How to Clean Baseboards (+4 Easy Options)

Have you noticed how dirty your baseboards are? Here’s how to clean baseboards when they’re really dirty plus 4 alternative methods you can use to make cleaning your baseboards easy.


When was the last time you cleaned your baseboards? Has it been a while?


If cleaning your baseboards isn’t something you do on a regular basis, I completely understand. Just like windows, it’s easy to forget about your baseboards until you notice how dirty they really are.


And then it’s too late – you can’t “unsee” or forget about it until they’re clean since dirty baseboards have an amazing ability to make your entire house seem dirty!


This task is one that’s not going to make you jump up and down with excitement, but once it’s done your whole house will look and feel better. The best part: you only have to clean your baseboards a couple of times a year to keep them looking their best. 


woman cleaning baseboard with microfiber while wearing pink gloves

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How to Clean Baseboards: Quick Tips


  • Get the whole family involved in helping because many hands make light work. When everyone helps, the task is much easier – and faster. Assign a room or area to each family member, then crank up the music and get to work!


  • When you clean your house, dirt and dust get kicked up and end up on your baseboards. Save your baseboards and clean them last so they really shine.


  • I like to clean my baseboards when I do spring cleaning so I know it’s done at least once a year.


How to Clean Your White or Painted Baseboards 


The thing about glossy paints is they help to repel dirt and grime while flat paints almost seem to attract it. No matter which kind of paint is on your baseboards, getting them clean again isn’t tough. Here’s how.


Step 1: Gather Supplies


supplies for cleaning baseboards


Grab these tools to get your baseboards squeaky clean:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Broom
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Cotton swabs
  • Dryer sheets

Step 2: Loosen Grime


Use a broom and do a quick brush over your baseboards. This will loosen any collected dust and grime.


Step 3: Vacuum


Now grab your vacuum cleaner and use the brush attachment to vacuum your baseboards on the top as well as along the floor to collect anything that fell. This will pick up any loose dust and dirt you just kicked up.


Step 4: Wash


Now it’s time to go a little deeper and wash those baseboards. Use a sponge and a bowl of warm soapy water and wash them up. Some areas may only require a quick wipe down, while others may need a little scrubbing.


Step 5: Clean Corners


Don’t forget the corners! Clean the corners and other hard-to-reach spots with a cotton swab. Dip the swab into your soapy water and rub away in those areas.


Step 6: Dry


Once your baseboards are clean and dry (you can use an old towel to dry them off or let them air dry), a relatively well-known secret is to take dryer sheets and rub them along your baseboards to help repel dirt and dust so that your baseboards look fresh and clean longer.


How to Clean Wood Baseboards 


One thing about paint is that it helps protect the wood. This applies to baseboards, too. When you clean painted baseboards, you don’t need to worry about ruining a beautiful wood finish.


The process for cleaning wood baseboards differs from how you clean painted baseboard so that the wood is protected.


Use Soap and Water


washcloth dipped in soapy water to clean the baseboards with


In fact, really the only difference is that you want to prevent using most commercial cleaners as they can damage the finish or the wood. I recommend using a mild soapy water mixture that both cleans and nourishes those wood baseboards.


To make a soapy water mixture for wood baseboards, fill a large mixing bowl (or small bucket) with warm water. Add 2 tablespoons of dish soap and 1 tsp of vegetable oil. 


You’ll find that some areas may only require a quick wipe down, while others may need a little scrubbing. Only use a little soapy water at a time to prevent making a big mess.


Other Ways to Clean Baseboards Easily


Admittedly, washing baseboards with soapy water can be tough on the back. Here are some alternative methods for cleaning dirty baseboards that may save you some time or elbow grease.


Mr. Clean Magic Eraser


These “magic” cleaning sponges might be the very easiest way to clean baseboards if you do it more often than once a year. They’ll remove dirt, spills, and many stains – like magic! However, if you need to clean up caked-on grime, they may not be the best option as they tend to fall apart with heavy scrubbing.




Using a broom to sweep dust off of your baseboards is quick and easy to do – and it really works if you do it regularly. You can even use the vacuum after to clean up any loose dust that settles. The advantage of this method is that you don’t even have to bend down or squat!


Baby Wipes


Yes, these little wipes that are great for cleaning up babies also work like a charm to clean baseboards. You may not want to make this your go-to method for a few reasons, but they definitely work in a pinch when needed.


Use Old Socks


Take an old sock and pull it over a (clean) disposable toilet wand then spray it down with soapy water. Wipe down your baseboards. It works – trust me.


Wondering how often to clean your baseboards? Grab my free cleaning routine so you don’t need to think about it anymore (or forget until they’re gross),


While cleaning baseboards isn’t a job that the family will fight to be able to do, it also doesn’t need to be a hard or difficult job. Enlist help, get the right tools and gameplan, and soon you’ll be enjoying sparkling clean baseboards!


More Easy Cleaning Inspiration



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1 Comment

  1. DOT

    March 10, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    I always forget to clean them, I have no idea why they get so dirty. Thanks for sharing your great tips, I will definitely try them!

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