How to clean baseboards

Woman cleaning giving two thumbs up

Cover your bases

Easy to forget but hard to miss, your baseboards are a high priority on your home's improvement list. Cover all your bases with these six tips to clean and maintain your baseboards.


Clean surrounding area

Prior to cleaning your home's baseboards, clean any space around them first. This includes sweeping and mopping tile and wood floors, as well as vacuuming carpets. Use the crevice attachment (the long slanted piece) to clean small particles between the carpet and baseboard.


Protect flooring

After cleaning the surrounding areas of the baseboards, protect flooring using old towels, plastic or newspaper. Tape it down to the floor using painter's tape or masking tape to avoid any movement during cleaning. Wear socks or house shoes to aid in the prevention of shoe scuffs.



To ensure that all dust and small pieces of dirt and debris are off of the baseboards, vacuum the baseboards using the brush attachment. Run straight across first, and then, with a swivel motion, using the round dusting brush. Add a bit of force with your motion to assist with any paint spills or mud stains.



Using a baseboard cleaner, multipurpose spray or plain soap and water, spray down each baseboard in your home (or the room you are focusing on that day). Stay in the range of six inches to two feet away to avoid too much liquid on the board or the floor. Leave the liquid spray on the baseboard for at least five minutes prior to moving on to the next step.


Clean and wipe

Using a soft rag or sponge, clean baseboards with cool water. Scrub lightly to get remaining debris off of the baseboards, but avoid using any type of harsh material that could potentially take off paint. Use a garden mat to help protect your knees on tile flooring. If you would rather not scrub on your knees, use a sponge mop that will allow you to clean the baseboards standing up.



Once your baseboards are clean and dry, you can now apply a fresh coat of paint. If you don't need to do this, maintain your baseboards using a wax specifically made for baseboard maintenance, or save a few dollars by rubbing a dryer sheet against them. The anti-static element of the sheet coats the baseboard similar to a wax, aiding in the prevention of dust particles and other small debris.

More cleaning tips for your home

Home science: How household cleaners work
Decorating Diva: 6 Steps to a cleaner, more organized home
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