How to Remove Loose Fill Insulation

Updated February 21, 2017

Loose fill insulation is used in spaces such as attics to help maintain home heating and cooling levels. Most loose fill insulation is formed of cellulose fibres, such as from recycled paper goods. Some older types of loose fill insulation, however, are made from asbestos fibres. Removing loose fill insulation isn't hard, but it may take time to complete, especially in larger spaces.

Test the loose fill insulation for asbestos. Contact a reputable firm to have it checked out. If asbestos is found, talk to the company about having it professionally removed. Asbestos loose fill insulation should only be removed by professionals.

Put on a respirator, long sleeved work clothes and gloves. You can also purchase suits to wear while removing insulation to protect you from dust and fibres.

Scoop up as much insulation as possible and place it into a garbage bag. Use a shovel when removing a large amount of loose fill, such as from an attic. Continue scooping the insulation and stuffing it into a bag until you have removed as much as possible.

Vacuum up any remaining insulation with a shop vac or vacuum cleaner.


For larger jobs, you can rent an industrial vacuum at a hardware store.

Things You'll Need

  • Respirator
  • Work clothes
  • Gloves
  • Shovel
  • Garbage bags
  • Shop vac
  • Vacuum cleaner
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About the Author

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.