Baseboard Cleaning

R-8+light Fini leftBaseboards are easy to forget about until they become dirty. Commercial and residential spaces need baseboard cleaning to keep them looking good – this maintenance also means less work over time (you won’t have to repaint them if they are kept clean). Here are six simple steps to clean baseboards the right way.

First, clean the surrounding area. This doesn’t just mean a few inches of floor near the boards; clean the entire floor. Sweep and mop wood and tile floors and vacuum carpets. Use a crevice attachment to clean between the floor and baseboard.

Next, use some type of covering to protect the flooring. You can use old towels, plastic sheeting, or even newspaper. Secure the covering using painter’s tape; you don’t want it moving around as you clean and painter’s tape won’t leave a sticky residue behind that duct or masking tape will. Wear shoes with non-marking or soft soles to avoid scuffs.

Start the cleaning by vacuuming the baseboards using a brush attachment. You want as much dust and debris off the baseboards as possible. You can follow this up with a round dusting brush to get the most dirt up.
Spray down all the baseboards you are planning to clean. You can use a baseboard cleaning solution or simply mix soap and water in a spray bottle. Keep the bottle no farther than twelve inches from the boards to avoid spraying the floors and walls. Let the spray sit for about five minutes before continuing.

Use cool water and a soft rag or sponge to wipe the boards. Gently scrub to get built up dirt and stains off the baseboards, but be sure not to use any abrasive material so you don’t damage the paint. Also be sure to rinse and wring out the rag often so you’re not dragging particles from one area to the next. Use kneepads or some kind of mat to protect your knees while cleaning.

This is referred to as the manual cleaning method. You can also use the Scrub Jay from Centaur Machines to get your baseboards sparkling clean. Using the Scrub Jay, you can clean an area that would normally take an hour by hand in only five minutes. For large spaces, a machine like this is a must.

Once you have completed the cleaning and your baseboards are dry you can finish them. This may mean repainting if needed or simply protecting. You can protect your baseboards using a wax made specifically for their maintenance. You can also go the cheaper route and use a dryer sheet. The chemicals in dryer sheets actually act similar to baseboard wax. It won’t work as well, but it is a simple and cost-effective solution.

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