January 14, 2013

How to Clean your Baseboards

Before I tell you how I make my baseboards shine I want to tell you this: cleaning the baseboards is an entirely optional chore.  It can wait.  If you are stressed out and overwhelmed and barely have time to take a shower, please don't let this post add one more thing to your mental to do list. Just go browse pinterest for cake-in-a-mug recipes or polka dotted anything.  That's an order.

That said, cleaning baseboards is a quick and easy task that really makes a room sing.  Your walls and floors will look cleaner.  And, once done,  it stays done for a while...which for a mom with a house full of young kids and a never-ending barrage of laundry and dishes to clean, that sense of completion is a welcomed one!

To start, give the baseboards a quick sweep with a mini handheld broom.  If you don't have a little broom like this, a clean paintbrush will work too.

This will remove the dust so that it doesn't just get pushed around with your cloth.

Next, wipe the baseboard with a cloth dampened in a solution of warm water and dish soap.  If your trim is wood instead of painted you may prefer to use a wood cleaner for this step.

Make sure that your cloth is well wrung out so that it doesn't leave a lot of moisture on the trim.

Finally, take a cotton swab dipped in your cleaning solution and get into the corners.

I also like to dust off the top edge of all of my electrical outlets as I go, the tops of those manage to collect a lot of dust.

Then stand back and admire your job well done.

See, I told you that was easy!

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  1. Your "imperfect homemaking" makes my jaw drop and my back ache. You just had a baby and you're cleaning baseboards? With six kids? You are my heroine. That's all: You are my heroine.

  2. I used to clean homes with my mil- and this was something that I could totally see a difference when we did a "one time clean" or "first time clean"- we used one of those cheapy Walmart polyester dusters with the long handle to dust before wiping- a bit less time on the knees;). (And quick too!!)

  3. You and I have the same cleaning gene! The only thing I can add is that I use cleaning the baseboards as a consequence chore for my children. If my child forgets to do a regular chore their consequence is an additional chore. Having them do the baseboards is my favorite because then I don't have to do them. I'm almost happy when the kids forget to do a chore since I know it means my baseboards will be cleaned. :)

    1. I like your thinking! I need to do this just to DO it. Just dusting doesn't cut it around here.

  4. love it! dyson simple brush attachment makes the first run and then i boogie through the baseboards with a rag maybe.. once a month? if you do it a few times it gets really easy. now if only someone would make clear how to get the yuck out of my window sills.

  5. Yowza! I never clean baseboards... let alone my shower. Your walls look so lovely in that last shot :) Bravo!

  6. I always use my vacuum with the brush attachment for that! I've chased with a cloth when things get spilled but seeing asI clean them regularly (once a week) they rarely need it! Oh with the windows thing a vacuum and a toothbrush or shoe brushusually cleans the track well for us. . . I was s maid in my life before mommy hood and that's how we always did it when cleaning the rentals!

  7. So happy to see anohter post from you! :)
    And thanks for the order to Pinterest, I'll follow it :).
    The baseboards look awesome.

  8. As always, such simple and such helpful advice!

  9. Looks great! I tend to skip the dusting and straight to wiping.
    ps. I love your paint color.

    Angela @Angela Says: Tips for a Cleaner Home

  10. This is my 4 year olds favorite job!!

  11. Thank you for the detailed directions & pictures!!!

  12. You are right : if you sweep and mop the floors, dusty baseboards, or skirtings as they are known here, really do draw the eye away from all the other effort.
    I reckon this is a great job to give to responsible small fry to do, and I'm sure they can be encouraged to do a good job. Just watch out for the attention span! :)

  13. In Australia we call them skirting boards. I too use my Dyson and then wipe with a cloth. The cotton bud tip for the corners is a great idea. Very much love your blog.

  14. I got to follow a long one and I think I might need a big brush.

  15. Thanks for the techniques! I have a log home, my baseboards are only the bottom layer of what needs to be cleaned, this has to happen all the way up the walls too!

    I nominated you for a beautiful blogger award btw, here:

  16. Something else that we do it to take a dryer sheet and rub it along them after they are clean, this will help repel the dust until next time.

  17. looks like a lot of work... but these are pretty good tips - have to try it next weekend. :)

  18. I use an old narrow paint brush for the corners and clean the chair rails at the same time. Susan's idea is great. I wish I had thought of that. My kids are all grown now.

  19. Neat! I do it the lazy way: when I mop, I also mop the baseboards (in the laminate areas, not carpet). I find the baseboards over carpeted areas don't get dirty.

  20. Just came over via Apt. Therapy (I think!) Baseboard cleaning is my nemesis. It was my chore when I was a kid. When we remodeled, I asked my husband to see if there was a baseboard that tapered to nothing so it wouldn't collect dust. My perfect house would have no horizontal surfaces! It would probably look a bit Seussian.....


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