While ghosting on the walls or ceiling sounds mystical, it’s not as interesting as that. In fact, ghost stains are a nuisance to homeowners, causing discoloration on the interior wall and ceiling paint. Learn how to remove ghosting on the ceiling, restore its clean appearance, and prevent ghost marks from reoccurring.
Ceilings suffer from varying stains, and most are easily recognizable, like a patch of mold or water stain. At first, they look like shadows, but it’s not long before you realize they are darkening stains. Yet, ghosting stains seem to come out of nowhere, leaving dark streaks and soot stains on painted walls and ceilings.
There are many causes for wall and ceiling ghosting. While some are harmless and easy to rectify, others are problematic. Perform a home inspection to find the cause and fix the issue before taking steps to remove ghost stains from the ceiling.
Ways to Remove Ghosting on the Ceiling
Ghosting stains are unsightly, whether on the drywall, ceiling joist, or paint. Find out the leading causes of ghosting, how to prevent it, and ways to remove ghost marks from the ceiling with cleaning solutions and paint.
What Causes Ceiling Ghosting?
Before you learn how to clean ghosting on a ceiling, it’s helpful to understand what ghost stains are. It’s also a good idea to know the source of the staining to ensure that you don’t have a bigger problem.
The causes of ghosting, or thermal bridging, vary, which makes it challenging to pinpoint the source. For example, it may be from bad insulation, allowing cold air into the house and creating condensation. This air flow allows dust particles to stick to the moisture, and you may notice it as dark lines on a wall stud or across the ceiling.
Another reason for ghosting is poor air conditioning. A faulty heating or air conditioner may result in excess dampness in the air, while dirty filters reduce indoor air quality, causing thermal ghosting on a wall or ceiling.
An unvented exhaust fan on appliances like the stove and clothes dryer creates excess moisture or soot particles. The incomplete combustion of burning candles releases soot particles that may cause smoke damage.
How to Clean Ghosting on a Ceiling With Detergent
The simplest way to clean ghosting if the ghost marks are minor and the result of burning a candle, incense, or oils is to use detergent and water. Clean cigarette smoke off the ceiling and walls the same way. Uncover how to clean ghosting on a ceiling with soapy water.
Pour warm water into a plastic bucket and add a couple of squirts of dish detergent. Agitate the soapy water to create suds and dunk a sponge into the liquid. Wring out the excess water and scrub the black stain on the ceiling with the sponge.
Avoid spreading the soot outward and using too much cleaner, which may cause drips. Once the soot stain is gone, dry the ceiling thoroughly with a towel.
Cleaning Ghosting on the Ceiling With Bleach
Chlorine bleach is a good option for cleaning ghosting on the ceiling if the stains are stubborn or if you tried to get rid of mold on bathroom ceiling with vinegar and need something a little extra.
However, diluting the bleach with water is essential to prevent paint damage. Use a bleach solution to take care of mold in ceiling drywall and remove thermal tracking from the ceiling.
Combine one part bleach with three parts warm water in a bucket. If you have a colored ceiling, consider substituting oxygen bleach for chlorine bleach to prevent color fading.
Dunk a rag into the solution, wring out the water, and scrub the ghost stain. Start on the outside and work your way in. Rinse and apply cleaner until the stain is gone, and dry the area with towels.
How to Remove Ghosting on the Ceiling by Painting
Your best bet is to repaint the ceiling if the ghosting is still present after using a cleaner. Get rid of ghost stripes on the ceiling by painting. Using a latex primer before painting is vital, so the stains don’t bleed through.
The simplest method to remove ghosting from the ceiling is applying a coat of paint. Use a brush or paint roller to apply primer to the dirty particle area. Allow it to dry completely, and paint over the primer with a color that matches the ceiling.
However, any shade is fine if you plan on painting the entire ceiling. Let the paint dry, and inspect the ceiling to see if it needs a second coat. Don’t forget to clean paint off a ceiling if any excess paint gets on the walls or the trim.
Tips to Prevent Ghosting on the Ceiling and Walls
Cleaning ghosting on the ceiling takes time and effort, and we’d rather put energy into doing things we enjoy. Find a range of tips to ensure that ceiling and wall ghosting doesn’t become a repeat problem.
Limit candle use since candles and combustible liquids are notorious for causing ghosting stains after burning. Replace damaged or missing insulation between the interior and exterior wall to lessen the chance of a cold spot.
Try to reduce humidity inside the home by installing dehumidifiers and bathroom fans. Take care of water damage by repairing leaks. Leave large enough gaps between the clothes dryer and wall, ensure all vents are clean and operable, and replace air filters regularly to remove airborne particles and dust.
It’s easy to overlook ghost stains since they look like shadows, until one day, you glance up at the ceiling and discover those marks are thermal tracking stains, not shadow-play. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent these stains from accumulating, and cleaning or painting the ceiling restores its original appearance.
Now that you understand how to remove ghosting on the ceiling by cleaning or painting, why not share our tips for eliminating ceiling ghosting stains with your friends and family on Facebook and Pinterest?