How to Clean Baseboards
What You Need
WHAT YOU NEED:
- Hand broom
- Vacuum cleaner with brush attachment
- Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner
- Spray bottle
- Microfiber cloths or paper towels
- Cotton swabs
- Fresh dryer sheet (optional)
Who says you need to put off cleaning your dirty baseboards until spring cleaning rolls around?
Your carpets, furniture, and even walls get the bulk of weekly cleaning attention, but baseboards can accumulate unsightly dirt, grime, stains, and scuff marks, which can subtly diminish the visual appeal of your home.
Many cleaning tips suggest that the best way to clean baseboards is with dish soap and water. Soap can leave behind a film that will eventually attract more dirt and dust, meaning you'll be stuck cleaning them more often.
Some popular "stain-erasing" scrubber products are made of melamine foam, a type of hard plastic blown into tiny bubbles that serve as an abrasive. This foam's abrasiveness, similar to very fine sandpaper, works by removing a thin layer of whatever surface it's scrubbing, presenting the impression of a miraculously-erased stain. This can lead to trouble, as rubbing an abrasive against a finished surface will likely leave a visibly flat area when complete. Learn more about the damage melamine foam erasers can cause here.
The easiest way to clean baseboards is to remove dirt, stains, and smudges in one shot with Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner. It's essential to use a non-abrasive cleaning solution that won't discolor or diminish the paint on your baseboards. If they are coated with latex or oil-based paint, Simple Green can keep dirt off baseboards and keep them looking great for years to come. Spot test in a small area to check compatibility with other paint types.
Directions for Cleaning Baseboards:
When cleaning your home, you should always do the baseboards last, as they tend to capture the accumulated dust and dirt from cleaning surrounding areas. Before cleaning your baseboards, move your furniture away from the walls to give yourself space for cleaning.
- Remove dust. Dust the top edges of the baseboard. Make sure to get into the groove between the baseboards and the wall to remove any trapped or tucked away dust. Use a hand broom or a vacuum cleaner's brush attachment to reach tight areas.
- Vacuum. Vacuum the entire baseboard using the brush attachment to remove dust and debris from the baseboards' surface and bottom.
- Clean. Mix a 1:5 ratio of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner with water in an empty spray bottle. Apply the solution to a microfiber cloth or paper towel and begin wiping. To avoid streaking, scrub in sections, ensuring the product doesn't dry on the surface before the next step.
- Wipe down. Wipe the cleaned surface with a clean microfiber or paper towel dampened with water.
- Spot clean. Use a cotton swab dipped in your Simple Green solution to scrub hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. Follow up with a wet cotton swab to wash the cleaned area.
- Dry. Allow the baseboards to air dry.
TIP: You can prolong baseboard cleanliness by rubbing them with a fresh dryer sheet. The antistatic properties on the sheet repel dust.