How to Clean Your Baseboards In 5 Steps

The chore no one ever wants to do that will make the biggest difference.

Cleaning the baseboards isn’t that fun. It involves bending down and potentially even crawling around on your hands and knees. This isn’t a comfortable position for anyone older than, say, two years old. We can sympathize with this notion big time.

But dirty baseboards can make all the difference in the world, aesthetically speaking. You can vacuum and mop all you want, but if your baseboards are smudged, scuffed, or dusty, that polished hardwood and sparkling tile will only make that filth even more noticeable.

It’s tempting to overlook cleaning your baseboards, but we implore you not to. Trust us, you’ll be thrilled when those baseboards are sparkling clean. You might even want to crawl around to clean them.

Cleaning the baseboards is a necessary evil if you value cleanliness. It’s where all the pet hair sticks and the cobwebs accumulate, especially in corners and crevices. We’ve got some solutions to help you simplify this task — and hopefully save your knees.

How often to clean baseboards

Baseboard cleaning can and should be done weekly, or just as often as you clean your floors. Once you’ve done that initial baseboard deep clean, keeping them clean should be much less of a hassle.

When to clean baseboards

Oh, you know when to clean your baseboards. You can see it. You’ve likely been ignoring it for a long time but, that area where you casually kick off your shoes each time you enter the house? The spot on the wall behind where the trash can lives? The dusty bits behind the furniture where all the dog and cat dander accumulates? The nook where the food bowls live?

Yeah, you know those places. The baseboards will let you know when they need to be cleaned. It will be glaringly obvious.

At the very least, you should be cleaning your baseboards seasonally as part of your deep cleaning routine. But we’ll let you slide with a once-a-month job. That sounds reasonable, no?

Baseboard Cleaning Supplies

While you won’t need all of these supplies, you can pick and choose from this list based on which cleaning technique you decide to use. We’ve starred our favorite baseboard cleaning tools here.

The easiest way(s) to clean baseboards

While there are several options for cleaning your baseboards, the general flow will always go something like this:

  • Sweep, dust, and vacuum: You’ll want to start, as you would any similar chore, by knocking off and collecting any loose grime and debris, from pet hair to dust bunnies.
  • Wipe: This is arguably the most important part, where you really remove the grime, scuffs, and marks from the baseboards. We’ll suggest a variety of techniques you can use, depending which cleaning tools you’ve got on hand.
  • Buff: Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are easily our favorite product for removing unsightly marks from most things, from walls and white shoes to baseboards. They’re inexpensive, simple to use and extremely effective.
  • Protect: Once your baseboards have air dried, rubbing them down with a dryer sheet (scented or unscented is your call) will leave them with a handy dust repelling layer and static guard to protect your baseboards from future build up.

1. Wrangle the dust bunnies

  • Using either your broom, vacuum with brush attachment, or our favorite option (for minimal bending down and maximum dust entrapment) a Swiffer Duster, go along the edges of your baseboards sweeping, sucking or dusting up loose hair and debris. And the longer on the handle on your dusting implement, the less bending down you’ll be doing.

2. Give ‘em a wash

  • Now, you’ve got some options. Welcome to the choose-your-own-adventure baseboard cleaning portion of the article:
    • Mix together a few drops of dish soap with water (1:4 ratio).
    • Using either a sponge or microfiber rag (maximum bending over) or create your own baseboard cleaning device by putting a sock over the bristle head of a toilet brush (way less bending over), dip it into the soapy vinegar/water solution and wring it out.
    • Carefully wipe down your baseboards from corner to corner, being sure to scrub in the nooks and crannies.
    • Rinse your cleaning device and finish the baseboards with a warm, damp wipe to eliminate soapy residue.
    • Alternatively, you can skip the soapy vinegar solution and just use disposable sani-wipes to clean your baseboards. This will sadly require some crawling on your hands and knees, though.
    • Let the baseboards air dry for a bit.

3. Buff it out

  • Bust out your handy Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to eliminate any and all remaining marks, scuffs, and scratches from your baseboards. Just wet it with warm water, give it a couple squeezes to wring it out and activate its cleaning enzymes, and get to work. Trust us, your baseboards will be gleaming after they get the Magic Eraser treatment.

4. Wipe ‘em down

  • Using a dry cloth, finish off your baseboards with one more clean sweep to kickstart the drying process (especially if they’re wood!).

5. Send in the guard

  • Once the baseboards have air dried, take your dryer sheet or fabric softener sheet and wipe it across your baseboards to create a dust-repelling layer. This won’t actually prevent all dust from ever accumulating on your baseboards, but it should keep the hair and dander at bay for a little while, buying you some time before you have to bend down to clean again.

You can clean your walls, you can mop your floor, but if you skip out on cleaning the baseboards, your home still looks grimy. If you add baseboards to your monthly cleaning schedule, it truly won’t seem like such a daunting chore anymore. You might even grow to enjoy all that crawling. At the least, you’ll revel in the end result.

Related Articles

Tricks for Cleaning Your House Like a Pro

With all of these tips and tricks, you, too, can clean your house like a professional.

A Comprehensive Checklist for Deep Cleaning Your House

This comprehensive checklist helps make deep cleaning your home that much more manageable—plus, it includes helpful tips and expert product recommendations.

Your One-Stop Fall Cleaning Checklist

A comprehensive and approachable checklist for fall cleaning your home, inside and out–plus helpful hints and product recommendations.

The Essential Cleaning Supply List

Your home will only be as clean as the tools and supplies you choose. Our essential cleaning supply list will put you on the fast-track to a sparkling home without breaking the bank (or filling your space up with things you don’t need).

Spring Cleaning Checklist (Printable): By Room Guide

A room-by-room spring cleaning checklist that will have your home spotless. From scrubbing your bathroom to deep cleaning your kitchen, we’ve got you covered.

How to Deodorize Carpets In 5 Easy Steps, Plus Best Products

Easy to follow 5-step guides to removing smoke smells, mildew smells, pet smells, sweat smells, and more from your carpeting to keep your home smelling fresh.

The Only Kitchen Cleaning Checklist You’ll Ever Need

A comprehensive step-by-step checklist for all of your kitchen cleaning chores—plus helpful tips, a downloadable checklist, and product recommendations.

Ultimate Household Chores List: By Day, Week, Month And Season

Ever wondered how often to do your household chores? Follow this handy checklist organized by day, week, month and season so you don’t miss a thing.