How To Deep Clean Baseboards

Cleaning Baseboards with Cloth

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Why is it that baseboards need to be covered in dirt and grime before I ever even notice that they need to be cleaned? If this is your experience, too, know that you’re not alone. It’s pretty easy for most folks to forget about the baseboards when you’re sweeping or mopping the floor. Thankfully, you don’t have to deep clean baseboards often, if you actually clean them properly. 

To prevent having to deep clean your baseboards all the time, Taylor Matthews, owner of Sparkling Queens in Savannah, Georgia, suggests dusting your baseboards regularly and keeping an eye on areas where things can get wet and sticky, like in the kitchen, in the bathroom, or around dog food and water bowls. “Those areas might need special attention more often,” she explains. 

Below, we’ve asked Matthews to give us the lowdown on how, exactly, to properly deep clean baseboards, how often, and what not to do. 

How Often To Deep Clean Baseboards

Thankfully, you don’t have to deep clean baseboards as often as you might think. “Generally speaking, we recommend deep cleaning baseboards every six months, but the frequency depends on your lifestyle, including how many pets you have, as well as the type of flooring in your home,” suggests Matthews. “Carpet tends to hold more dirt and dander, which can get kicked up on baseboards when vacuuming or in the course of daily living.” 

How To Deep Clean Painted Baseboards

There are different types of baseboards in houses, and it’s important to clean your baseboards depending on the finish. For baseboards that are painted, Matthews suggests starting off by dusting them with a dry microfiber cloth, Swiffer duster, hard broom, or vacuum cleaner attachment. “Then, fill a bucket with warm water and dish soap,” she explains. “Dip a clean microfiber cloth in the water, wring it out and wipe down the baseboards.” Make sure to clean in small sections from left to right, working your way around the room.

How To Deep Clean Stained Wood Baseboards

For stained wood baseboards, Matthews advises dusting first using a dry microfiber cloth and Murphy's Oil or a wood cleaning oil. This will help with the shine. “Fill a bucket with warm water and dish soap,” she says. “Dip a clean microfiber cloth in the water and wring it out before wiping down the baseboards, working in small sections from left to right as you move around the perimeter of the room.” Take caution not to get the baseboards too wet, as unpainted wood tends to be porous. 

What Not To Do When Deep Cleaning Baseboards

According to Matthews, you never want to use bleach or anything too caustic or abrasive on baseboards. “Be sure to inspect the surfaces and the texture of your baseboards before you start deep cleaning them,” she says. “If the wood is unfinished or has been painted with a rough finish, it could pull the fibers off your cloth and leave the baseboards looking worse than when you started cleaning them.”

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