I Tried My Mom’s Technique for Keeping Baseboards Clean and I’m Never Going Back

published May 8, 2022
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Credit: Ashley Poskin

Everyone has that one chore they hate to do, but I have two. The things I dread clean the most are shower tiles and baseboards. And while I still don’t have a convenient way to scrub the grout in my tiles, my mom gave me a tip on how to make cleaning baseboards less of a hassle.

Usually, I wouldn’t mind running a rag across the trim or maintaining its appearance with a vacuum attachment every few weeks, but my apartment has created a unique situation when it comes to chore day. I’m situated three blocks away from the highway, so black dust floats in whenever I leave my windows open and leaves a thin layer over every shelf, floor, and baseboard. Since it’s black, you can see it much easier than ordinary dust. Couple that with the fact that I have two cats who take their shedding very seriously, and I’m forced to clean the white baseboards every week, or else the buildup will become unmanageable. 

I know what some of you must be thinking: every week?! For some, it might be overkill, but for me, it’s easier to wipe it down consistently than have to scrub the caked-on dirt after delaying it for a month. But having said that, I was still looking for a way to make the chore a little easier. And that’s where my mom comes in. She’s been a housekeeper for over 20 years, so she always has her fair share of trade secrets to share. And one of her go-to weapons for prolonging the cleanliness of baseboards is dryer sheets. 

After first washing the boards, she recommends rubbing a dryer sheet across them a few times, and then the dust will repel off the trim and float down to the ground, where you can vacuum, mop, or Swiffer it. Since most people usually vacuum or mop their floors weekly, the dirt will get cleaned up like usual. According to Mama Komar, since dryer sheets minimize static in the dryer, they add that same residue coating onto the baseboards, repelling the dust that’s trying to land. I put her trick into practice and I’m now down to cleaning the baseboards once a month, if that. I also like to rub it a little more in the corners, so you don’t get that hard-to-reach buildup. If you’re like me and looking for a way to cut back on your baseboard cleaning cadence, definitely give this hack a go. I’d love to hear how it worked out for you in the comments!