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How To Clean Baseboards In 3 Simple Steps

How To Clean Baseboards In 3 Simple Steps
Posted at 5:30 AM, Jan 06, 2023

Having clean baseboards isn’t something that jumps out to a guest as making a house sparkle, but it certainly helps your home look better. Baseboards are solid wood or engineered wood material planks that cover the length of the lowest part of the interior wall. Used to cover the joint between the wall surface and the floor, baseboards can take a beating over the years, ranging from occasional kicks to repetitive knocks from a vacuum cleaner.

Clean baseboards are simply one piece to a spotless house; there are also the windows and floors, plus dusting to do! Thankfully, it doesn’t take long to clean them, even if you have a large home. We’ve rounded up several ways to tackle your baseboards when time allows.


How Often Should You Clean Your Baseboards?

The frequency really depends upon your lifestyle. If you have lots of fur babies running around, then you might need to give them a swipe weekly. Otherwise, if your family is relatively clean or you live alone, once a month (or even every other) is probably fine.

Some of this will also depend on your cleaning style. You have maintenance cleaning and deep cleaning. If you don’t stay on top of dusting your baseboards frequently (a.k.a. maintenance cleaning), you’ll end up with a buildup of dust and debris. That’s when you really need to scrub (a.k.a. deep cleaning). We think you’ll find that once you get them clean, it’s so much easier to keep them that way!

man dusting a baseboard

How To Clean Baseboards In 3 Steps

1. Dust. Regardless of how you plan to clean your baseboards, you’ll need to get rid of the dust first. This might seem like an easy step to skip but trust us, you don’t want to. Otherwise, you’ll simply be smearing it around. A quick way to do this is with your vacuum brush attachment. A broom or an extended Swiffer duster will also do the trick. Dry dust microfiber mops are also perfect for this job.

2. Wipe. The traditional cleaning method requires just a couple of rags and a bucket of warm, soapy water. Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands. Just one drop of Castile soap or a few drops of dishwashing detergent will do the trick. Then grab a couple of microfiber cloths. Drop one rag in the water, wring it out and rub it along the baseboard to collect leftover dust and debris. Cotton swaps and old toothbrushes will help you reach those dirty, pesky corners.

If you’d rather use a spray, mix a few drops of dish soap in an empty bottle and fill it with warm water. Then spray the rag, not the baseboards, and wipe clean. You don’t want to accidentally spray your walls and leave behind a stain.

3. Dry. No matter what you clean your baseboards with, be sure to dry them well. Leaving too much water behind can cause them to warp.

To protect your floor or carpet as you go, place a plastic cutting board underneath your baseboard. Anything that falls off the baseboard will land on the cutting board.

Choose The Right Cleaning Solution

Vinegar or chemical cleaners may also work depending on your finish, but all-purpose cleaners can leave behind splotches. Painted baseboards do well with simple soap and water. For stained wood baseboards, mix a quarter cup of Murphy’s Oil Soap with hot water. Dip your rag in the cloth and then wring it out well. You don’t want it to drip. Wipe the baseboards and then rinse out your cloth with water and wipe them again. Finish by drying them with a microfiber cloth to absorb any excess moisture.

Professional young janitor in uniform cleaning room

Alternative Baseboard Cleaning Methods

There’s also a Magic Eraser hack. Dunk your Magic Eraser sponge in a bucket of warm water. If you have a lot of scuff marks, this will remove them.

Drier sheets offer a great way cleaning hack thanks to their dust-repelling superpowers. Wipe them along your boards by hand or attach them to a dry Swiffer so you can stay upright. This is a good trick for anyone with a bad back!

If cleaning wipes are more your jam, this is a convenient way to get right down to it. The downside to this method is it’s not as eco-friendly. Stay away from Clorox wipes or anything with bleach in it.

How To Clean Baseboards Without Bending Over

Kneeling on the hard floor isn’t for everyone. Use something with an extended pole, like a broom or long Swiffer duster, or feel free to get creative like tying an old sock to the handle end of a broom with a rubber band. If you are fine kneeling, adding a folded towel underneath your knees or wearing kneepads can help you feel more comfortable.

Want to know how to clean baseboards even faster? Enlist the rest of your family to help.

The hallmark of a clean home is clean baseboards. So take a few minutes to make them look pristine. You won’t regret it!

This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Check out Simplemost for additional stories.