What Is the Best Way to Clean Your Baseboards?
Despite the fact that we don't use our walls for any specific day-to-day activities, they see quite a bit of action. Chances are, you have a few fingerprint smudges near electricity switches—or lower, where curious little palms use the wall as a prop. Between unnoticed food splatters or dust bunnies, the walls in our homes can become grimy relatively quickly, and this is especially true if you have baseboards. These panels—they run along the bottoms of your walls and are most often installed in kitchens and bathrooms—are notorious dust and dirt magnets. If you just rushed to examine yours (when was the last time you did that?) and were less than pleased with what you found, it's time to give them a much-needed once-over. Luckily, it's easy to make them pristine again.
If the first thing that caught your attention was the quarter-inch-thick line of dust coating your baseboards' upper lip, you likely know where you need to start. Break out your vacuum and apply the machine's crevice tool (the long, skinny one)—modern-day stick iterations, like the Dyson V8 Animal Cord-Free Stick Vacuum ($399, bestbuy.com), come with a slew of these add-ons, so you can customize your machine for the job at hand—to the main nozzle. Beginning at the top edge (work from the top, down, so you don't have to go over each section twice), slide the attachment along the rim before doing the same on the floor.
Unfortunately, if your baseboards haven't been tended to in a year (or two), a vacuum sweep is unlikely to thoroughly remove all that built-up debris; some mild elbow grease may be necessary. So, be sure to wipe away any remaining surface grime and buildup using a damp microfiber cloth and a gentle detergent, such as Dawn dish soap (from $3.79, target.com), says Erin Bishop-Murray, chief learning officer at house-cleaning service The Maids.