How to Clean Baseboards

Those tiny little ledges can get unsightly with dust and dirt pretty quickly. Learn the easiest way to get them clean with these four simple steps.

January 12, 2021

Even if you clean your floors, dust the furniture and wash the windows, dirty baseboards will make your house look shabby and unloved. No worries. It’s easy to clean baseboards and you only need to do it a couple of times a year to keep them tidy. Here’s how you do it.

Bust Baseboard Dust

Bust Baseboard Dust

If you want to truly deep clean your home, you need to deal with those dusty baseboards. Go over them with a vacuum brush attachment or a stiff broom to blast the first layer of dust. Next, wipe them clean with a mixture of warm water and a splash of vinegar. Follow up by drying them off with a clean cloth, then swipe them with a dryer sheet, which will reduce dust in the future.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

1. Vacuum

Use the brush attachment on your vacuum to remove dirt and dust from the surface of the baseboards. Be sure to clean the crevice between the bottom of the baseboard and the floor. Don’t have a vacuum? Use a small whisk broom.

2. Wipe

Once you’ve removed the dust, you’re ready to clean the stuck-on dirt and stains. Baseboards in the kitchen get particularly dirty because they catch food and grease splatters. Mudroom baseboards pick up a lot of grime, too, because your family tracks dirt in from the outdoors. Mix a bucket of warm water, liquid dish soap and vinegar. Dip a sponge or soft cloth in the mixture and scrub scuffs and stains. A melamine sponge (sold under the brand Mr. Clean Magic Eraser) is a good choice for scrubbing tough grime. Be sure to wring out the cloth or sponge thoroughly so you don’t put too much water on the baseboards. Use a toothbrush to clean the grooves of the trim. When you’re done, dry the baseboards with a clean towel. Leaving water on them could damage the wood.

3. Clean the Crannies

Use a cotton swab dipped in the cleaning solution to clean the top of the baseboards and the crevice between the bottom of the baseboards and the floor.

4. Protect

Keep your newly clean baseboards dirt-free for as long as possible by rubbing them with a dryer sheet. Yes, a dryer sheet. This prevents the static that attracts dust.

More Baseboard Cleaning Tips

Be sure to tackle your baseboards last as you're cleaning your home. Cleaning floors and dusting furniture will stir up the dirt in the room and deposit some of it on the baseboards. The best way to clean baseboards if they are stained instead of painted is to use a store-bought wood cleaner mixed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For stains and grime that won’t come out with soap and water, you may need to touch up the baseboards with paint. That’s it. Now that you know the right way to clean them, you have no excuse for grimy baseboards.

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