How to Remove Mold From a Bathroom Popcorn Ceiling

By: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Updated on: June 22, 2020

When you’re dealing with a flooded bathroom floor, you don’t usually look up. If it’s located upstairs, you’re probably worried about the ceilings in rooms downstairs.

Most homeowners don’t give bathroom ceilings much thought until they notice dark spots growing overhead.

When mold spreads into porous, textured surfaces, it becomes very difficult to eliminate.

Do you know how to remove mold on a bathroom popcorn ceiling?

As Chicago’s leading mold remediation company, we’re happy to share insider tips that make mold removal easier.

What Is a Popcorn Bathroom Ceiling?

The spray-on texture of a popcorn ceiling can hide imperfections in previous repairs and paint jobs. The material also filters noise, so it’s often referred to as an acoustic ceiling.

However, humidity settles into the tiny nubs and angles that cover the surface. It doesn’t take long for mold to develop in a bathroom’s popcorn ceiling.

bathroom popcorn ceiling
Image: Chad Fennell via Flickr / CC by SA 2.0

How Do You Clean Popcorn Ceiling Mold in the Bathroom?

Removing mold from a popcorn ceiling is a messy job. Cleaning mold on the ceiling comes with health risks too. Stay safe by following these seven steps for bathroom ceiling mold removal.

1. Start by Protecting Yourself

Mold exposure can cause serious health problems, especially for people with respiratory issues or weakened immune systems. Before you start cleaning mold off the bathroom ceiling, suit up in the following personal protective gear.

2. Protect the Rest of the House

Cover bathroom surfaces and floors with plastic sheets. Close vents so spores don’t spread through the house as you clean the ceiling. If the weather is cool and dry, keep a bathroom window open while you work.

plastic sheet covering for mold

3. Pre-Wash the Ceiling

Position a steady ladder under the mold-affected area. Pre-wash the ceiling with mild detergent and warm water. This loosens mold from the popcorn texture and makes it easier to remove the growth. Let pre-washed surfaces dry.

4. Soak the Mold

Spray bathroom ceiling mold with an anti-fungal solution. Use a sponge to dab it deep into nubs and crannies, and then let it dry for half an hour.

5. Clean and Rinse

Thoroughly rinse the ceiling surface with a clean cloth and fresh water. Frequently change out the cloth and water. If you still see signs of mold, repeat steps 4 and 5 several more times.

6. Eliminate Residual Spores

Kill remaining mold spores and bacteria with a mix of borate-based detergent and water. Apply the solution, but don’t rinse. Let it dry on the popcorn ceiling.

7. Patch and Paint

Don’t paint a bathroom ceiling before mold cleanup and removal. Once you’ve finished the job, touch up the ceiling by patching and finishing with a textured spray.

What Works Best on Bathroom Popcorn Ceiling Mold?

Many homeowners use a bleach and water solution to clean up mold in sinks and showers. However, it’s not a good choice for porous materials like popcorn ceilings. Instead, consider these eco-friendly alternatives.

  • Oxygen bleach powder and water
  • Undiluted distilled white vinegar
  • Undiluted 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda and water spray

How Do You Prevent Mold on the Bathroom Ceiling?

Bathrooms are usually the most humid areas in the house. No one wants to give up hot showers, but there are several ways to control moisture in the air. These ideas reduce the chances of mold growing on your bathroom ceilings.

• Upgrade the bathroom’s exhaust ventilation system.

• Use mildew-resistant shower curtains and bath mats.

• Let fresh air circulate around things stored on shower caddies.

• Regularly inspect fixtures to head off bathroom flooding mishaps.

bathroom ventilation system

Dealing With a Moldy Bathroom Ceiling in Your Chicago Home? We Can Help!

Always think twice about a ceiling mold cleanup job. If the affected area measures more than 3 square feet or you’re concerned about health issues, play it safe. We’re here to help.

Our teams are industry-certified in all types of mold removal and remediation. We eliminate mold from popcorn ceilings in bathrooms, beamed ceilings in kitchens and vaulted ceilings in dining rooms.

For Chicago’s trusted mold removal and remediation experts, call ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba: 773-647-1985

Why doesn’t chlorine bleach kill mold on popcorn ceilings?

Chlorine bleach is only meant for use on non-porous materials. It kills surface mold, but it isn’t effective against mold that’s permeated a textured surface.

Why can’t I paint over mold on a bathroom popcorn ceiling?

Painting over mold in a ceiling temporarily hides it, but it doesn’t stop the mold from growing. Water-based paint makes the problem worse.

Why is mold in a bathroom’s popcorn ceiling a health problem?

Mold growth produces mycotoxins. These dangerous substances enter the body through the lungs, eyes and mouth causing a variety of serious health issues.