Cleaning skirting boards: 5 hacks to get them looking as good as new

Stay on top of cleaning skirting boards with our hacks. From the vacuum and vinegar to cotton wool buds, mops and more – this is how to get results whether you want to paint yours or not

Cleaning skirting boards
(Image credit: Radovan1/Shutterstock)

Cleaning skirting boards is an easy – if not slightly boring – job, so we've five different hacks to make it even more breezy and satisfying. Because those tasteful little trims that disguise the join between the bottom of the wall and your flooring are oh so easy to forget about. The thing is, they only look good when they're clean...

While yours may serve mostly as display shelves for your impressive collection of dust, they are actually there to protect your walls. In doing so, they get bashed by toys, toes, shoes and more meaning that it doesn't take long before they are covered with smears of dirt and scuffed with marks. 

Noticed dirty walls too? This is how to clean painted walls to perfection.

In terms of how often we should be skirts – not our favourite job right? – US-based author Melissa Maker of Clean My Space says ‘You don’t have to do it all the time, but when it becomes a little bit obvious, pay attention to your baseboards (skirting boards).’

To avoid being judged as the hostess (or host) with the leastest cleaning skills, we have some expert tips* on how to take care of your baseboards for fuss-free, exceptional results.

How to clean skirting boards easily

There are several methods you can use, depending on how dusty or dirty your baseboards are. 

Maker says that In terms of method, you should ‘resist all temptation to clean them with a normal mop and run it along the bottom of the board as this will result in the dust sticking, leaving you with this gross, sticky streak of dust that will look horrible and make it so obvious that you did it the wrong way!’

1. Dusting & vacuuming skirting boards

A feather duster and a long vacuum attachment are recommended so there’s no need to bend or kneel down. Use the vacuum to get rid of any dust build-up along the skirting boards, then grab a damp duster to clean any awkward spots and angles. Do this every few weeks to prevent a large dust build-up and to cut down your cleaning times.

Maker's method: ‘Get the brush attachment of your vacuum to quickly brush up any of the dust along your boards. If you want to wipe down your baseboards (skirting boards), take a dry microfibre cloth in one hand to dust, and have a damp microfibre cloth in the other hand to give that a quick wipe and that will clean your baseboards!'

2. Use a skirting board mop – specifically 

This handy device will save you having to get down on your hands and knees to scrub. The long-handled tool has a cleaning head specially designed to fit into the grooves and curves of the skirting and clean them while you’re standing.

3. Cleaning skirting boards with soap and warm water

Fill a bucket with warm water and add fabric softener as ‘soap’. Dunk a cloth or sponge into it, wring so it’s slightly damp rather than wet, then use to wipe away dirt, grime and scuff marks until the skirting is clean and shiny. It'll smell fresh, too. Clean your skirting this way every few months, or as needed if it gets particularly dirty.

4. Use tumble dryer sheets to clean skirting boards

Yes, we mean those papery, sweet-smelling sheets you normally throw in with your just-washed laundry. It's an unconventional method, but if you rub down the boards with a tumble dryer sheet it'll prevent dust and debris from sticking thanks to the anti-static effect it creates. This can be done every couple of months to reduce build-up of dust and prolong in-between cleaning times.

5. Clever cleaning hacks for super dirty skirting boards

  • Magic Erasers: A brilliant, particularly tough marks; these reusable magic sponges should rub them away and leave your boards looking like new.
  • Vinegar: Add 1/2 a cup to warm water with a few drops of washing up liquid and use this to wipe down super dirty skirting boards.
  • Cotton buds: For those hard to reach spots, cotton buds are perfect for getting into tight corners or decorative folds and picking up a lot more grime than you expect.
  • Paintbrushes: Like the cotton bud, a small paintbrush can get rid of dust in those tricky places that your fingers can't reach. Run along the top of the baseboards to get the dust off, like a tiny sweeping brush.

How does Mrs Hinch clean skirting boards?

In true Sophie Hinchcliffe style, 'Use a capful of fabric conditioner in a washing up bowl of warm water to clean down skirting boards and woodwork but make sure you Dave first to remove the dirt.' 

Dave = the duster.

*Tips from MyJobQuote

Shop Heinz All-Natural Distilled White Vinegar -1 Gallon Bottle (Pack of 2) with By The Cup Swivel Spoons

A must for natural cleaning around the home.

Our favorite liquid soap to use

What beautiful baseboards you have 🙌

Alison Jones
Alison Jones

Alison is Assistant Editor on Real Homes magazine. She previously worked on national newspapers, in later years as a film critic and has also written on property, fashion and lifestyle. Having recently purchased a Victorian property in severe need of some updating, much of her time is spent solving the usual issues renovators encounter.