Baseboards are one of the areas of a home that can become easily neglected.
Right at floor level, baseboards bear the brunt of toys, pets, cleaning, vacuums, as well as a host of other bumps and scrapes. These bumps, however, build up over time and become an unsightly mess.
How about the dust and grime that builds up on these over time? Baseboard cleaning is notoriously hard with all the bending, and shuffling in uncomfortable positions.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was one simple guide covering all the details of baseboard care? Luckily, here it is.
Cleaning Baseboards Without Damaging the Paint
As many people begin to clean around the home, a bucket of water combined with cleaning chemicals is often a companion that will join you around the home. While these cleaning chemicals are great for scents and maintaining a bacteria-free environment, they often cause harm to your baseboards.
The chemicals mixed with the water create a soapy solution that breaks down the paint on the baseboards, causing flaking, staining, and generally damaging the paint and appearance.
The truth is that to clean a baseboard without damaging the paint means that you don’t often use cleaning agents or water. If you must use cleaners ensure that you remove these chemicals and dry the baseboards as quickly as possible to minimize the damage caused to the baseboard paint.
Often a thorough dusting will be enough to keep this area clean and only when you are doing a deep clean of the home should you be using cleaning chemicals.
How Do You Clean Baseboards Without Bending Over?
The baseboard of a home becomes often neglected for two main reasons, bending over is painful for many people, and people often clean the areas that can be seen, meaning that baseboards become dirty and grime-covered over time.
There are several ways to clean a baseboard without you bending over, this is where you’ll find them.
Firstly, use a vacuum cleaner with a wand attachment. This is particularly effective if your vacuum is an upright model or with a long attachment so that you can simply run this over the baseboards.
Wand attachments with brush heads are particularly adept at this job, and you’ll wonder what kept you from cleaning them before once you see how effective this method is.
For those without access to such a vacuum, a broom is also effective as you can simply sweep the dust off the baseboard and sweep this into a dustpan. This is a low-tech solution and can be great in conjunction with an ongoing cleaning regime.
A long-handled Swiffer or duster cloth. Those long-handled dusters are great for reaching up into the corners of a room, they’re also great at reaching baseboards and dusting these also without the need to bend over at all. A mop, and a microfiber cloth.
Vacuum cleaners currently present the most efficient and back-friendly way of cleaning baseboards, if you have a suitable vacuum.
The Best Paint to Use to Protect Baseboards?
When painting baseboards, years ago people used oil-based paints, due to the regulations of oil-based paints, along with concerns that these could be dangerous in the home, paint manufacturers have developed a newer type of paint to combine the benefits of oil-based with water-based elements.
A new type of paint has been developed by manufacturers, specifically for baseboards and timing areas called, acrylic-alkyd hybrid, this new type of paint is known to dry faster, and smoother, with less environmental concerns.
Unlike oil-based paints, these acrylic-alkyd paints will dry a lot quicker without creating the unpleasant smell which lingers around the home.
The best finish to use has often been identified as semi-gloss, due to the aesthetic qualities as well as the hardwearing nature and easy-to-clean properties of this paint.
How to Use Dryer Sheets to Protect Your Baseboard
One of my favorite hacks for cleaning around the home because of its simplicity. Many of us have a clothes dryad and with it, a box of dryer sheets in our home, without fully appreciating the full benefit that these sheets have.
Dryer sheets are designed and manufactured with a whole range of chemicals. These chemicals work by eliminating static and attracting dust and lint; which is perfect for dusting and cleaning baseboards.
These chemicals and woven fibers in the dryer sheet leave behind an anti-static coating as it is wiped along the baseboard, this coating will repel dust and continue to work as it prevents household dust from collecting on these hard-to-reach areas.
This is also great for being able to witness and enjoy the results of your work without static attracting dust back within minutes.
How to Protect Your Back When Cleaning Baseboards
Cleaning baseboards with a bad back is almost like torture. A painful proposition for many without restrictions, back pain can make cleaning baseboards either impossible or a dreaded task.
Cleaning this area of the home can be done without bending, or crouching so read on here.
All of the usual utensils used in cleaning can be extended, at the point of purchase many suppliers will offer dusters that have telescopic poles, and these are perfect for reaching without having to bend anywhere. These pole attachments are perfect for dusters and for wipes that will clean without causing pain.
Additionally using a brush wand attachment on your vacuum will allow you to clean the baseboards without bothering your bad back and without the extra effort required to collect the dust afterward.
How to Clean Baseboard Heaters?
Baseboard heaters might look like a terrifying chore; however, they are rather simple to clean, if you know what you’re doing. Read on as we de-mystify cleaning baseboard heaters.
Firstly, identify if you have hot water or an electric baseboard radiator, as this will need to be switched off before attempting to clean the unit. Make sure that these are turned off using the correct method, electric heaters will have a main cutoff switch and hot water heaters will require the thermostat or hot water turned off.
This will prevent any potential burns as the inside of the heaters becomes very hot. Next, hot water baseboard heaters typically have a front panel installed for maintenance, this front panel is easily detached to give access to the inside of the heater.
Now that the interior of the heating unit is exposed, take a vacuum with the wand and bristle attachment and make sure to get the bristles in between the metal fins and vacuum below to catch any dust or debris knocked free.
By design, the fins very densely packed and close together; this increased surface area is great for conducting heat, but a real problem when it comes to cleaning.
Baseboard heaters work on the principle of hot air conduction, meaning that as the air inside the heater becomes hotter, it rises, forcing the cooler air down for the cycle to continue.
This ongoing cycle moves a lot of dust around the room, and it is easily trapped in the heating fins of your baseboard heater.
Cleaning baseboard heaters not only keeps your home clean but also keeps your heating unit effective for when you need it as a build-up of dust will negatively affect the performance.
Safety first – make sure that the heater has cooled and is switched off. Please be aware that the fins inside the baseboard heater can be sharp so wear gloves when doing any fine cleaning or adjustments.
Best Vacuum for Cleaning Baseboards
We aren’t going to advocate a specific brand here, each brand produces so many different types and models that doing so would be impossible. What we do plan to do is advise some of the best models from brands for cleaning baseboards.
• The Shark Navigator – Thanks to The Shark Navigator NV356e having a removable canister means this can easily transform from an upright vacuum to a light handheld.
This ability to change pairs perfectly with the brush attachment and will enable you to stay on top of cleaning your baseboards. While this is not cordless, the cord is 30 feet giving you a lot of reach around the home.
• Hoover Linx – The Hoover Linx is highly suitable for cleaning baseboards as it has side brushes for cleaning against walls and baseboards, pulling dust and grime toward the suction and into the dust bag, far away from baseboards.
The Hoover Linx has been designed specifically for hardwood floors, so naturally this is where it excels along wooden baseboards. Because of the very specific design of the Hoover Linx, it isn’t appropriate for deep pile carpets and isn’t designed for pet hair.
The cord on the vacuum is 20 feet long, while not the longest, and will give users a comfortable range of motion.
• Bissell Zing – A basic stick and canister vacuum from Bissell brings great quality to a product that is cheaper than basic models from other manufacturers. While a basic design, the Zing is a small and lightweight vacuum that packs a punch.
Incredibly maneuverable, thanks to its small size, the zing can get to most areas that other vacuums can’t. The attachment that will work best for baseboards is the crevice tool and dusting brush. The stick provides great reach, so this will enable the user to clean their baseboards with minimal bending.
• Tineco A10 Hero – The one that comes all singing and all dancing. While this is one of the more expensive options around compared to other vacuum cleaners, the sheer versatility makes that cost justifiable.
Driven by a 350 Watt digital motor this vacuum produces 110 Air Watts of suction power, meaning that this vacuum will make light work of dust along baseboards. Weighing under 3lbs, this model is lighter and more maneuverable around the home, so getting around to all those baseboards should be easy.
Best Robot Vacuum for Cleaning Baseboards
We’ve covered robot vacuum cleaners here regarding how to protect your baseboards from robot vacuum cleaners. With the findings from that post, let us continue.
• Neato Botvac D7 – The smart vacuum comes with the ability to schedule your cleaning times. With smart navigation the Neato Botvac with digitally map your entire home.
You even have the option of adding no-go barrier lines digitally in the app. this laser-guided robot vacuum features multiple floor plan mapping and zone cleaning.
The side cleaning brush will eliminate any dust logged in the lower half of your baseboard.
The Neato Botvac is also Compatible with Alexa and Google Home.
Here is an interesting article on robot vacuums:
• Roborock E25 – One of the market leaders in robot vacuums. Designed to be the best, inspired Roborock combines the intelligence to learn the best route around your home, and the speed of cleaning floors and baseboards efficiently.
Thanks to a battery of motion tracking sensors, the Roborock builds a digital map of your home which is then stored in the memory of the E25.
Powerful suction needs a battery life to match, and this certainly provides that, allowing up to 100 minutes of cleaning time to pick up dust, dirt, hair, and crumbs, and stores this inside a large dust bin.
Thanks to an easy snap-on attachment the Roborock E25 Robot Vacuum Cleaner can be used to mop, and the automatic water suction feature will prevent puddles from forming behind.
• Tesvor Robot Vacuum – One of the best robot vacuums available for a reasonable price is the Tesvor model with an inbuilt mop cleaner.
Engineered with a crazy powerful 1800PA suction motor that can be easily switched to the mopping cycle for automatic mopping.
The Tesvor Robot Vacuum has been built with a low profile to fit under beds and other furnishings, so might not give the top of your baseboards to best cleaning.
But, with the powerful cleaning on hard-surface flooring with 100 minutes of battery life, the Tesvor will certainly give the facing side a thorough clean.
The bilateral brushes are designed to get hard-to-reach edges and corners and will pull dirt and dust away from your baseboards, while the triple filters reduce airborne allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, and pollen.
As with the Roborock, this smart robot vacuuming system also works with Alexa and Google voice assistants for remote cleaning. Perfect for baseboards is the smart, anti-collision sensors to save from scratches.