How to Clean a Dirty Wood Ceiling

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Things You'll Need

  • Dusting cloth or dusting tool

  • Dish detergent or other household cleaning product

  • Bucket

  • Rag or sponge

  • Clean, dry towel or cloth

  • Ladder, if necessary


Unsealed and untreated wood surfaces are more difficult to clean because they will absorb the water or cleaning solution. In these cases, you should first seal or treat the wood to protect it and make it last longer.

Before you start cleaning, mentally divide the ceiling into small, manageable sections so you have a plan for how to clean the entire area efficiently.


Do not use solvents or strong alkalis to clean a wood ceiling because they can damage the finish.

Cleaning wood ceilings and ceiling beams isn't difficult but can be challenging.

Washing your ceilings can be a daunting task because it can be hard on your neck and back if you cannot easily reach it. Wooden ceilings pose even more problems because they can be more likely to show a buildup of dust and dirt. The process for cleaning a wood ceiling is not too difficult, but the work can still be time consuming, especially if you need to climb up and down a ladder to do it. When the time comes that you can no longer put it off, gather up the necessary supplies and get to work cleaning your wood ceiling.


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Step 1

Dust the wood ceiling with a clean cloth or a dusting tool. Because it is a ceiling, you may prefer using a dusting tool with an arm that can be extended so you can more easily complete the task.

Step 2

Mix 1/2 cup mild dish detergent or another household cleaner in a bucket filled with 1 gallon of warm water.

Step 3

Saturate a rag or sponge with the cleaning solution and wring out the excess water. Make sure the rag is not too heavily saturated, otherwise it will drip while you are cleaning the ceiling.


Step 4

Begin wiping down the wood ceiling is small sections.

Step 5

Dry each newly cleaned section with a clean, dry towel or cloth.

Step 6

Continue wiping down and then drying each section of the ceiling until the entire surface has been cleaned.