How to Clean Baseboards

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How to Clean Baseboards

Cleaning your baseboards might not be at the top of your list of things to do at any given time. Often, when we think of deep cleaning our homes, we think of vacuuming and mopping the floors, cleaning the windows, and washing soft furnishings, among other things. Cleaning the baseboards of our homes often falls by the wayside. We might become blind to the dust, dirt, and grime that can build up here over time.

However insignificant or inconsequential this area of your home may seem, regularly cleaning your baseboards can make a huge difference in how clean and polished your entire home looks and feels. These finishing touches really transform the overall look of your home.

In this article, we are going to discuss how to clean baseboards and the best methods without the use of potentially harmful or toxic chemical cleaning agents. We’ll look at some of the equipment and cleaning solutions that provide the best results, and we’ll also answer some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to deep cleaning this area of your home.

How to Clean Baseboards

Let’s begin with the initial steps you should take when cleaning your baseboards…

Step 1: Remove Dust and Dirt Particles

Your first step when deep cleaning your baseboards should be to remove any dust or dirt particles. This is especially important if the baseboards have not been cleaned for a long time or if you have pets in the home that regularly shed hair. These little ledges are prime spots for dust and dirt to build up, which can be unsightly and harmful to those with dust allergies.

There are a few methods you can use to remove the dust and dirt from your baseboards, including:

Use a Vacuum

A handheld or lift-away vacuum will work well for this purpose. Simply run the vacuum across the baseboard to pick up any dust and dirt particles. If your vacuum has a brush head attachment this can also be used to prevent any scratching of the paintwork and easily loosen any stubborn dirt particles or residue.

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This is an efficient method and will easily remove any dirt buildup. However, if your vacuum does not have a handheld attachment, this might not be the best option for you.

Related: How to Clean a Doormat the Easy Way

Use a Dry Brush

A dry brush will also work well for removing dirt and dust from your baseboards. If possible, opt for a brush with bristles that are not too stiff, preferably made from natural fibers. These tend to be less abrasive, meaning there is less chance of you scratching the paintwork on your baseboards. 

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Use a Broom or a Mop

Alternatively, a regular broom can also be used to brush away dust and dirt on your baseboards. Again, avoid using a brush with extremely stiff bristles to avoid damaging any paintwork.

Microfiber mops are also great for picking up dust and dirt. For this purpose, use the mop while it is dry to avoid spreading dirt across the surface of the baseboard or surrounding areas.

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If you choose to use a dry brush or broom in this initial cleaning step, you might need to follow up by vacuuming or sweeping up any dirt or dust that has accumulated on the floor around the baseboards.

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Step 2: Remove Marks and Bacteria

The next step in how to clean baseboards is to remove marks and bacteria. Once the baseboards are free from any dust or dirt particles, it’s time to move on to deep cleaning the surfaces. To do this, you will need to wash and wipe the baseboard with a microfiber cloth (we recommend the E-Cloth). This removes any lingering bacteria or stubborn grease, grime, or marks that have been left on your baseboard, leaving them sparkling clean.

For this step, it’s important that you choose the right supplies and equipment:

Microfiber Cloth

To thoroughly deep clean your baseboards, you’re going to need a good quality microfiber cloth. The E-Cloth is our top choice because it works extremely well and it’s very affordable.

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The E-Cloth General Purpose Microfiber Cloths effectively trap 99% of bacteria and remove grease, grime, and stubborn marks from almost any surface within your home. They’re a great all-around cleaning product to have and are particularly effective when it comes to cleaning your baseboards. Microfibers are great at picking up and trapping dust particles, minimizing the need for excessive rinsing during use, and leaving your baseboards sparkling clean.

E-Cloth’s Microfiber Cloths come in a pack of four and are extremely cost-effective. They are machine washable and come with a 3-year or 300-wash guarantee.

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Natural Cleaning Solution

The Microfiber cloths from E-Cloth can be used simply with water, meaning there’s no need for any harmful chemical or toxic cleaning agents. This makes them safe for use around any pets or members of your household, as well as being eco-friendly.

However, if you’re looking for a deeper clean and want to really freshen up your baseboards, you might consider making your own DIY, all-natural cleaning solution to use in conjunction with your microfiber cloth.

To do this, simply mix equal parts distilled water and white vinegar. Distilled water is much less likely to leave watermarks than regular tap water.

White vinegar is an effective natural deodorizer and has anti-bacterial properties. It will cut through grease and grime but is also super gentle and safe to use.

Additionally, you might choose to add your own preferred essential oils to the cleaning mixture. Citrus oils are also anti-bacterial and will leave a fresh, clean aroma throughout the home. Always do plenty of research before introducing any new fragrances into your home, as some essential oils can be harmful to pets.

Mix your solution in a clean spray bottle so that it is easy to use and can be sprayed over the baseboard and left to soak for a couple of minutes before wiping. This will increase its effectiveness and also kill any mold or mildew that may have grown within the cracks or crevices of your baseboard.

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Once the cleaning solution has been left to soak, take your microfiber cloth and gently scrub the surface of the baseboards. The microfiber cloth will be gentle enough to prevent any damage to the paintwork, and you should find that any stubborn marks or dirt particles are removed easily and efficiently using this method.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re still having difficulty figuring out how to clean baseboards so that they look sparkling clean and dirt-free, the frequently asked questions listed below may offer some additional guidance or advice.

How Often Should I Clean my Baseboards?

The frequency at which you should clean your baseboards will depend entirely on your own household and your personal cleaning habits or preferences. By implementing the above methods into your regular cleaning routine, whether that be daily, weekly, or monthly, you should be able to maintain super clean baseboards without the need for frequent deep cleaning.

Little and often is the general rule of thumb when it comes to any household cleaning tasks. If you have pets that shed lots of hair or children running around who are prone to spillages, you might need to clean your baseboards every week or bi-weekly, but some people may be able to go much longer between cleans.

What if the Baseboard has Silicone or Caulk Edging?

Cleaning your baseboards can be a little more complicated if the baseboard has been filled with silicone or decorator’s caulk. These filling agents can have a sticky film which provides a prime spot for dirt and dust particles to reside.

Start by using the methods listed above in this article. If the white vinegar and water mixture does not adequately remove the dirt and the silicone or caulking still looks unclean or discolored, you could try going in with some hydrogen peroxide. This natural cleaning agent will lift the color back to white and is extremely tough on stains.

However, always check the manufacturer labels on both the hydrogen peroxide and the silicone or caulking that has been used to check that this won’t result in any lasting damage and need for any potentially costly replacements or repairs.

If hydrogen peroxide is not a suitable option, you may need to touch up the edging with a new coat of paint to cover any discoloration.

How Can I Remove Particularly Stubborn Stains from the Baseboards?

Again, if your baseboard remains discolored or the white vinegar and water mixture is not tough enough to remove some particularly stubborn stains, hydrogen peroxide could be your next port of call.

Follow the manufacturer’s label on the hydrogen peroxide bottle to safely soak the area and then remove it with the microfiber cloth. Finish off by using your DIY cleaning solution to remove any residual hydrogen peroxide from the baseboard.

Final Thoughts on How to Clean Baseboards

By following the steps listed in this article on how to clean baseboards, you should be able to deep clean your baseboards efficiently and with excellent results. Once you have done so, you should see how much of a difference this can make to the overall cleanliness of your home.

After carrying out this deep clean, regular light maintenance will enable you to keep your baseboards looking sparkling clean on a consistent basis, without the need for excessive scrubbing, re-painting, or premature replacement of the baseboards, saving you time, effort, and money in the long run.