How to Clean Crown Molding

Crown molding can make your home more sophisticated and is nice to look at, but only if it’s not covered with dust and cobwebs. You should clean your crown molding whenever you dust the rest of the house.

You Will Need

Now, your crown molding is very simple to clean except for one little detail, it can be nearly impossible to reach while you’re standing on the floor below it. If you don’t have a stepladder or an extremely tall friend or roommate, you will have to improvise. There are a couple things you can do:

  1. Invest in a long-handled duster, such as a Pledge or Swiffer duster with an extended handle length, or use one of those old fashioned feather dusters with the long handle and the big fluffy head.
  2. Take a mop or a broom and drape a cloth over the top of it (make sure to use the top of the head, not the top of handle. There is not enough surface area there, and it would be uncomfortable in this manner). Also, you will need a cloth is big enough that it will not fall off as soon as you raise your mop or broom toward the ceiling, and probably land on your face.

How to Dust Crown Molding

Once you’ve gotten your rag or duster situation sorted out, it’s time for the easy part: the cleaning. If your crown molding is not too dirty, you can simply wipe it with the cloth or the duster and call it a day. Just make sure that the dirt and cobwebs stick to the duster or cloth instead of falling on the floor. (If you’re not sure how adept you’re going to be at this, you may want to cover your floor and furniture with a sheet before you get started.)

Note: If your vacuum cleaner has a long enough hose attachment, you can clean the dirt and dust off by using it instead, but don’t try to position the vacuum at the top of the stepladder, especially while you are standing on it.

Stain Removal

If there is any dirt or debris that won’t come off with a simple swipe of the rag, it’s time to bring in reinforcements, in the form of a cleaning solution. Since the cleaner will end up dispersed throughout your home, or at least all of the rooms that contain crown molding, you may want to consider a natural cleaning solution, such as a gallon of warm (not hot or scalding) water, one cup of vinegar or ammonia and a cup of baking soda (mix these items together in a bucket or bowl using either a spoon or your gloved hands) or a premixed natural all-purpose cleaning solution. Check for one at your local natural foods store, and then follow the instructions on the container.

Spray or dip a clean rag (not the one from before that is now covered in dust!) or sponge in the cleaning solution. If reaching the molding is again a problem, you can put your rag back on top of the broom or mop, or you can use a mop that has a sponge as the head. Make sure to wring the rag or sponge out before you bring it up to the molding so that the water doesn’t end up dripping on the floor or running down onto the wall below. Gently scrub the molding until the spot of dirt or debris comes off.

If you wish, you can give the wall a quick rinse with warm water, but this is probably not necessary, unless you used way too much cleaning solution.

*This method works best on painted crown molding. If your molding has a different surface material, such as stained wood or plaster, it is recommended that you clean it solely with a dry rag or duster or that you consult a professional as to a proper cleaning method for that material.

Keeping your Crown Molding Clean

Luckily, unless your entire family is made up of basketball players, there will not be too many instances of fingerprints or stains on your crown molding, and you will mostly just need to dust it on a semi-regular basis. (Dusting is still important because spiders seem to have no real knowledge of height and will build their webs wherever they see fit.)

Unless you notice a major buildup of dust or cobwebs, giving it a dusting about every two weeks should be perfectly fine, though there is of course no harm in cleaning it more often. Scrub for stains only when necessary. With any luck, these times will be few and far between. Just tell any really tall people that visit not to touch the wall.

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