As a child, I always remember growing up in new homes.  We would live in each of them for no longer than two years, and as we were living in one, my father would build another and then sell the one we were living in so that we could move into the new house.

Although living in new homes was quite the luxury, I’ll never forget how picky my dad could be about the baseboards.  He would always say how dirty baseboards was like having dirty fingernails.  You might think no one notices, but really they do.

Needless to say, every Saturday morning I spent my time cleaning the baseboards as well as other parts of the homes we lived in.  Here’s a quick look at a few tricks I learned along the way.

Sometimes You Need a Shoe

Growing up, I was always playing softball during the summers.  I would run through the house to get ready for my games and more than a few times I left a scuff or two on the baseboards with my cleats.  In order to remove these scuffs I would take a tennis shoe and rub them off the same way you do a scuff on the floor.

You’re Going to Need Some Q-tips

Our baseboards never got very dirty, mostly because I was cleaning them every weekend.  But, sometimes enough dust and debris would cling to where the baseboard corners met and I would have to get a Q-tip to get all of it out.

Water is Your Best Friend

I never cleaned the baseboards with anything but water, but I can imagine that a more aggressive cleaner would be needed if I had went several weeks without cleaning them.  According to research, I’ve found the following cleaners to be the most recommended for cleaning baseboards:

  • Mixture of one cup vinegar, two cups water; this should be enough to clean a 1,600 square foot home
  • Windex
  • A squirt or two of dish liquid mixed with a medium bowl of water

Take Advantage of Today’s Best Cleaning Tools

When I was little, I went around cleaning the baseboards on my knees.  I never thought much of it, but if I were to try that today, I’d be stiff as a board and unable to move after cleaning one room.  Thankfully though, there are many cleaning tools today that make baseboard cleaning extremely simple.  Take for example the Baseboard Buddy.  Made specifically for cleaning baseboards, this gadget literally takes all the back-work out cleaning your baseboards.  You can use any cleaner of your choice on the disposable velour-like pads and watch as the pads nestle themselves into the curves of your baseboards and any crown molding.

Enjoy Your Clean Baseboards

Even though I wasn’t too fond of getting up every Saturday to clean the house, I must admit that it never got all that dirty.  This not only slimmed down on my cleaning time – 20 minutes tops – but it also ensured that I didn’t have to do any hard scrubbing.  If you have the time to clean your baseboards at least once a week, this will not only help your home look better, but it’ll cut down on your cleaning time, which is something that you are undoubtedly looking to achieve.

*image by Logan Ingalls