How to Clean High Ceilings and Other Hard-To-Reach Places

Updated on March 4, 2022 by Joseph D. Nielson

Table of Contents

Pendant lamps hanging from ceiling

Cleaning high ceilings and other hard-to-reach areas might seem like a daunting task. Sometimes, it may seem easier to ignore the dirt in hard-to-reach areas instead of stressing over creating a solid plan to clean it. However, ignoring the dirt and dust in high ceilings can accumulate the dust, trigger health problems and potentially evoke an immune reaction.

Fortunately, you can use a few different tools and techniques to tackle hard-to-reach areas, ensuring that every corner of your home is clean. In the following blog post, we will outline how to clean high ceilings and other hard-to-reach places in your home in a few simple steps!

Tools of the Trade

You will need to gather a few different tools to clean high ceilings. 

Duster or Swiffer: Consider using a duster or Swiffer product for cabinets and tall shelf surfaces. 

Step Ladder: A step ladder or extension ladder can help you reach those higher areas, while a broom and dustpan can help clean up any messes on the ground. 

Small Brush: If you are looking to clean moldings or other intricate details, a small brush may come in handy. 

Spray Bottle: Finally, if you have any indoor plants or fixtures that need cleaning, use a spray bottle filled with water and dish soap.

How to Clean High Ceilings

Get an Extension Cord and Long-Handled, Flexible Broom 

First, grab an extension cord and a long-handled broom. You can usually find a flexible version with the head attached to the handle and a bendable wire or plastic piece.

If not, you can use any broom for this task by simply attaching it to your extended ladder.

Woman standing in front of brick wall with multiple cleaning equipments

Keep the Vacuum Cleaner Close by to Pick Up Any Dust That Falls on the Floor

To clean high ceilings, sweep down from one corner of the room to another in long strokes until all dust is cleared. Next, stand on your ladder and start with the top of your ceiling. If you have an angled or vaulted ceiling, it may be helpful to use a roller brush attachment on the end of your broom for easy cleaning.

If any dust falls on the ground, be sure to have your vacuum cleaner nearby to clean it up quickly.

Use a Ladder or Chair to Reach Higher Places (If Needed)

If there are any spots on the ceiling that you cannot reach with your broom, use a ladder or chair to get closer. For tight spaces, it may be helpful to have someone help you by holding the ladder while you clean.

Cleaning High Ceilings Is Easier if You Use a Wet Cloth Instead of Dry Paper Towels  

Try using a wet cloth instead of paper towels. Paper towels tend to leave behind residue and lint that can be difficult to remove. If possible, use either an old t-shirt or microfiber cloth instead. Spray the ceiling with a cleaning solution (or even water), then wipe it down.

Clean Windows From the Inside Out for More Efficient Cleaning and Better Visibility 

If you’re looking to clean windows while on your ladder, always start from the inside. This will help prevent streaks and make seeing what you’re doing easier.

Use a Squeegee for Hard-To-Reach Places Like Ceiling Fans

Use a squeegee and window cleaner spray with ammonia (or your favorite window cleaner). If possible, you should always use a squeegee when cleaning ceiling fans, as it helps to prevent unnecessary mess.

Left holding a squeegee against wall & right hand holding spray bottle

How to Clean Other Hard-To-Reach Places

Cobwebs and Dirt

If your ceiling is covered in cobwebs, start by spraying them down with a hose or a bucket of water. This will help loosen the webs and make them easier to remove. 

Using a broom, dustpan, or extension ladder, carefully remove the cobwebs from the ceiling. If there are any large pieces of debris, you can either sweep them up with a broom or use a vacuum cleaner with an extendable wand attachment. Once all the debris is removed, use a damp cloth to wipe down the ceiling and remove any dirt or dust.


If your moldings are covered in dust or other build-ups, start using a small brush to clean away as much of it as possible. Next, mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle and spray onto the moldings. 

Let the vinegar sit for a few minutes before using a damp cloth to wipe down the moldings. Be sure to dry them off thoroughly afterward, as any leftover moisture could cause damage.

Cabinets and Tall Shelf Surfaces

To clean cabinets and tall shelf surfaces, dust them with a duster or Swiffer product. If there is any dirt or grime build-up, mix equal parts water and dish soap in a spray bottle and spray onto the surface. 

Let the solution sit for a few minutes, then use a damp cloth to wipe it down. Be sure to dry off the surface afterwards completely.

Indoor Plants and Fixtures

While cleaning high ceilings and other hard-to-reach places, it’s essential to take care of your indoor plants and fixtures. Dust them regularly and use a gentle cleaning solution to avoid damaging the leaves or surfaces.

Multiple geen indoor plants on pots, placed on wooden shelf

Use Professional Cleaners

The best way to avoid cleaning high ceilings or other hard-to-reach places is to get regular cleanings. A professional cleaning service can come in and take care of all the nooks and crannies that you may not be able to reach yourself. This will help keep your home looking its best and save you from cleaning yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions About High Ceiling Cleaning

What is the Easiest Way to Clean a Ceiling?

When your ceiling is covered in dirt and grime, it can be challenging to clean the surface. So, cleaning every corner of your home frequently will reduce the cleaning burden each time. We’ve outlined the simplest cleaning method to ensure that you attain a clean home without the added stress. Follow the steps listed above to knock out dust and eliminate tough stains and odors.

How Do You Clean a Ceiling You Can’t Reach?

Cleaning a ceiling, you can’t reach sounds overwhelming. However, using a safe step ladder and using Swiffer or other cleaning devices with long heads can allow you to reach even the most challenging spots. Take your time to clean every corner and be patient during the process slowly. Clean each area one by one to ensure that the dirt doesn’t transfer from one side to another. Allow the dust to fall on the ground and be ready to pick it up soon after.

How Do You Clean In Between Hard-to-Reach & Tight Places?

Cleaning between hard-to-reach and tight places can be difficult without the right tools. Start your cleaning process using a dry stiff brush to remove loose dust, hair, and soil. Another helpful tool is the crevice tool of your vacuum that can suck away the debris. You can also use a soft brush or sponge dipped in warm water and a disinfectant cleaner to wipe tight places on ceilings or the corners.

How Do You Dust a High Place?

Use a duster or microfiber cloth to brush or wipe away dust gently. Put the microfiber cloth on a stick and wrap a rubber band around the microfiber cloth to keep it in place. Whether you use a duster or microfiber cloth, take your time to reach every area of the ceiling.

Woman wearing gloves, holding spray & dusting equipment on kitchen shelves

How Do You Remove Smoke Damage from Ceiling?

Smoke damage can be harmful to your home and its residents, so it is essential to clean it as soon as you notice it. Removing smoke damage from the ceiling can be challenging but possible. Start the process by vacuuming the walls and ventilating the rooms. You can also use a dish soap and water mixture and put it on a clean rag or sponge to gently rub off any smoke residue. 

How Do You Clean a Textured Ceiling? 

Cleaning a textured or popcorn ceiling is more straightforward with a broom or vacuum. Use the broom or vacuum attachment to knock out dust and loosen dirt. Sweeping the ceiling with medium pressure should allow you to release any accumulated dirt. You can also use a damp microfiber cloth or sponge with water to clean off any stains and excess dirt.


Learning how to clean high ceilings and other hard-to-reach places can keep your home looking and feeling clean. Dust builds up over time, which is why it’s important to clean every section of your house regularly.

Remember always to use caution when cleaning high ceilings or other hard-to-reach places. And most importantly, be safe! Make sure you have the proper tools, like a ladder and a squeegee, and that someone is watching you while you work.

Joseph and Family
About Joseph D. Nielson

Former journalist and editor for various press groups, I now dedicate my time to reviewing products for the home and family life. When I get time to myself, I enjoy rock climbing, taking my dirt bike for a rip, and most importantly providing my family with the best home possible!