Baseboards are one of those things that are all too easy to forget or overlook. Especially if your in-house janitorial staff is tasked with maintaining a large commercial property with high traffic floors. Yet as time goes on, dirt, dust, and accidental shoe marks can start to build-up on commercial baseboards making them ugly and leaving your building looking less than its professional best.
Thankfully, there are a few simple ways to professionally clean baseboards in your retail space, office, or commercial property.
When To Clean Commercial Baseboards
Ideally, baseboards should be cleaned as part of your building’s routine cleaning process. Though we don’t live in a perfect world and the amount of time it takes to thoroughly clean every square inch of your building’s baseboards could be staggering.
Of course, the type of baseboard material in your commercial property will also matter. As will the type of floor they are adjacent to. For example, rubber baseboards that are surrounding a vinyl tile floor can be easily mopped as often as the floors are being mopped. This is something that your in-house custodial staff or contracted cleaning crew should be encouraged to do.
Though for baseboards surrounding carpeted areas, you don’t have the luxury of a clean, wet mop head, and even the highest quality sealed HEAP vacuum system will not be able to remove a shoe scuff from a baseboard. The trick with baseboards in carpeted areas is to plan to give them a swipe of a duster on dusting days, rather than on vacuuming days.
How to Properly Clean Wood Baseboards
Some office spaces and older commercial properties in older, vintage buildings have wood baseboards and trim. These wooden baseboards should not be directly mopped as they could leave ugly water spots and stains even on sealed wood.
This is more of a labor of love, where the cleaning staff mixes a bucket of warm water, with a small amount of liquid dish soap and vinegar. Then, lightly dip a sponge or soft cloth in the mixture and scrub scuffs and stains on the wood baseboards. A melamine sponge can also be a good choice for scrubbing tough grime out of the recesses of contoured wooden baseboards and trim.
Seasonal Wood Oil Treatment for Wood Baseboards
One of the best ways to minimize the cleaning needs of wood baseboards is to periodically preserve them with high-quality wood oil. This is something that you can plan as part of your seasonal spring or fall cleaning efforts. It’s a great way to keep grime from adhering to the porous surfaces of the wood. It will save your cleaning crew a lot of time in the long run, it costs very little and takes only a few minutes to wipe the wood oil on.
Tools for Baseboard Cleaning
There are a few tools that you might want to keep on hand to make sure your cleaning crew has what they need to keep all your commercial baseboards in clean, pristine condition. This includes:
- Small cloth mop on a stick.
- A melamine sponge or Magic eraser
- A small bucket with warm water
- Mild detergent soap
- Sponge with a non-scratch scour pad
- Paper towels and clean disposable shop rags
- Commercial grade degreaser
- Knee pads and personal protective equipment
- Microfiber rags
How To Remove Stubborn Shoe Marks From Commercial Baseboards
Shoe marks are one of the most common, ugliest, and most difficult marks to remove from baseboards. They are typically caused by a passerby and delivery people who walk a little too close to the baseboards and make contact with their shoes. They can sometimes even come off the rubber wheels of a hand truck or inventory cart.
When the contact occurs a small amount of the wheel or shoe transfers to the baseboard, leaving an ugly mark. The problem is, that most shoe marks are made from rubber or soft plastic polymers that are not water-soluble, and won’t easily respond to water-based cleaning solutions.
The answer to this problem is to use a melamine sponge or a branded Magic eraser®. This trick of modern chemistry works for removing a wide range of stains and is a go-to for a lot of professional cleaners and janitorial service’s bag of tricks.
These spot-cleaning sponges are made from a special type of melamine resin that is cured, through a proprietary process into a soft pliable foam. Yet this microstructure becomes almost as hard as glass – causing it to act like super-fine sandpaper on stains. The abrasive nature of this polymer foam loosens up dirt and grime, and the open microstructure of the foam essentially sucks it in and traps it there.
While melamine sponge has a long lifespan, it cannot clean shoe marks and difficult stains off of baseboards forever. The more it is used, the less effective it becomes. When you consider the sheer volume and square footage of baseboards in a commercial property, you want to buy them in bulk to ensure your cleaning crew always has some on hand.
Priority Rooms That Need Baseboard Cleaning
It’s understandable that your cleaning crew can’t always clean 100% of the baseboards in your immense commercial property on a daily or perhaps even weekly basis. Though some rooms should be assigned on a priority basis. This includes:
- Reception areas
- Waiting rooms
- Lobby spaces
- Common areas
- Meeting rooms
- Executive offices
- Public bathrooms
Hiring Out a Third Party Cleaning Company
If your commercial property needs a deep cleaning or specialty cleaning, or you are thinking about outsourcing your custodial staff, you can always turn to Building Services Inc. We specialize in a wide range of cleaning services for commercial properties. This includes meticulous baseboard cleaning, mopping, and vacuuming.
We are a fully licensed and insured company. We have expert cleaning professionals who are vetted with comprehensive background checks and given industry-best practices training. We can service your commercial property during normal hours of operation, or schedule cleaning services with baseboard wipe-down during your off-hours.