Keeping the Material Framing Your Flooring Clean
Paying close attention to details is one way to set your home apart from many others. You can keep your tile, carpeting, or wood floors as clean as possible, but ignoring the state of your baseboards means you are missing a vital opportunity to enhance the beauty of your flooring. Beyond protection for the walls and floors, it adds the perfect border frame to showcase the quality flooring materials used for each room. Keeping these clean and in good repair will help your floor last longer.
Types of Baseboards
The materials used to create baseboards are not any different than other types of molding and trim. The two basic choices are wood or vinyl. The wood can be stained or painted. The vinyl or plastic can be formed in many different ways and can even imitate the look of natural wood.
The Function of a Baseboard
Baseboards play a dual role in protecting the bottom portion of the wall and the area where the flooring material reaches the wall. It helps prevent dent and dings from moving items, vacuuming, and helps reduce the amount of dirt that can get in the space between the wall and floor. It is why it has earned the nickname “mop guard.” Keeping the baseboard clean helps provide a crisp look to what borders all of the floors in your home.
Cleaning Painted Baseboards
Baseboards that are comprised of wood and coated in paint are not too difficult to clean. You will need
- Broom or vacuum
- Bucket of warm soapy water
- Small cleaning rag
- Soft, dry towel
Begin cleaning by sweeping the baseboards or use the soft brush arm attachment of a vacuum cleaner. Sweep or clean the floor along a six-inch edge of the baseboard. Wet the rag and wring the excess water. Begin scrubbing the entire length of the baseboards. Go back and dry the baseboards with the towel. You should have a nice, clean surface. Take note of any areas of damage, chipped paint, and marks. Scuffs can often get removed using an eraser pad for dark mark removal.
Cleaning Stained Wood Baseboards
The cleaning method for stained wood baseboards is the same as for painted wood, with the exception of the cleaner used. You need to use a bucket with the appropriate mixture of wood oil soap and warm water. Follow the directions on the label for the correct mix. The oil soap will help remove dirt, dust, and condition the wood. Perform the same inspection to see if there are any areas that need repairing or replaced.
Cleaning Vinyl Baseboards
Normal soapy water works fine as a cleaning solution for vinyl baseboards, but you need to add a second bucket of clear warm water and a rag to rinse the soap off the surface before drying. Vinyl can hang onto dirt that is in the water as you clean. If the surface of the vinyl baseboard has small grooves for added texture, you will need to incorporate the use of a soft-bristled brush to scrub the surface clean. After it is rinsed and dried the baseboards will look like new. Once again, check each length for damage repair and replacement needs.
Keeping the Dust Away
You should only have to thoroughly clean the baseboards once every few months. Keeping the dust away in the meantime is the hard part. One way to limit the amount of dust that sticks to the baseboards is to run dryer sheets over the surface. It reduces the static that allows dust to cling. Try and remember to incorporate the use of the vacuum cleaner or broom whenever you are cleaning the floor. Steady, routine maintenance will go a long way towards keeping the baseboards in clean condition at all times.
The 90-degree angle areas where baseboards meet can seem tricky to get and keep clean. Even after scrubbing the baseboards clean, you might notice a thin streak of black dirt stuck in this awkward location. Scrubbing too hard can lead to stripping paint or stain. Grab some cotton swabs and soak the ends in the cleaning solution. Rub the swab over this area until the dirt is removed. It may take a few cotton swabs to complete the entire baseboard joints, but the results will make you happy.
Call us at On the Spot Floors for any flooring repair and replacement needs, or come on by our showroom in Powhatan and let us show you some of the latest contemporary floor designs on the market today! We offer sales, installation, and flooring repairs throughout the entire Richmond area.