17th August 2021

How to Clean Skirting Boards

It is surprising how cleaning your skirting boards can instantly make an entire room fresher, brighter and cleaner. Like any other piece of furniture in your home, your skirting boards require regular cleaning to avoid them becoming too dirty or have dust ingrained into the valleys of the profile.

However, so many people neglect their skirting boards, thinking the job is going to involve lots of crouching and scrubbing, and it becomes a forgotten area that never gets any attention.

When tackling the chore of cleaning skirting boards, it’s best to use a combination of dry and wet methods. The dry approaches will ensure all the dust is cleared away before you go with the wet approaches which will help scrub and shine your boards to rid them of any dirt or marks that have accumulated over time. This power combo will work wonders!

1. Dry Dusting Methods 

If your skirting boards are just dusty as opposed to being dirty or grimy, then you can just do a dry dust.

  • Cleaning Skirting Boards with a Feather duster – A quick run around the skirting with a feather duster will stop the build up of surface dust.

Feather duster for cleaning skirting boards

  • Cleaning Skirting Boards with a Soft bristle Broom or Paintbrush – Use a dry paintbrush or broom with soft bristles, and run it along the borders of your rooms to clear away any dust. The bristles are good at reaching deep into the crevices as well to ensure no unwanted dust gets left behind. Then vacuum up any dust that has been brushed to the floor, and voila! Like-new skirting boards again.

Cleaning skirting boards with a broom

  • Cleaning Skirting Boards with a Vacuum – This is a great dry dusting option if you don’t feel like getting down on your hands and knees to wipe all the skirting boards in your house. Use a small bush vacuum attachment, so you can get right into the grooves to easily suck up the dust without you having to even bend over.

Cleaning skirtings boards with vacuum

2. Wet Cleaning Methods 

If your skirting boards are grimy or has marks you will need to use a wet cleaning method. Removing surface dust using the dry dusting methods before wet cleaning will make the job much easier. When cleaning using wet techniques, you should keep in mind that moisture can affect unsealed MDF timber so make sure your cloths and sponges do not leave lots of moisture behind, especially if it runs down behind or under the boards where they might not be sealed by paint or primer.

  • Cleaning Skirting Boards with Disinfectant Wipes – Ideal for spot cleaning, this is probably one of the simplest ways of cleaning your skirting boards if there are some spills or grime on them. Simply wipe the area, you may need to a little elbow grease to remove stubborn grime. Scented wipes provided the added bonus of a fresh, pleasant-smelling home by the time you’re done as well.

Cleaning skirting boards with wipes

  • Cleaning Skirting Boards with Spray Cleaners and Paper Towels – Another of the simplest approaches to cleaning skirting boards is to use these common household items. Grab an all-purpose spray cleaner, a sponge and some 3+ ply paper towels and you’re set to go. Spray and use a clean sponge, rinsing regularly and dry with the paper towel OR you can just use the spray and paper towel, however that method will end up using a lot of paper towel if cleaning a whole house.

cleaning skirtings boards with spray cleaner step 1     Cleaning skriting boards with spray cleaner step 2

  • Cleaning Skirting Boards with Bucket, Soapy Water and Sponge – The traditional method that’s been tried and tested for many, many decades are the classic bucket and sponge. Fill the bucket with warm and soapy water, maybe with a dash of disinfectant, Sugar Soap or fragrances if you like, then dip a sponge into the mixture. Squeeze most of the liquid out so it’s not dripping, then wipe across the skirting boards throughout your house. Clean away the soapy water with another wipe with a sponge with just water. Don’t forget to use a microfiber cloth to dry it to avoid streaking, and you’re done!

Cleaning skirting boards with cloth

  • Cleaning Skirting Boards with Magic Erasers – Magic Erasers literally work wonders, all around your home. Ideal for removing dirt and black scuff marks that are common on skirting boards. This clever cleaning product will give your skirting extra shine to make them appear brand new again. All you need is some water, rub on the area then let the erasers work their magic!

Magic eraser cleaner for skirting boards    Cleaning skirting boards with magic eraser

  • Cleaning Skirting Boards with Vinegar and Water – For those who prefer to opt for a natural and chemical free approach, white vinegar does the trick. Simply add a few capfuls of white vinegar to warm water, mix it thoroughly, then use a cloth or sponge to polish your skirting boards. While they’ll look spotlessly clean, you may notice a lingering vinegar smell, which might not be ideal unless you’re able to effectively air your home afterwards.

Cleaning skirting boards with vinegar

  • Cleaning Skirting Boards with Acidic Solutions – If you need a deep clean for your skirting boards to get rid of the dirt and grime, but you don’t want the smell of vinegar around your home, then you can use a mixture with bleach or polish instead. They are both powerful cleaning agents, but you need to ensure that you read the manufacturer’s guidelines on the bottles/containers to use them appropriately and avoid any potential harms to your skirting boards, paint or drips onto your flooring. This is an excellent way of cleaning off tough and stubborn stains as well. It is advised to wear a face mask, gloves and work in an open space to avoid inhalation of the fumes.

Acidic solution

  • Cleaning Skirting Boards with Steam Cleaner – For the ultimate cleaning power that is guaranteed to get the job done perfectly, bring out the steam cleaner! It’s the ideal way to clean away all dirt and grime, quickly and easily. Just spot test a small patch in an inconspicuous place to make sure it won’t cause any damage or bubbling to your paint.
  • Cleaning Skirting Boards with Professional cleaning detergent – Every once in a while, when you want to give your skirting boards a truly deep clean, it’s worth utilising some professional cleaning detergents to guarantee a top-notch outcome. For cleaning wooden skirting boards, you can purchase a wood cleaner and polisher. For acrylic based paint, you can opt for a household grade degreaser.

Cleaning hacks – tips & tricks you should try 

These are a few tips that can help you get the

  • Cleaning Skirting Boards with Cotton Buds – These handy little tools do an amazing job at getting deep in those nooks, crannies, folds and edges of your skirting board profile. Pair these with one of the other wet cleaning methods above for a totally thorough clean. They’re the ideal size to scrub any tricky to reach places, and by the end you’ll know every spot has been taken care of.

Cleaning skirting board corner with cotton bud

  • Keep your Skirting Boards dust free with Dryer Sheets – This one might come as a surprise! Dryer sheets are the little sheets you put in the clothes dryer to remove the static and make your clothes smell great. Once you have cleaned your skirting boards run a dryer sheet along your boards. This will help repel dust, so you don’t have to dust them as frequently, while also making your rooms smell like fresh linen! A similar thing can be done with fabric softener sheets as well.

Dryer sheet ti help repel dust

Cleaning skirting boards without bending

A common misconception about cleaning skirting boards is that you will spend the whole job on your hands & knees, which for people with bad backs or knees means they neglect their skirting boards. For some of the deeper cleaning methods described above this is true, however a soft broom or regular vacuum with the dusting attachment will reduce the need for excessive bending. The wet cleaning method with a mop described above, will address most of the areas with grime. Areas that requires further attention that do require bending will be limited.

Cleaning and preparing skirting boards for painting

If you’re painting your skirting boards and you have carpet, tape down a dust sheet as close to the skirting board as possible before you start. Alternatively, you could fold up a piece of cardboard and tuck it underneath the skirting board and tape it down. Remove the dust with a vacumm with the hand held dusting attachment, then use a sugar soap solution and a sponge to wipe down and clean your skirting boards. The skirting boards need to have all the dirt, dust and grease removed before you start. Learn more here about how to paint your skirting boards.

How often should I clean my skirting boards?

The general rule of thumb is give your skirting boards a thorough clean every 3-6 months, however if you live in a very dusty area or an area with alot of construction work around you, you may find they need more regular dusting. Wipe up spills as they happen, and you will avoid sticky areas which are harder to clean later.