Trying This TikTok Baseboard Cleaning Hack May Be A Big Mistake

Baseboards are one of those items most of us forget to clean during chore day. No one likes squatting down and attacking that build-up of dust and grime, so we keep pushing the task to the next week and the week after. To make the chore easier, you might feel tempted to utilize some baseboard cleaning hacks, which is perfectly fine. Just be fair warned: Not all hacks are created equally, and some might cause more harm than good. A case in point is the popular TikTok cleaning hack of using glass cleaner to scrub them. The idea is that since it is formulated to lift away dirt while also adding an extra dose of shine, they will clean dusty baseboards in no time. Content creators tend to use the foaming glass cleaner in their videos, hinting that the foam adds some extra elbow grease to the chore. However, using glass cleaners may actually damage the wood.

Glass cleaners are usually made with harsh solvents such as ammonia and alcohol, which can wreak havoc on your wooden items. While it might be tempting to give your Windex or foaming spray a second job during chore day and tackle those neglected baseboards, it's best to skip this hack, seeing as how these chemicals can affect your wooden floors.

How ammonia and alcohol affects wood

Most glass cleaners use ingredients like ammonia and alcohol to wipe away dirt from windows and mirrors without leaving streaks behind. However, it's these two ingredients that can damage your floors or wooden baseboards the most. Nothing good will come out of using ammonia to clean wooden surfaces. It is a corrosive cleaning agent that does a great job disinfecting, but it can also deteriorate the wooden area and leave discolored splotches behind. "The ingredient damages the surface and dissolves the lignin in the wood," Leanne Stapf, chief operating officer at The Cleaning Authority, told Reader's Digest. The lignin is what makes the wood rigid, and as it weakens, the wood deteriorates. You might think you can get away with using the ammonia-free version of the cleaner, but there are still risks involved in using these products.

Aside from ammonia, most of these sprays also contain alcohol. The ethanol in alcohol dissolves dirt and the wooden finishes and lacquers of the floor. This can leave your baseboards or floors looking splotchy or dull, which probably isn't the desired effect you're after. Instead, to clean baseboards like a dream, wash them with a warm water and vinegar solution. Immediately dry them after washing to ensure the water doesn't stay on them, and they'll look sparkling clean without any risk.