How to clean baseboards and remove marks

White baseboards
White baseboards (Image credit: Shutterstock)

You’ll need to know how to clean baseboards and remove marks if your once brilliant white baseboards are starting to look a little grubby. Essentially, baseboards (skirting boards) are the finishing touches to any room, installed between the lower wall and the floor. In addition, baseboards come in different materials and thickness to perfectly accent any wall, and are a great follow up once you've learnt how to paint a room

Besides being aesthetically pleasing, baseboards also protect the walls from getting bumped or damaged when using one of the best vacuum cleaners. However, no matter how often you clean every room of your home, baseboards can easily pick up dust, debris and scuff marks from daily, household traffic.

So, if you want to keep your every part of your walls spotless, here’s how to clean baseboards and remove marks. 

How to clean baseboards

While cleaning baseboards may not be the most exciting chore, there are some easy and quick ways to do it. The best part is, you won’t even need to spend a fortune on expensive cleaning products. Here's how to get started.

1. Vacuum your baseboards

Vacuuming baseboard

Vacuuming baseboard (Image credit: Shutterstock)

First, vacuum along the baseboards using the crevice tool attachment. This will get rid of any dust build-up, loose dirt or pet hair on the surface. Alternatively, you can use a microfibre cloth or tumble dryer sheets like these Bounce Dryer Sheets ($5, Amazon), to wipe down your baseboards. These will easily pick up dirt, and also coat the boards with a dust-repellent sheen.  

2. Make a soap and water solution

Soapy water in a bucket with yellow cloth being wrung out

Soapy water in a bucket with yellow cloth being wrung out (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Next, fill a small bucket or container with warm water and add a few drops of dish soap. Dampen a soft sponge or microfiber cloth with the water. Squeeze out the water then scrub at the baseboards until the skirting is clean and mark-free. A useful tip is to use cotton swabs to get into those awkward corners. Just be careful not to soak the baseboards, as this may damage the paintwork or even the walls.  

3. Or make a white vinegar and water solution

White vinegar and spray bottle

White vinegar and spray bottle (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Alternatively, you could make a white vinegar and water solution, since white vinegar is a great natural stain-remover. Simply mix 50/50 white vinegar to warm water before cleaning your baseboards with a damp cloth. 

Find out what makes baking soda and white vinegar so good at cleaning, but note that there are some things you should never clean with white vinegar to avoid damage.  

4. Rinse and allow baseboards to dry

Wiping baseboard with a blue cloth

Wiping baseboard with a blue cloth (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Once you’ve cleaned the dirt and marks off your baseboards, use a cloth or rag soaked in clean water to rinse the baseboards. Continue until there are no traces of soapy residue and allow to air dry.

For stubborn marks, you can use a magic eraser to lift them off. Durafoam magic erasers like this Mr. Clean Magic Eraser ($5, Amazon) are reusable and should rub marks away. In addition, these are free from any harsh chemicals so are safe to use around children and pets.  

How often should you clean your baseboards?

Woman spraying baseboard

Woman spraying baseboard (Image credit: Shutterstock)

A good rule of thumb is to clean baseboards at least once a month. However, if you have young children running around or pets who shed a lot of hair, you’ll probably have to clean them more regularly. If your baseboards are prone to daily grime, clean them every two weeks instead.  

If you’re decorating your home, here's how to wallpaper a room like a pro so you save a ton of money. Had an accident? Here's how to get paint out of the carpet. And if you want to maintain your walls, here's how to clean painted walls to remove stains. And take a look at the 11 things you didn't know you could clean with toothpaste

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!