How to Clean Baseboards – a Fast and Easy Cleaning Guide

Nearing the end of summer vacation, there are probably lots of parts of your house that need a little attention. Baseboards are one of the often-overlooked areas that need cleaning as much as (if not more than) everything else. Near the action of movement in the home, and positioned low so as to catch all free-falling food, paint, glue, etc., they will definitely benefit from some TLC. Here are some simple ideas for how to clean baseboards quickly and easily.

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Here’s what a section of baseboard looks like in our dining room. It’s a little rough.

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To begin, I use a dry toothbrush to scrub a hard-to-reach corner. Tip: Keep the bristles aligned with the curvature of the baseboard for more efficient cleaning power.

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Use baby wipes, or a slightly damp paper towel, to run along all the surfaces of the baseboards to clean the easily removable grime. Try to match your finger alignment with whatever the surface of the baseboard is: tips of multiple fingers for curved or contoured, flesh of one or two fingers for flatter sections.

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For dried gunk spots, your fingers might not be enough to remove them. Use either a dry or lightly dampened soft-bristle brush, such as a cleaning toothbrush, to gently scrub the area until the spot is loosened.

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Some spots, such as black marks from shoes, may need a little extra cleaning help. Spray some mild cleaner or soapy detergent water onto the spot and let it sit a minute or two. Wipe up any excess cleaner that rolls onto the floor immediately. Then use your cleaning toothbrush to see if the spot goes anywhere. This black spot went away quite easily, but the scraped-looking spot next to it (visible to the left of the black spot in these photos) didn’t. That will require painting over it, I think.

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When all the cleaning is done, run a dry paper towel over the entire baseboard (running horizontally) to remove any wet spots or residual bits of dust.

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All done! Your baseboards should look great.

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This really is a pretty satisfying cleaning job, as the grime isn’t usually that hard to remove, and the clean baseboard just gives a nice polishing touch to the entire house. Happy cleaning!

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