How To Clean Your Skirting Boards

finger showing dust removed from white skirting boards

Skirting boards are a pretty addition to the décor of any interior space. When coupled with moulding, they can turn an ordinary-looking room into one of sophistication and class. Unfortunately, they tend to collect dust and dirt very easily because of their proximity to the floor and, for the same reason, are often neglected areas in one’s regular cleaning routine.

The good news, however, is that regular dusting prevents dirt caking up into a grimy mess and, if these useful tips and guides to clean skirting boards are followed routinely, they will save you the trouble of tackling heavily soiled skirting ever again! Read on to learn all you need to know about keeping this often overlooked part of your home clean and stain-free.

Useful Tools for Light Cleaning

a yellow feather duster cleaning skirting boards

Large feather dusters are the most popular and convenient choice to lightly clean skirting boards on a weekly basis. One with an extendable handle is advised so that you don’t have to bend down and strain your back when cleaning. Another good option is a broom with nylon bristles that will get into the grooves and dislodge dust and debris with ease. Paintbrushes are also great for removing dust clogged inside crevices or between fine detailing on your skirting, however, it’s important to maintain a good posture when you do this to avoid a backache later on. 

Using a Vacuum Cleaner to Clean Skirting Boards

Dyson upright vacuum cleaner

Vacuum cleaners are quite handy and have come a long way from just cleaning a carpet or rug. Equipped with different attachments for different purposes, it’s quite the staple in the cleaning arsenal. Using the brush attachment will help you dislodge and suck up dust in one go rather than doing it manually. If the design of the skirting board includes crevices, use the nozzle attachment to focus the suction into these small spaces for a more efficient clean. Unlike using a feather duster, a vacuum cleaner will not leave any dirt on the floor to sweep up thereafter.

Extensive Cleaning Solutions for Skirting Boards

When cleaning skirting boards, a good three-step approach would be the dry-wet-dry method. First, wipe away the dust and dirt with a dry cloth, then use a damp sponge or cloth to clean light stains and/or hardened dirt, and finish off with another clean dry cloth to remove any remaining moisture. 

Here are a few detailed methods to use this approach, as well as other solutions to clean skirting boards.

Using Wet Wipes

dirty wet wipe after having cleaned a dirty skirting board

Stubborn dirt and grime are unsightly and mostly the result of infrequent cleaning. Tackling it would require a lot more effort and time to get the skirting board back to its original condition which definitely calls for a damp wipe down. Start by first wiping away the dirt with a duster, and then moving onto a more rigorous cleaning method. Baby wipes and moist towelettes have a lot more use than we give them credit for and can be easily used to wipe along the skirting board. They are not, however, the most cost effective option for those on a budget as you will need to replace wipes as and when they get dirty and/or dry up.

Soap and Water

A blue bucket filled with soapy water

You can’t go wrong with plain soap and water when a mild but effective cleaning method is required to remove dirt. Make a mild soapy solution by adding 1 teaspoon of dish soap in half a bucket of water and mix well. Immerse a sponge in the solution and squeeze out the excess water till the sponge is just damp. Wipe the sponge across the skirting board keeping in mind that a foamy residue will be left in its trail which can be wiped away with a damp cloth. After the initial steps are completed, finish the routine with a clean cloth to dry up leftover moisture. 

Cleaning with Bleach or Polish

A pink container filled with cleaning chemicals and rags

For tough stains and grimy skirting boards, regular soap and water won’t be as effective as using bleach or polish. Since these are both harsh chemicals, you will have to handle them with care to prevent damaging your skirting board. If the chemicals come into contact with your walls or drip down onto your floors, they may cause a bit of damage due to their caustic properties. Read the instructions label carefully before proceeding with this option, and always wear gloves when handling bleach or polish. While the bleach acts as a cleaning agent and works hard on tough stains, the polish will add a sheen to the skirting board and make it appear just like new.

Cleaning with White Vinegar

If harsh chemical cleaners are not your preferred choice, you can easily make your own homemade cleaning solution for skirting boards using (1 cup) white vinegar mixed in (5 cups) warm water. Dip a cloth or sponge in the mixture, wring out the excess liquid, and wipe along the skirting board. Vinegar works just like bleach and can remove tough stains easily. Since vinegar isn’t odourless, it will leave a smell behind for a while so you might want to crack open all the windows to air out the house until the smell vanishes.

Using Professional-Grade Cleaners

A picture of 3 lysol multi-surface cleaner bottles

When skirting boards have been left unattended for too long, dust and dirt blend into a very grimy coating over the surface. This usually calls for more industrial-grade cleansers to tackle the problem depending on the material your skirting board comprises of. If the finish is acrylic paint, a good degreaser does the trick very well; on the other hand, if it’s made of wood, a specifically designed detergent and polish is just what you will need to clean your skirting boards.

Using Steam Cleaners

4 different steam mop boxes standing upright

Steam cleaners are the best way to get the job done without any chemicals whatsoever. They are eco-friendly and, more importantly, effective in removing grime while killing germs and viruses, too. The use of a steam cleaner is suitable for most surfaces so there's no worry about damage either; however, as a precaution, it is advisable to test it out on a hidden area first. To clean skirting boards with a steamer, simply turn on the appliance and run it along the surface for a clean and fresh finish. 

Regardless of which cleaning solution you opt for, the important thing to remember is to make it a habit to clean skirting boards at least weekly to avoid going down the in-depth route. Moreover, you will get many more years out of your skirting board with the added benefit of a clean look all around the interior of your home!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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