How to clean baseboards without hiring a professional

This often overlooked spot is a dust magnet. Learn the best way to deep clean and maintain your home’s baseboards.

Hand with a pink cleaning glove scrubs a baseboard with a rag.

Table of contents

What are baseboards?When should you clean your baseboards?5 Steps to deep cleaning baseboardsHow to maintain baseboards

What are baseboards?

A baseboard is a piece of molding that covers the joint between the wall and the floor. They often have crevices full of dust, and they’re a prime spot for scuff marks from shoes, furniture, and anything with wheels. Since cleaning baseboards requires getting down on your hands and knees, you’re likely to neglect them. But cleaning them can make a huge difference in how clean your home feels.

When should you clean your baseboards?

The best time to clean your baseboards is after you’ve already vacuumed the floor and dusted the surrounding areas—you don’t want dust getting on your newly cleaned baseboards! If you have pets or kids (or just a lot of foot traffic), you may want to clean your baseboards every other week. If not, you can probably get away with cleaning them once a month. Working one room at a time will make the task much easier.

5 Steps to deep cleaning baseboards

If your baseboards haven’t been cleaned in months, they probably require a deep clean with hot water. Here’s how to get dirty baseboards looking brand new.

  1. Vacuum the baseboards. Using a vacuum cleaner fitted with the brush attachment, vacuum the baseboards to remove as much dirt and dust as possible. This will prevent you from spreading dirt around with liquid cleaning solutions later. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner with a wand or hose attachment, you can use a hand broom and dustpan to sweep up the dust.

  2. Get into the nooks and crannies. A cotton swab can be great for removing dust and dirt for corners and crevices that you weren’t able to reach with your vacuum cleaner.

  3. Wash the baseboards. Dilute a small amount of dish soap in a bucket of warm water and use a damp microfiber cloth or rag to wipe down the baseboards, removing any stuck-on dirt. For tricky spots and crevices, you can use a toothbrush as a gentle scrubber.

  4. Remove scuffs and stains. Furniture, feet, and wheeled objects often run into baseboards, leaving dark scuffs behind. Some of these are easy to clean, but a Magic Eraser is a great option for removing more stubborn stains from painted surfaces. For a low-cost alternative, scrub the stain with baking soda, which is a mild abrasive.

  5. Protect. Rubbing a dryer sheet over clean baseboards will add a protective coating and pick up any lingering dust. If you don’t have one on hand, make sure your baseboards are fully dry by wiping them with a clean microfiber cloth.

Corner of a room featuring white baseboards.

How to maintain baseboards

Adding baseboards to your regular cleaning routine will avoid time-consuming deep cleans

  • Vacuum. If you vacuum your floors regularly, maintaining your baseboards is as easy as running the vacuum (with the brush attachment) over them every time you clean your floors. 

  • Dust. If you don’t vacuum that frequently, or don’t have a vacuum with a brush attachment, you can dust your baseboards by hand. Dusting baseboards with a dryer sheet once a week will leave behind a protective coating in addition to removing dirt and dust. For a more eco-friendly option, you can use a split microfiber cloth, which will attract dust like a magnet. 

Looking for a home where monthly cleaning is always on the books? Bungalow’s homes are designed for roommates, located in the best neighborhoods, and set up for seamless living. Common spaces come furnished, cleanings are scheduled monthly, and payments are handled individually on our app. Whether you already have roommates or are looking for new ones, there’s a Bungalow with your name on it. Find your Bungalow.

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