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How to Clean Your Suspended Ceiling

Get simple cleaning tips to keep your suspended ceiling looking and performing its best.

Armstrong suspended ceilings require very little care to keep them clean and looking like new. Just follow these steps so that you can continue to enjoy the appearance and performance of your drop ceiling.

Simple cleaning steps for all Armstrong suspended ceilings

No matter what material your drop ceiling is made of, there are simple and quick steps to keep it looking great.  Before you start, make sure your hands are clean when touching ceiling tiles or panels. Next, spread a drop cloth or plastic covering over your furniture and floor to catch dust and dirt particles. Lastly, protect yourself by wearing safety glasses and a dust mask. Now you’re ready to clean.

Use a vacuum cleaner with attachments to remove dust and cobwebs from your suspended ceiling. Soft bristle attachments such as those designed for cleaning upholstery or walls do the best job. Clean in one direction only to prevent rubbing dust into the surface of the ceiling. Dust as often as needed, but typically, we recommend once every 4 months.

You can also gently sweep a feather duster or quality static duster across your suspended ceiling, paying special attention to corners. Avoid using cheaper static dusters that can become snagged and leave behind tiny fibers. Disposable dusting cloths should not be used because they can snag on textured surfaces, and may actually make tiles dirtier by grinding in dust.

Specific types of Armstrong suspended ceilings may need special care

Mineral fiber suspended ceilings. After loose dust has been removed, pencil marks, smudges or clinging dirt may easily be erased with an ordinary art gum eraser. For stubborn marks, try using a pure rubber sponge, sometimes called a “dry sponge.” This sponge cleanly grabs dust and loose soot from walls and ceilings. Always use the dry sponge absolutely dry and avoid contact with water. You can find these at hardware stores and where commercial janitorial or home restoration products are sold. Mineral fiber ceilings can also be cleaned with a moist cloth or an ordinary sponge dampened in water containing mild soap. The sponge should contain as little water as possible to avoid saturating the ceiling tiles. After washing, wipe the tiles off with a cloth or sponge slightly dampened in clean water.

Fiberglass suspended ceilings. Dust as directed above. Fiberglass ceilings are less affected by moisture and will withstand repeated washings with mild detergents. Armstrong ceiling tile and panels treated with BioBlock™ effectively combat odor- and stain-causing mold and mildew bacteria. But you should avoid excessive dirt or dust buildup that might possibly provide a medium for microbial growth.

Metal suspended ceilings. Dust as directed above if your metal ceiling is located anywhere but the kitchen. In the kitchen where residue may build up, don’t try to dust the areas of your metal ceiling where the grime is heaviest. Dust dry areas first, then proceed with washing using a solution of warm water and a mild, nonabrasive dish detergent. Use a soft sponge, wiping each tile gently to avoid scratching the surface. Once the surface is washed, use a soft, lint-free towel to dry the tiles thoroughly. For heavily soiled spots such as grease build-up or nicotine, use a grease-cutting dish detergent and warm water and dry as directed.

For areas that are stained, scratched or so soiled that they just won’t come clean, you can easily replace them with new tiles or panels. That’s the beauty of a suspended ceiling – they’re so easy to care for!

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