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How Often do You Need to Clean Your Ceiling?

We tend to be thorough when we clean our homes. We vacuum carpets, dust furniture, mop tiles, clean windows, and scrub bathrooms and kitchens. But how often do you clean your ceiling? It’s easy to forget about what’s over our heads, but to do so can result not only in unsightly stains, but also in mold and fine dirt that cause severe illnesses and medical conditions. So, how often should you include a good ceiling cleaning in your home cleaning routine?

Cleaning Ceiling

It depends on four main factors:

1. Whether you or anyone in our home is a smoker.
2. Whether you live in an area with dense pollution.
3. Whether you have asthma or suffer from allergies.
4. Whether you live in a humid environment.

If you answered yes to one (or more) of the above, then you need to comprehensively clean your ceiling at least once a month, with maintenance cleaning in between. If none of the above applies to you, then you should carry out ceiling cleaning twice, maybe three times a year. You should also carry out some light maintenance cleaning once every two to three months.

Recurring Stains

If you consistently get water stains or mold, then you need to take a good look at your ventilation and get into your roof to look for problems with your plumbing, air conditioning system, and rodents.

For safety’s sake, it’s a good idea to hire professionals so you don’t accidentally put your foot through a rotten spot. Furthermore, professionals can gauge the extent of the problem and devise a plan of action to solve the problem, hopefully, once and for all.

How To Give Your Ceiling An Intensive Clean

There are several steps to a clean ceiling.

1) Vacuum clean

Some home vacuum cleaners have extensions specifically for cleaning ceilings, including the tricky corners. You don’t need a special vacuum cleaner, of course; all you need is a rod with a long reach and a bristle attachment. Vacuuming the ceiling will get rid of a lot of dust mites, fecal particles (from insects and rodents), and decomposed insect bodies.
Run a duster or a broom head wrapped in a microfiber cloth to remove remaining particles.
(Don’t forget to vacuum the floor when you’re done, so that you remove all the dirt that has fallen.)

Cleaning Ceiling

2) Use a homemade cleaning solution

Your home cleaning solution should be gentle enough that it doesn’t wear away the paint while you’re trying to clean the ceiling.

A general ceiling cleaning solution consists of warm water (one cup), biological dishwashing liquid (one teaspoon), and white vinegar (two tablespoons). The best way to apply the mixture is with a spray bottle so that you don’t end up with sopping sections that don’t spread easily.

You can go back to your broom head and microfiber cloth (with a clean new cloth) or you can get a clean paint roller. A slightly damp cloth or roller works best to wipe the ceiling clean. That is slightly damp, not wet. It helps if you create sections of your ceiling in your mind, and work your way through each of them so you clean the whole area and not just patches.

3) Tackle stains

Water stains are the most common on ceilings. They’re brownish marks that spread out from the center of the problem. They’re usually easy to identify because they’re beneath plumbing pipes and weak spots in the roof where leaking is likely to occur. It’s important to locate and repair the problem before you try to clean the stain, otherwise the problem will recur.

Baking soda is well-known for its stain removing properties. Make a paste with equal parts baking soda and water and spread it over the stain. Wait for about five minutes and then wipe it off.

Smoke stains, from smoking or air pollution, are usually yellow or gray/black. They don’t form concentric patterns; instead, they can look like blotches or smears on your ceiling. They can also be easily smeared, so don’t try to simply wipe them clean. Use the vacuum cleaning and dusting approach explained above and clean as stated. In severe cases you might need to repaint the ceiling. It’s recommended that you use a stain blocker so that it doesn’t seep through to the new coat of paint.

4) Mold’s health risks

Mold is usually in the bathroom because the wet, humid conditions are just the kind mold loves. It likes to grow in corners, especially those above the shower and bath. It’s best to remove mold as soon as you see it because it poses a health risk. Risks include: Respiratory problems, allergies, asthma, and compromized immune functioning.

Those most likely to be affected include: Babies and young children, the elderly, those with skin problems, those with respiratory problems, and those who have chronic illnesses. Symptoms include: Itching and burning skin, sneezing and nasal congestion, throat ache, burning swollen eyes, rashes, and coughing and difficulty breathing.

Cleaning Ceiling

Prevent And Manage Mold

You can prevent mold by ensuring your rooms have good ventilation systems, especially in the bathroom. Good ventilation is mold’s enemy, so shower with a window open and open doors and windows during the day to make the most of natural air flow. A dehumidifier can help control humid conditions and lessen the likelihood of mold developing. Air conditioners can also reduce moisture levels indoors.

Regularly check basins and taps to make sure there are no slow leaks. Don’t leave wet/damp items lying around. Rather take them outside to air dry, if possible; otherwise use a tumble dryer that vents to the outside. Drying wet laundry in the home can increase the risk of mold.

Invest in a simple hygrometer to measure humidity levels.

Light cases of mold, where it hasn’t really set in yet, can be removed simply with soap and water. More serious cases may require a bleach solution. If you’re going to use bleach, make sure the windows are open and put on gloves, kitchen cleaning gloves work well. Goggles are also a good idea.

Those into more natural home cleaning remedies recommend using tea tree oil instead of bleach. It may be worth trying before you give bleaching a go. Contact a professional cleaner to get rid of pervasive cases of mold.


Clean ceilings don’t just have aesthetic appeal. It’s important to prevent a range of health risks that can affect the vulnerable, as well as attack those who are hale and hearty. You can rid your home of decomposed insects, rodent feces, and dust the DIY way, or call in professional help when serious cleaning is required.

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