I do detest this type of texturing. More and more people are just biting the bullet and removing this and installing regular crow's foot texturing.
popcorn accoustical cannot be cleaned because ofall the valleys and peaks. if you do, the stuff will fall down and leave a bald spot. you cannot effeciently paint it unless you spray it. That is a big mess.
You have realized the frustrations with this texturing and I imagine that you are at the point of thinking about removing it. This is a big big project, because its so messy.