7 things to know about cleaning ceiling tiles

Your tiled ceiling may look beautiful and be low-maintenance, but you still need to keep it clean. Here are 7 pointers for cleaning a tiled ceiling.

7 things to know about cleaning ceiling tiles

1. Types of tiles

With no moving parts and a surface well above most of our reach, ceiling tiles have only two natural enemies — gravity and airborne dirt.

  • Ceiling tiles are either suspended from a metal grid or attached directly to the ceiling, and there are simple fixes for those that come loose or are damaged.

When it comes to cleaning tiles, what matters most is what they're made of:

  • Most new tiles have a vinyl coating that you can spray-wash.
  • Older tiles and new ones designed for maximum sound absorption aren't coated and require a special dry-sponge cleaner.

2. Vacuum clean

Manufacturers brag that ceiling tiles are virtually maintenance-free, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't clean them.

  • Vacuum your tiles with a soft brush attachment at least once a year; more often if they are in the kitchen.
  • If you put off vacuuming until the tiles begin to look dirty, you're waiting too long.

3. Test to find if they have a coating

If your tiles are so dirty they need more than vacuuming, find out first if they have a protective plastic coating.

  • Dampen a cotton ball and dab it on the ceiling. If the water beads up and drips off, you have coated tiles that you can clean using a wet solution. If the water soaks in, the tiles are absorbent and need a moisture-free cleaning method.

4. Be safe

Cleaner that you spray on the ceiling can end up in your eyes or running down your hands and arms. That's why it's a good idea to wear safety goggles and rubber gloves.

  • Fold the glove ends into cuffs so that drips will collect in the cuffs and not on your arms.
  • Also make sure that you have a sturdy ladder — be careful up there!

5. Use hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is mild bleach that will clean and brighten washable ceiling tiles. Buy ordinary three percent hydrogen peroxide solution at the drug store.

  • Mix 25 millilitres (about an ounce) with one litre (one quart) of water in a spray bottle, and spray it on the ceiling. That's all you have to do. It's that simple.
  • You don't have to rub or rinse — the peroxide will do its job, and all you need to do is let the tiles air-dry.

6. Dry cleaning sponges

Since uncoated tiles can't be sprayed with a wet solution, you need to use a special dry cleaning sponge. It's made of natural rubber treated with a specially-formulated cleaner.

  • Just wipe the dry sponge across ceiling tiles using smooth, even strokes.

Calling a professional

If a ceiling is too big or too dirty to wash by yourself and you have room in your budget, hire a ceiling tile cleaning company. They have special equipment and cleaners that can make fast work of cleaning a ceiling.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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