What do you call those dusty pieces of wood trim that run around the bottom of your walls? Some people refer to them as skirting boards, others call them mopboards or base molding. I call them baseboards and find them annoying to clean.
For many, this is strictly a “company’s coming” task. My dust allergies don’t tolerate that schedule, so I dust mine with a long-handled duster every time I clean then give them a more thorough baseboard cleaning every month or two.
Steps to Squeaky-Clean Baseboards
Now, if it’s been a long time since you’ve deep cleaned or touched your baseboards, think about pulling all the furniture away from the walls so you can get at them properly. And for those of us not keen on bending over, I’ve got some back-friendly tips coming up, so hang tight!
Deal with the Debris
Grab your broom or vacuum with a dusting attachment and start at the door. Sweep or vacuum along the top edge of your baseboards, where most of the dust likes to party. Once you’re done, give the floor a quick once-over to catch any fallen dust.
Get a Grip on Grime
Grab a bucket of warm water and add a few drops of liquid dish soap. Soak a cloth in it but wring it out well (we’re not making a puddle here), and gently scrub away the grime. Start from the bottom and work your way up to avoid drippy disasters.
Got stubborn stains? Make a gentle baking soda paste, apply it, wait a bit, and then wipe it off with care. Baking soda is a bit abrasive, so don’t go wild.
Spiff up the Scuffs
Here’s an optional but impactful step, especially if you’re cleaning before putting your home up for sale or just finished a renovation. Touch up scuffs on your painted baseboards with some sandpaper and fresh paint. For the unpainted ones, fix the scratches in wood with a matching crayon or linseed oil.
Wrap it Up
Once everything’s dry (and it might take a bit), put your room back together. Use a towel to speed up drying, or let a fan do the work.
Cleaning Baseboards Without Bending Over
Nobody said you have to break your back cleaning baseboards. Here’s what I do when my sciatica is acting up:
- Dust with a long-handled duster and slide it behind furniture.
- For the scrubbing part, try an extension scrubber, a damp cloth tied to a stick, or even a mop with a wet pad. Just take care to wring things out well.
Keeping Your Baseboards Dust-Free
After cleaning, run a used dryer sheet over your baseboards. This little trick helps repel dust (thank me later). For easy application, attach the sheet to a dry mop or Swiffer—no bending required.
Incorporate baseboard cleaning into your Spring Cleaning routine. For the rest of the year, a quick monthly dusting should keep them in good shape. Or, delegate it to the kids—they don’t even have to bend.