Tips and Advice

Your simple guide to cleaning skirting boards

Skirting boards often sit quietly at the periphery of our interior design, it’s easy to overlook the need to clean themPhotographer: Mini Cooke

When tidying up your home, it’s easy to focus on the more prominent areas, such as countertops and floors, and overlook the less visible but equally essential components, like skirting boards.

Cleaning skirting boards not only improves the overall appearance of your space but can also contribute to a healthier home environment by reducing dust and allergens.

Regular cleaning also protects the paint or finish on your skirting boards, increasing their longevity and reducing the need for repainting.

Photographer: Alan Jensen

How to clean skirting boards:

If you’re unsure where to begin or want to make sure you’re tackling skirting board cleaning the right way, follow these ten simple steps:

1. Gather Your Tools and Supplies

Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary supplies. You’ll need a broom or vacuum with a brush attachment, a microfiber cloth, a bucket of warm water with a bit of mild detergent, a sponge, a soft-bristled brush, and some protective gloves. For a sparkling finish, keep a bottle of wood or paint-safe cleaner handy as well.

2. Prep the Surroundings

Move any furniture or items that may obstruct access to the skirting boards. Cover flooring with old towels or a drop cloth to protect it from any water or cleaning solution runoff.

3. Dust the Skirting Boards

Using a broom or the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner, start by removing the loose dust and cobwebs from the skirting boards. Work from the top-down approach to avoid spreading dust onto lower areas.

4. Wipe Down with a Microfiber Cloth

Moisten the microfiber cloth with water and begin wiping down the skirting boards. This preliminary pass will remove most of the dirt and begin to reveal any stubborn stains.

5. Spot Treat Stains

If you notice any marks or scuffing that didn’t come off with water, use a small amount of the cleaning solution or a paste made of water and baking soda. Apply the cleaner to the cloth or directly to the skirting board and work in a circular motion until the spot is gone.

Photographer: Louise Wellington 

6. Clean the Corners and Hard-to-Reach Areas

Use the sponge or a soft-bristled brush dipped in the cleaning solution to address corners and any areas with a high degree of built-up grime. A toothbrush can be especially handy for intricate or carved skirting detail.

7. Rinse with Plain Water

After spot treating, use a fresh cloth or sponge dampened with plain water to rinse away residual cleaner. This step is crucial, as any left-over cleaner can attract more dirt.

8. Dry the Skirting Boards

Use a dry microfiber cloth to dry the skirting boards thoroughly. This step will prevent water spots and ensure your hard work lasts longer.

9. Add a Fresh Smell

If you prefer, use a room spray or diffuser with essential oils to leave a pleasant scent once your skirting boards are dry.

10. Apply a Protective Finish

To keep your skirting boards looking their best, consider applying a wood conditioner or clear finish. This not only shines but also protects the boards against future dust and grime accumulation.

Photographer: Jem Cresswell 

Quick Tips for Skirting Board Maintenance:

Here are a few quick tips that can make maintaining your skirting boards a breeze:

  • Regular Schedule: Add skirting board cleaning to your regular cleaning routine (for instance, monthly) to prevent build-up.
  • No Stomping Zone: Educate household members or guests to be mindful of the skirting boards with their feet and when cleaning the floors.
  • Fast Clean-Ups: Deal with spills or splashes immediately to prevent staining and make overall maintenance easier.
  • Regular Polishing: If you find that your skirting boards get dirty often, consider polishing them regularly to make cleaning less of a chore.

By following these techniques and making cleaning skirting boards a part of your regular maintenance schedule, you’ll not only keep your interior looking fresh and tidy, but you’ll also contribute to a healthier home environment. The attentive care you provide to these often-neglected features will also reflect well on the overall upkeep and pride you take in your home.

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