baseboard cleaning

5 Hacks for Baseboard Cleaning

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While you probably won’t get many compliments on your baseboards, having a dusty frame around your home can give it a dingy look and feel. Since you probably don’t have a lot of experience on how to clean baseboards, you may not know the best way to get them looking fresh and clean. The cleaning pros at Upstairs Downstairs are here to help!

baseboard cleaning tips

A simple dusting is usually the primary focus of baseboard cleaning. You may want to add a cleaning solution to remove stubborn dirt or obstinate stains, you will always start by thoroughly removing dust and dirt. 

In this article, we will tell you what supplies to use in different situations and share some tricks for keeping baseboards looking clean longer. 

Before You Begin

Before you dive in, you will want a tool for dusting and possibly a cleaning solution. Here are some suggestions that work well for different types of trim. Feel free to try different methods to find which works best for your home. 

What to Clean Baseboards With

The main concern with baseboards is collecting a layer of dust and dirt kicked up from the floor. In most cases, all you need to do is dust, wipe, or sweep them clean. Here are some supplies you can use:

  • Vacuum with hose attachment
  • Broom
  • Swiffer
  • Duster
  • Microfiber cloth or wipe
Remove dirt clinging to the baseboards

Use a vacuum cleaner, soft bristle cleaning brush, or wipe to remove any dust or dirt clinging to the baseboards. For filth that doesn’t simply wipe away, you can use a solution of dish soap and warm water or a store-bought cleaner to scrub away tough grime. Just be careful to use a solution suited to your finish (painted vs. raw wood).

For hard-to-reach corners and crevices, cotton balls and cotton swabs can be used. To prevent future dust collection, do a pass with a dryer sheet.

Prepping Your Baseboards for Cleaning

Cleaning dirty baseboards can be a multi-step process to remove all traces of dust and dirt. You’ll want to start by removing any loose dirt and debris before moving on to stuck-on dust or stubborn stains. Here’s how to get started.

Vacuum Your Baseboards

Vacuuming, especially with a brush attachment, is an easy way to lift dirt and dust from baseboards. This will make dusting and cleaning easier with any large particles removed from the area.

Dust Your Baseboards

Once you have vacuumed any loose dirt, dusting should be easy and rejuvenate your trim. If anything doesn’t lift off easily, go back and spot-clean those areas along with any difficult-to-reach nooks and crannies. 

How Often You Should Clean Your Baseboards

baseboard dusting

Monthly dusting is usually sufficient to keep baseboards looking fresh and bright, with a yearly deep clean as part of your Spring cleaning routine. In areas with a lot of foot traffic, if monthly attention isn’t enough, try increasing the frequency to bi-weekly. 

How to Clean Your Baseboards

Deep cleaning baseboards is usually a three-step process:

  1. Start by dusting to remove any loose dirt
  2. Then scrub or wipe down any stained or stubborn areas
  3. Finally, dry and use a dryer sheet to prevent dust accumulation

Different tools will work better depending on the design and location of your baseboards. It may take extra effort if you have any spills or stains. Here are some more tips and tricks you can use.

Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets can be used to wipe away dust and add a protective coating after the job is done. Since dryer sheets neutralize static electricity, they can help prevent dust from sticking to baseboards after being cleaned. 

Magic Eraser

The melamine in magic erasers is a mild abrasive compound that helps break down light stains and grime without harming the surface underneath. Melamine can be especially useful in kitchens where the baseboards get stained from spills or grease.

Toilet Wand

Toilet wands are designed to reach around corners and scrub hard-to-reach places. While it isn’t recommended that you use the brush from your bathroom, buying a new one for baseboards and other tasks around the home can be helpful. 

toilet scrubbing

Diluted Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent is highly concentrated soap intended to be combined with large amounts of plain water in a washing machine. Detergents are generally safe for other household cleaning tasks; just be sure to dilute with plenty of clean water, or you may leave soap residue.

Diluted Laundry Detergent

Regular Dish Soap

Your favorite dish soap is less concentrated and safe for many household tasks, though you will still want to add clean water. It is better for your mixture of dish soap to be too diluted than too strong. Liquid dish soap effectively cuts through grease and grime, which can be helpful for grease stains. 

Cleaning Natural Wood Vs. Stained Baseboards

Certain wood finishes require different care than others. For example, soapy water can cause natural wood to swell, while the paint on finished wood trim should form a barrier to protect it from moisture. 

On the other hand, certain cleaning chemicals may damage a painted or stained finish, while natural wood will remain unharmed. Only use store-bought solutions intended for your baseboard surface to avoid potential water damage or chemical residue.

If you are unsure about the finish on the baseboards in your home or apartment, stick to the safest methods, like simple dusting or a mild water and soap solution for stains that you immediately dry with a soft cloth or clean towel afterward. Only use liquid solutions to spot clean stains if unsure, rather than risk damage to the entire baseboard. 


What is the best way to clean your baseboards?

Oftentimes, all you need to do to spruce up your baseboards is give them a good dusting. For stains and spills, you can spot clean with the appropriate solution and a soft bristle cleaning brush or a clean microfiber cloth. In most cases, just go over your baseboards with a vacuum and brush attachment to remove loose dust particles and excess dirt. 

How do I keep my baseboards clean and dust free?

Regular dusting is most important for keeping the dust and dirt off baseboards. For an added layer of protection, dust with a dryer sheet or do a pass with one after you finish cleaning to neutralize static and prevent dust from clinging to the baseboard. 

Can you use Clorox wipes on baseboards?

While disinfectant wipes may work in some cases, the abrasive chemicals and alcohol content is unnecessary for simple dusting and could harm the finish of your trim. Usually, a dry cloth or baby wipe will do the trick with less chance of damaging the baseboard. 

How do professional cleaners clean baseboards?

Unless there is a particular reason to focus on baseboards, a simple dusting is usually all that is needed. However, if baseboards need special attention, a simple solution of hot water with dish soap or mild detergent can help remove stubborn dirt and grime. A secret trick is adding a splash of vegetable oil to make baseboards shine.

How do I clean baseboards with a bad back?

Cleaning baseboards with a bad back is no fun. It is not recommended that you do any unnecessary bending or stretching of your lower back. Instead, use a long-handled broom or Swiffer to get at those baseboards. You can even attach a dryer sheet to the bottom of a Swiffer!

Can you clean baseboards with a mop?

A dry mop can be used to dust baseboards. It might not work as well as other options, but it may be sufficient. It is not generally recommended that you use a wet mop unless you are sure the floors’ baseboard corners are perfectly sealed and safe to get wet. 

Why You Should Hire a Deep Cleaning Service

There are so many ins and outs when it comes to cleaning. Many people have never even given thought to clean their baseboards, so they don’t know where to begin or what to use. 

Professional cleaners know how to deal with every corner of the house, including baseboards. They’ll handle the backbreaking work and can even give you tips on maintaining your home like the pros. 

Whether you want regular cleaning or just someone to teach you some tricks, hiring a deep cleaning service can be a big help. Contact us today for a free quote!

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