little force can break though the paint and cause bits of the popcorn to fall.