Cleaning White Baseboards

sgergelyFebruary 8, 2006

This is the first home that I have had that has white trim. Our previous house had wood trim. I am having a heck of a time keeping the baseboards clean. I wipe them down and the next week the top ledge is dirty again. Any tips on keeping them clean?

I have a bi-weekly cleaning service and clean myself the week they don't come. Although they do a pretty good job, they are not getting the baseboards that great and not sure it is worth paying them extra time to do them. It takes me about 4-5 hours every other Saturday to clean the house on the weeks the service does not come. I can't really spare more time than that. I was considering making this a chore for the week the cleaning team comes. That is just cleaning all of the baseboards at once. Any advice?

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I was going to post the exact same question since I have the same problem as you. I'm hoping that there is an easier method than getting down on my hands and knees to clean them.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 11:18AM
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When you say "dirty" do you mean dusty? I have white trim and all I ever see is dust, which I remove quickly using the vacuum cleaner's brush.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 11:43AM
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Marie26 - good I am not the only one with this question!

Mercedes - It seems to be more than dust, but maybe not. I have been using a wet rag to clean them. I have not tried the brush from the vacuum. Do you clean them weekly? I guess it is just an adjustment. My wood trim never showed the dust!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 1:08PM
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Mt problem seems to be dust that sticks to the baseboards. Perhaps it is the cheap flat paint but the vacuum cleaner hose doesn't clean it properly.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 2:25PM
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4 to 5 hours cleaning what the cleaning service missed??? Holy cow!! How big a house do you have??
My house keeper spende 4 hours every other week cleaning.....and I spend maybe 2 hours with the vacuum in between times....
But then I don't usually have a load of people around.
My basboards are painted with a semi gloss alkyde enamel.....and a flick with a feather duster cleans them off....between the times they get wiped with soap and water about every year!
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 10:07PM
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Lindac - No, I am not cleaning what the cleaning service misses. My house gets alot of use and I can't go two weeks between cleaning. The service spends about 4-5 hours cleaning one week and then I do it the next week. That is how long it takes me to clean the house thoroughly. Based on the responses I have received I am wondering if my paint on my baseboards is cheap paint and maybe that makes the dust stick more as maria26 mentions.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 10:07AM
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We have white baseboards next to hardwood floors (natural oak finish). My husband repainted the baseboards bright white using oil based paint. They usually look great, so maybe it's your paint. My other suggestion would be to get a wool duster to dust them with.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 10:18AM
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Yes, I clean (actually, I vacuum) them weekly.

I don't know if this is a cheap paint problem. You see, when you had natural wood trim you **didn't notice** the dust but it was there, you'd better believe it. :)

If you wet dust, it turns into mud and that's probably why it takes you for ever to clean that trim.

Try using the vacuum brush (the furniture brush, not the upholstery one) and then, if you still see dirt, follow with a moist cloth (but I don't think you'll need to).

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 2:15PM
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I read your post last week and it made me take a look at my baseboards over the weekend.

Let me say upfront, I'm not a great housekeeper. I have not dusted my baseboards in the year since we've moved in. I do vacuum, but I don't use a special attachment on the baseboards. After inspecting my baseboards, I can tell you that there really isn't any dust built up on them. I do know what you're talking about, and I've seen that thick grey dust on the baseboards at my old house, and in my current house when we bought it.

I can only think of 2 things that I've done that may be preventing the dust build-up. I painted every inch of baseboard in the house with high-gloss white paint one year ago. Right after that, we had the air-ducts cleaned.

Painting baseboards isn't my idea of fun, so I'd have the ducts cleaned first if you don't know when it was done last!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 2:12PM
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Use a mr clean magic white spongy things that wear out too fast for what they cost.

Use any good all purpose cleaner and the magic thing. Then once they are clean, repaint in a good semi gloss acrylic paint. Cabinet Coat is the best. Hard to find. Ask your Ben Moore to order for you.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 12:12AM
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I have same problem. Thinking of putting just one coat of satin polyurethane on the top layer. chery2

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 7:57PM
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Well, if it is not dust it must be stains from mould or dust. The cure for this is a oil painting job. Or, maybe you need to change the cleaning service. Try this company . They clean my house spotless.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 11:52AM
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We have white base boards also, and I have found the best cleaner is Chem-Dry Carpet Cleaner!! I just pour some on a clean white rag and rub it along the surface, no need to dust first because it acts like a magnet and picks it up! I actually like it better for cleaning wood than carpet.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 10:35AM
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What type of heating system do you have? You may need to change the filters. I also would have the heat ducts cleaned as mentioned.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 7:56AM
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A swiffer duster takes care of mine.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 4:59PM
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Posted by gracie-2006(gw:gracie-2006) on Thu, Mar 2, 06 at 10:35

Gracie where can you purchase Chem-Dry Carpet Cleaner?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 1:10PM
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I start with a small $2 rag mop I purchased from Wal-Mart that I dip in a bucket of warm water with mild detergent (dish soap), I ring it out by hand so that it is damp and quickly run it along my baseboards. It takes a few minutes and works very well.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 2:46PM
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I have all white trim -- latex paint -- and I just dust it weekly with a hand dust rag before I vacuum the floor. Takes just a few minutes. Once or twice per year I go over the trim with a wet rag and (if needed) light cleaner. I have no problem with dirt sticking.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 5:58PM
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We're supposed to clean our baseboards?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 4:00PM
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I've trained my kids ... hand them each a box of wet-wipes and tell them to got to town!

You just have to determine the right reward ;)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 9:22PM
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Here is my experience which I share with you. The first step in cleaning your baseboards is to vacuum all the dust and debris away with a vacuum hose. You may choose to use soap and warm water with a cloth to clean the baseboards or you can also choose to use vinegar. Vinegar is a natural way to keep your baseboards shining and tends to work a little better than just soap and water.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 12:26AM
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Hey, so I want to say that our house originally had white baseboards, but after a month I made my handsome hubby paint them white and use the shiny paint (idk if it was oil-based, but he knew exactly what I meant and got the correct kind) because keeping the flat white paint clean was consuming my life. So I recommend new *shiny* paint if your current paint is very matte.

To keep them clean I use a Swiffer Extended Reach and lightly trace it along them...I don't have to bend down or be on my hands & knees, may God bless the Proctor & Gamble genius who invented the Extended Reach Swiffer :) I change our air filter every 3 weeks even if it doesn't look dirty. I had been Swiffering those pesky boards every week, which sounds extreme but it only took about 30 mins to dust the baseboards for both the 1st and 2nd floors, the entire house) and 1 Swiffer Duster Refill, or just the duster that was already on it if it was practically unused and clean. You could probably Swiffer your baseboards every other week or even every 3 weeks, depends on your home.

One day I decided to take a Gain dryer sheet (unused) and tape it to my Swiffer, then I traced it back along the baseboards on the east wall upstairs in the hallway, leaving the opposite wall alone so I would have a constant with which to compare my variable. After 2 weeks the Gain boards were clean like they had just been dusted, the Western ones were the usual scale of 2-weeks-of-dander-sans-dusting. Maybe it's all dryer sheets, maybe it's just the Gain Original scent, I'm not sure since I haven't tried another kind. But it could nelp you out, so give it a whirl I bet you'll be surprised at how well your baseboard repel dust with the help of a dryer sheet. Be sure to trace lightly, otherwise you'll rub the softener onto the boards and spend the whole day cleaning off the dull spots that result

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 9:39AM
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HEy, so I have white baseboards too. This is what you need to do use a microfiber cloth and murphys oil soap and wipe them down with them it should get it clean if not take a bounce sheet to get the remaining. For preventative care every other day spray static cling spray on your baseboards. You can get the cheap one from the dollar store that works just the same. You can also do that on your fan blades if you don't want to do the spay you can always you wax that way it makes it easier to clean and less static for dust to stick too. And the Murphy's oil will remove the wax when it starts to build up. I hope that helps.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 7:54PM
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I'd be looking to find out where all the dust is coming from.
Agree that a HVAC filter change/duct cleaning is in order here.
It's not normal to be spending all this time on baseboards, lol.

Are there carpets, rugs, or upholstery in the home that need to be cleaned?
I guess I don't get it- my baseboards are painted with gloss paint and get dusted with a dustmop with no issues, and I have ten tons of dust from pets.
Guess I need to get out the white glove and inspect more closely!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 7:32AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I have ten tons of dust from pets.
Guess I need to get out the white glove and inspect more closely!
Do your pets match your baseboards? Dark haired pets, and dark baseboards? white or light pets and white or light baseboards?

My baseboards are a medium colored wood, and I hit them with a dustcloth once every month or so, whether they need it or not.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 10:51AM
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