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

Stay on top of cleaning skirting boards with our tips – and stop them being display shelves for dust

Cleaning skirting boards
(Image credit: Radovan1/Shutterstock)

Brits call it 'cleaning skirting boards', Americans call it 'cleaning baseboards' – whatever, they are the tasteful little trims that disguise the join between the bottom of the wall and the flooring, and they only look good when they're clean.

They're there to protect your walls, but it’s easy to overlook them as they become little shelves for your impressive collection of dust. Or they get bashed by toys and toes and scratched by pets until they are covered with smears of dirt and scuffed with marks.

As they’re usually partly hidden by furniture and at a low level, you may forget all about them – until an eagle-eyed guest notices their sorry state. 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 boards.

For more cleaning tips, don't miss our action-packed hub page.

Cleaning skirting boards

There are several methods you can use, depending on how dusty or grubby your boards are: 

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.

See our pick of the best vacuum cleaners.

2. Use a baseboard/skirting mop

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 baseboards

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 tricks for removing marks from skirting boards

  • A Magic Eraser is brilliant, particularly tough marks; these reusable magic sponges should rub them away and leave your boards looking like new.
  • 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 skirting boards to get the dust off, like a tiny sweeping brush.

*Tips from MyJobQuote