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How to Clean Your Walls, Baseboards, and Ceilings Thoroughly

March 3, 2024
How to Clean Your Walls, Baseboards, and Ceilings Thoroughly

Keeping your walls, baseboards, and ceilings clean can seem like a daunting task, but with the right cleaning solutions and tools, it can be manageable. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to thoroughly clean these often neglected areas of your home.

Assess the Surface Material

The first step is to assess the materials of your walls, baseboards, and ceilings to determine the best cleaning method.

  • Painted drywall – Most interior walls and ceilings are painted drywall. Use a mild cleaner and soft cloth. Avoid abrasive cleaners or scouring pads.
  • Wood paneling – Dust with a microfiber cloth and use wood cleaner sparingly. Avoid excess moisture.
  • Tile or stone – Use a specially formulated stone or tile cleaner. Check for sealing needs.
  • Wallpaper – Use a mild cleaner and clean gently to avoid tearing. Test small area first.
  • Baseboards – Usually painted wood or tile. Follow material guidelines above.

Gather the Proper Supplies

Having the right cleaning solutions and tools will make the job much easier.

  • Mild cleanser – For painted walls/ceilings, Murphy’s Oil Soap or other mild cleanser. Avoid harsh chemicals.
  • Cleaning cloths – Cotton cloths, microfiber cloths, sponges for scrubbing.
  • Duster – Microfiber or feather duster for ceilings and walls. Extendable for high ceilings.
  • Bucket – For cleaning solution and rinse water.
  • Scrub brush – For tougher buildup on baseboards.
  • Step stool – To reach walls and ceilings adequately. Use safely.
  • Vacuum brush – Attach brush to vacuum to collect debris and dust.

Prepare the Space

Proper preparation is key to efficiently cleaning walls, baseboards, and ceilings.

  • Remove artwork/fixtures – Take paintings, mirrors, curtains down to fully access walls.
  • Clear furniture – Move furniture away from walls and baseboards for access.
  • Vacuum/dust first – Use vacuum crevice tool and brush attachment to remove loose debris.
  • Protect floors – Place drop cloths to catch drips and debris during cleaning.

Clean Walls and Ceilings

Follow these methods to safely clean painted or delicate walls:

  • Mix cleanser with warm water in bucket based on label directions.
  • Dip cleaning cloth in solution, wring out excess.
  • Gently wipe walls in sections using vertical strokes.
  • Rinse cloth frequently to remove buildup.
  • Work top to bottom to avoid drips.
  • Allow to fully dry before rehanging fixtures.

For unpainted brick or concrete block walls:

  • Sweep loose debris with soft brush.
  • Scrub stains with stiff nylon brush and powdered cleaner.
  • Rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
  • Allow to fully dry before reassembling room.

Clean Baseboards and Moldings

Baseboards collect dirt, dust, and grime. Clean them thoroughly:

  • Vacuum and dry dust first – Use crevice tool to vacuum baseboards before wet cleaning.
  • Wipe down – Dip cloth in cleaning solution. Wring out excess. Wipe baseboards down.
  • Scrub – Use scrub brush and cleaning solution to remove stubborn buildup.
  • Rinse – Wipe baseboards down with fresh water to rinse off cleaning solution.
  • Allow to dry fully before replacing furniture.

For unfinished wood baseboards, use wood cleaner sparingly to avoid damage.

Maintain the Cleanliness

Regular, gentle cleaning is key to maintaining your hard work:

  • Dust regularly – Use microfiber duster on walls, baseboards, and ceilings weekly.
  • Spot clean – Wipe spills and marks as they occur to prevent buildup.
  • Deep clean seasonally – Do a thorough clean like this guide 2-4 times per year.
  • Check for damage – Inspect for scuffs, cracks, stains regularly to fix promptly.


Cleaning walls, baseboards, and ceilings thoroughly but gently using the proper supplies and techniques can refresh your whole space. Assess surfaces, vacuum first, use mild cleaners, work top to bottom, allow to fully dry. Maintain the cleanliness with regular dusting and seasonal deep cleaning. Your walls and ceilings will shine!

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