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How To Clean Baseboards

Baseboards are one of the most overlooked areas of the home. You’re most likely to never notice them unless you drop something or are giving your house a once-over before company arrives. Left without cleaning, baseboards can get pretty grimy, so you definitely want to include them in your spring cleaning routine.

Fortunately, cleaning baseboards is fairly easy, though the task does require you to move some furniture. Take a look at our guide on how to clean baseboards that haven’t been touched in eons, and then learn how to maintain your baseboards on a regular basis.

Cleaning Heavily Soiled Baseboards

If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned the baseboards in your home, schedule several hours for this task. You’ll need a bucket, some dishwashing liquid, water, microfiber cloths, cotton swabs and a towel or yoga mat. A vacuum cleaner with attachments is optional.

Steps for cleaning baseboards

  1. Have a friend or family member help you move any furniture away from the walls.
  2. Dry dust your baseboards using a microfiber cloth or your vacuum cleaner attachment. If you’re using cloths, this is where the towel or yoga mat come in. Kneel on one or the other while you work to help keep the pressure off your knees.
  3. Combine a few drops of dishwashing liquid and about 2 quarts of warm water in your bucket.
  4. Dip a clean microfiber cloth in the bucket and wring it out so that the cloth is damp, but not saturated. A soggy cloth won’t clean as effectively. Additionally, you don’t want to ruin your floors by trailing pools of water while cleaning baseboards.
  5. Wipe down the baseboards with your dampened microfiber cloth, making sure to change out your cleaning solution when it starts to look murky.
  6. Clean corners, edges or details using cotton swabs dipped in your mixture of water and dishwashing liquid.
  7. Set up fans to help your baseboards dry before returning furnishings to their places.

Easy Ways to Clean Baseboards on a Routine Basis

Once you’ve taken the time and effort to clean your baseboards thoroughly, you need to keep them looking nice. Here are three simple ways to clean baseboards on a weekly or biweekly schedule.
  • Microfiber cloth: One easy way to clean baseboards is with your trusty microfiber cloth. Simply move furniture out of the way, wipe down your baseboards and then put everything back into place.
  • Vacuum attachment: Using your vacuum cleaner attachment is another painless means of cleaning baseboards. The bonus to this method is that you may not have to crawl around on your knees very much.
  • Sock and a yardstick: If an old soccer or running injury makes it especially painful to clean on your hands and knees, get creative: Slip a sock over a yardstick and — voilà! — another easy way to clean baseboards. Use a microfiber sock for the best results, as cotton and wool won’t be as effective at picking up fine dust particles. Microfiber socks are easier to find than you might think.
  • Magic Eraser: Magic erasers are especially useful if your baseboards are scuffed up with shoe marks. Dip the eraser in a bucket of hot water, squeeze it out, and apply to dirty areas.
    • Note: These should only be used for painted wood or non-wood baseboards. Magic erasers should not be used on finished wood or natural wood as they can cause scratches.    
  • Hand Broom: This is an easy solution if you have minimal dirt and no grime. A broom is also great to use in collaboration with a vacuum. 
  • Damp Cotton Swab: We recommend using cotton swabs for crevices, tight corners, or for removing anything stuck on a lip or edge. They are a great supporting tool to use alongside a microfiber cloth. 
  • Cleaning Wipes: This is a more expensive solution that's best implemented on a smaller scale to reduce waste. For example, cleaning wipes are great to use if you have a spilled something on your kitchen baseboards. You may want to use them if you are deep cleaning a single room because they can clean up baseboards quickly.

Now you know how to clean baseboards like a pro. Ready for some more spring cleaning ideas? Check out these tips on decluttering your home as you complete your annual deep clean.

Baseboards in Terrible Shape? Time for a Deep Clean

If it's been a longtime since you've taken a close look at your baseboards, they may need a heavy bit of scrubbing to get clean. If you would like some help getting every corner spick and span once again, we offer deep cleaning services for any occasion. We will clean your baseboards and focus on specific rooms or areas you may have in mind. You can also check out our locations for more info.