Remove mold from popcorn ceiling

How To Remove Mold From Popcorn Ceiling

Popcorn ceilings, with their distinctive textured appearance, have been a popular feature in homes since the 1930’s. Known for their ability to hide imperfections and acoustic benefits, these ceiling have added character and charm to many homes. However, the texture of popcorn ceilings can be difficult to clean, which can be a breeding ground for mold growth overtime. This can cause significant health issues if it not properly  dealt with in a timely manner.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to safely and effectively remove mold from your popcorn ceiling, from the essential safety gear to the best cleaning solutions. Whether you’re dealing with a minor mold issue or a more stubborn infestation, our guide will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to tackle the problem head-on, ensuring your popcorn ceiling remains a unique feature of your home, free from the dangers of mold.

What Are Popcorn Ceilings?

popcorn ceiling

Popcorn ceilings come from a mixture applied to the surface using a spray gun or a sponge. In the 1930s, the mixture was paint, adhesive, and asbestos. The crumpled asbestos particles gave it that popcorn texture, which is how it got its name. When asbestos fibers were discovered to be harmful, the process was changed to use styrofoam or paper. 

It is important to note, that popcorn ceilings installed before the late 1980s may contain asbestos, which is a very harmful substance when disturbed. Therefore, if your home features one of these vintage ceilings, testing for asbestos should be your first step. Only proceed with cleaning or mold removal once you’ve ensured your ceiling is asbestos-free, safeguarding your health and that of your household.

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

Mold removal can be a tricky thing. If you’re wondering how to remove mold from popcorn ceilings the steps provided below should work well to eliminate mold. However, if it returns or the mold spreads, you could have a have bigger problem that could require mold remediation.

DISCLAIMER: Mold can be dangerous and should be removed by a professional. Call us at (877) 349-1231 for a free consultation with a licensed remediation expert available 24/7 near you.

How To Safely Remove Mold From Popcorn Ceilings

popcorn ceiling black mold

There are many ways that mold can grow on a bathroom popcorn ceiling. The textured surface that looks so great also gives the mold a million places to latch onto and start growing. 

Black mold growth is much more dangerous than some of the other molds typically found in homes. However, there isn’t much evidence to suggest that other types of mold could be just as dangerous. Mold can cause allergic reactions in some people, so they may experience some strong effects when exposed.

By the time you see mold, it has already been there for a while. So, when you prepare to remove mold from your bathroom popcorn ceiling, be sure that you take the proper precautions. Using the right personal protective gear in your mold removal process is very important.

Safety Equipment

Mold growth can be dangerous. Removing mold is especially necessary for people with respiratory issues such as asthma or COPD, allergies, or autoimmune disorders since they can be adversely affected by the tiny spores produced by mold. The proper safety equipment is crucial for this task. You will need:

  • Goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Breathable mask or respirator
  • Sturdy ladder
  • Plenty of ventilation
  • Plastic sheets

1. Wash the Ceiling

You will start the cleaning process by washing your popcorn bathroom ceiling twice. Get a stepladder and wash the popcorn ceiling mold with a mixture of warm water and dishwashing soap in a spray bottle. 

Get in there as good as you can with a soft bristle brush and the liquid dish soap solution. This is important because there are little indentions and places for mold to hide on this textured surface, but also be gentle because the particles that make up bathroom ceilings are delicate and can break off easily, leaving a bald spot.

2. Apply Anti-fungal Solution

mold remover popcorn ceiling

After you’ve washed the bathroom ceiling down with water, apply a cleaning solution of anti-fungal cleaner and warm water. You can use a spray bottle to spray the mold on the affected area and a sponge to spread the solution. Once you’ve soaked your popcorn ceiling with the anti-fungal solution, let it dry for a few hours. 

3. Apply Borax Solution

Getting the remaining mold spores embedded deep in the popcorn ceiling is the trick to keep mold from returning. Opt for a borate-based detergent, like Borax and dilute it with water. Thoroughly mist the solution over the mold-infested areas of your textured ceiling, ensuring complete coverage of all the mold spores.

4. Re-paint Popcorn Ceiling (optional)

It is up to you if you want to paint the affected area or repaint the entire bathroom ceiling. If it hasn’t been long since you last painted, we would recommend skipping this step.

Mold growth can happen in other rooms as well. Thankfully, this method works well in the kitchen to remove mold growth, water stains, yellow mold stains, and even smoke stains.

Does Bleach Kill Mold On Popcorn Ceiling?

Chlorine bleach is generally known as a biocide. Biocides are chemicals or substances that kill living organisms. So, yes, a liquid bleach and water solution is used frequently as a cheap method of eliminating mold spores from a popcorn ceiling surface.

A bleach and water solution performs effectively, eliminating a significant portion of the mold. When applied correctly, this mixture ensures that the remaining mold spores are unlikely to regrow,

However, bleach can be a very toxic chemical. The area should be properly ventilated and the correct safety gear used. Otherwise, you can experience breathing difficulties, eye irritation, and chemical burns. Bleach can be deadly if mixed improperly so use it cautiously.

Does Vinegar Kill Mold on Ceilings?

White vinegar is also used often as an inexpensive alternative to get rid of mold. White vinegar is especially effective as it contains acetic acid, which can stop the growth of many types of mold spores. It also isn’t dangerous like other liquid bleach solutions.

Using vinegar instead of bleach is more beneficial for porous surfaces like ceilings and drywall. This is because the chlorine in bleach tends to remain on the surface, while the water component may seep into the material, inadvertently feeding the mold issue. On the other hand, white vinegar, with its acidic nature, penetrates these porous materials more effectively. This quality makes it a superior choice for treating areas like popcorn ceilings, as it helps prevent the potential for mold to regrow.

Call us at (877) 349-1231 for a free consultation with a licensed remediation expert available 24/7 near you.

How Can You Prevent Mold From Coming Back?

preventing mold on popcorn ceiling

To prevent mold from returning to your textured ceiling maintenance is the key. Doing a few routine things like popcorn ceiling cleaning will help keep mold from returning.

Proper Ventilation

Keep your bathroom dry by making sure you have proper ventilation. If you take hot showers, you should have an exhaust fan installed to pull the extra moisture from the room. It will help you keep your bathroom from turning into a sauna.

Install dehumidifiers in some of the rooms of your house that suffer from very high humidity and let them run often. It is a good idea to do this in the summer since it will help clear warm, humid air from your home. This will help keep moisture from building up.

Also, keep the doors in your home open to rooms that no one is using. If air can flow freely throughout the house, it will help to keep moisture levels down.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Make a routine of cleaning the ceilings every couple of months. This can be as simple as spraying a cleaning solution of anti-fungal cleaner on a duster and quickly rubbing it on your ceilings. This will keep dust and moisture from collecting in the little nooks and crannies of the popcorn ceiling and help break down any spores beginning to form. Running the hose from your vacuum cleaner will help as well.

Try not to have an abundance of containers in and around your shower. Water can collect behind and under them and become a breeding ground for mold. Use a towel to try out your bathtub every time you use it.


Keep an eye, and ear, out for leaks. If water leaks under your upstairs bathtub, it will eventually affect the ceilings downstairs. If you see water on the bathroom floor, clean it up. Don’t fall behind on the maintenance of your roof or plumbing.

Every few weeks, prepare a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. Spray it all over the ceilings where the mold usually appears. Allow it to dry. A hydrogen peroxide solution will eliminate mold and prevent an infestation from taking over. 

Thanks to these tips, removing mold from popcorn ceilings doesn’t have to be overwhelming.


professional removing mold

Mold can get into your home in several ways. It can cause respiratory problems, skin irritations, and allergic reactions that have left people feeling very sick. Despite being able to get in easily, your home has to have certain conditions for it to thrive. 

Damp bathrooms, leaking pipes, wet carpets, potted plants, and washing machines can facilitate mold growth. Keeping your home clean and free of excess moisture will make it inhospitable to the spores.

If your popcorn ceiling has mold, you need to take action immediately to keep it from spreading. There are many ways to accomplish this but larger outbreaks of mold should be handled by professional mold remediation experts. Please call us to learn more about how to remove mold from popcorn ceiling.