Basic home maintenance and cleaning often involves paying attention to the overlooked details. One such detail that can impact the overall aesthetic and cleanliness of your home is your baseboards. Knowing how to clean baseboards properly can help elevate your entire living space. These unassuming boards not only add a finishing touch to your home making them look completed, but they can also act as a magnet for dust, dirt, and grime.

No one likes to deep clean their baseboards, though. It can be hard on your back and knees and sometimes they don’t come out as clean as you want, but neglecting your baseboards can detract from the overall cleanliness of your home, even when every other inch is spotless.

In this guide we will show you how to take care of your baseboards, offering you expert tips on how to clean and expertly maintain them over time.

How to Deep Clean Your Baseboards: 3 Methods

How to Clean Baseboards

Cleaning baseboards can be approached in a few straightforward ways. What works best for you depends on the level of dirt and the type of material your baseboards are made of. 

Method 1: Damp Cloth or Sponge

Materials Needed:

  • Sponge or cloth
  • Cleaning solution or dish soap (vinegar can work too, just make sure not to mix chemicals)
  • Warm water in a bucket
  • Vacuum

Step 1: Dust the baseboards using a soft-bristle brush or a vacuum cleaner attachment to remove loose dirt and debris.

Step 2: Mix a mild cleaning solution by combining a few drops of dish soap or an all-purpose cleaner with warm water in a bucket.

Step 3: Dampen a microfiber cloth or sponge in the cleaning solution, wring out excess liquid, and wipe down the baseboards.

Step 4: For stubborn spots or detailed areas, use an old toothbrush or small cleaning brush.

Step 5: Dry the baseboards thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth or towel.

Method 2: Magic Eraser

Materials Needed:

  • Magic eraser
  • Vacuum or soft brush for loosening dirt
  • Water
  • Dry cloth

Step 1: Begin by dusting the baseboards with a soft brush or vacuum cleaner attachment.

Step 2: Moisten a magic eraser or melamine foam sponge with water. No additional cleaning solution is required.

Step 3: Gently scrub the baseboards, applying light pressure to remove scuff marks, stains, and dirt.

Step 4: Dry the baseboards with a clean, dry cloth to prevent streaking.

Method 3: Steam Cleaner

Materials Needed:

  • Vacuum or soft brush for loosening dirt
  • Steam cleaner – handheld is best, but any with a baseboard attachment will work
  • Sponge
  • Dry cloth

Step 1: Dust the baseboards using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner attachment.

Step 2: Use a steam cleaner with an appropriate attachment for baseboards. The steam will help break down and lift dirt and grime.

Step 3: Wipe the baseboards with a microfiber cloth or sponge to capture the loosened dirt and moisture.

Step 4: Dry the baseboards thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth.

Step 5: Ensure proper ventilation while using a steam cleaner to prevent excessive moisture in the room.

Ways to Clean Your Baseboards Without Hurting Your Back

How to Clean Baseboards

While the above methods will help you deep clean your baseboards, they might not be the best for your back. There are a few other ways to clean baseboards that can help get rid of dust and debris while being easier on your back.

Long-handled duster or Swiffer

Invest in a long-handled duster or a Swiffer with an extendable handle. This will help you reach the baseboards without having to bend over or kneel. Simply run the duster along the baseboards to remove dust and light dirt. This won’t result in a deep clean, but it will at least help cut down on allergens.

Spray mop with detachable pad

Choose a spray mop with a detachable and washable pad. Fill the mop’s bottle with a mild cleaning solution, and then spray as needed while standing. The mop’s design should allow you to clean the baseboards without the need to bend down.

Robot vacuum

If you have a robot vacuum with a mopping feature, you might be able to program it to clean the baseboards regularly. This hands-free approach eliminates the need for manual labor and is especially helpful for those with back issues.

Cleaning wand or tool with extension

Similar to a duster, you can use a cleaning wand or tool with a cleaning extension to reach the baseboards without bending over. Attach a damp microfiber cloth or sponge to the tool and wipe down the baseboards.

Chair or stool with back support

If you want to deep clean the baseboards, but have trouble reaching them, try shortening the distance with a stool or chair while you clean sections of the baseboards. This will help reduce the strain on your back.

How to Clean Your Baseboards: FAQs

How to Clean Baseboards

When it comes to learning how to clean your baseboards, there can be a lot of questions. To get you started, we’ve compiled answers to the most common questions we get about baseboards. 

How do I remove scuff marks from baseboards?

Magic erasers are the best at removing scuff marks from baseboards. If those are unavailable, try a melamine foam sponge and gently rub the area with scuff marks.

How often should I clean my baseboards?

How often you should clean baseboards will depend on several factors such as the level of foot traffic, pets, and personal preferences. To keep up with it, you should do a light cleaning every one to two weeks with a deeper cleaner every one to two months.

What’s the best way to prevent dust buildup?

Regular dusting with a microfiber cloth, duster, or a dryer sheet can help prevent a buildup of dust on your baseboards. Keeping your floors clean can also help with reducing dirt on baseboards.

Can I use the same cleaner for baseboards as I do for other surfaces?

In most cases, a mild cleaning solution consisting of dish soap or an all-purpose cleaner mixed with water is suitable for baseboards. However, it’s essential to check the manufacturer’s recommendations and test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area first.

What should I do if my baseboards are painted or finished in a specific way?

Always refer to the manufacturer’s care instructions for painted or finished baseboards. Test any cleaning solution on a small, hard-to-see area to ensure compatibility and avoid damage.

When DIY Won’t Do: Signs It’s Time to Bring in Baseboard Cleaning Pros

Maintaining a clean and polished living space often involves a DIY approach, but there comes a time when the expertise of professionals can make a significant difference. When it comes to baseboard cleaning, recognizing the signs it’s time to bring in the pros can save you time, effort, and ensure a thorough job.

If you continue to have stubborn grime or stains that won’t come off your baseboards, it might be time to bring in professionals like Brennan & Co. We have the expert tools to tackle even the toughest spots, restoring your baseboards to their original luster. Additionally, if you find yourself constantly unable to find time for routine cleaning or if physical limitations make the task challenging, Brennan & Co can provide a reliable cleaning option.

For larger homes or commercial spaces, our professional services can expedite the cleaning process, offering efficiency without compromising quality. The investment in professional baseboard cleaning can be particularly worthwhile for those who prioritize a pristine living environment but have constraints on their time and energy.

Recognizing when to hire professionals for baseboard cleaning is about optimizing results and tailoring your approach to the unique demands of your living space. Whether faced with persistent stains, time constraints, or the need for a comprehensive cleaning experience, the expertise of Brennan & Co can elevate the cleanliness of your home with ease.