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How to protect baseboards from vacuum scuff marks

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It can be so frustrating when you do your best to keep your home clean and pristine, only to have one of your cleaning methods leave a mess behind. I’m talking about scuff marks left behind on your baseboards from your very own vacuum cleaner!

protecting baseboards from vacuum scuff marks

You try so hard to avoid hitting your baseboards with your vacuum, but inevitably it happens, and you are left with a dark scuff mark.  What an eyesore! How do you clean that scuff mark, or, better yet, how can you avoid scuff marks in the first place?

While we all wish we could give up vacuuming, that really isn’t an option, but there are ways to eliminate getting scuff marks or easy methods to remove them if you do.

How to Prevent Vacuum Scuff marks on your baseboard?

A super-simple DIY trick is to cover the edges and front of your vacuum head with masking tape. The tape acts as a buffer in case you accidentally hit your baseboard with your vacuum (but you’re not going to do that, right?). The light color of the masking tape will prevent those pesky dark scuff marks.

Another solution is to attach a bumper guard to the head of your vacuum. This is definitely thicker than simple masking tape, so it will work better. You will have to research to make sure the bumper guard will fit your vacuum. Some companies like Shark or Dyson make them specifically for their own brand and models of vacuums, but there are generic ones available.

NOTE: Check the dimensions before purchasing, however, so you make sure you get one that fits.

If you can’t find a bumper guard that will fit your vacuum, you can use felt bumper pads to make your own bumper guard. These Yelanon Felt Furniture Pads make a great bumper guard because you can cut them to fit around the corners and edges of the head of your vacuum cleaner.

After you cut the pad to the right size, clean the area of your vacuum where you want to place the pads, and then peel and stick to apply them. They are soft and will glide over your baseboards, leaving them scuff-free.

How to remove marks from baseboards?

If you find you can’t avoid them, there are several ways to clean scuff marks left by a vacuum cleaner off of your baseboards.  Several of these methods use common household items you probably already have in your house. 

Wet cloth

Yes, it can be this easy. Simply grab a microfiber cloth, wet it with water, wring out the excess, and gently go over the scuff mark and see if it lifts off the baseboard. Rub a little harder if the mark isn’t entirely gone, but be careful not to rub too hard as you don’t want to damage your paint. If this doesn’t work, try another of these following methods.

Dish soap

Mix together some warm water with a few drops of dish soap. Wet a rag with the soapy solution, wring it out and scrub the scuff marks. Again, start softly and then add more pressure if needed.


Toothpaste works best with toothpaste that contains baking soda. Squeeze some toothpaste onto a damp cloth and wipe away the scuff. After the scuff is gone, be sure to wipe with a damp rag to remove residue left from the toothpaste. If you don’t have toothpaste with baking soda, you can make a paste of just baking soda mixed with a little bit of water. 

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

The word “magic” is in the name for a reason! All you have to do is add water to the sponge (“eraser”) and squeeze out the water. Scrub the mark lightly, gradually applying more pressure if needed to completely remove the scuff. Again, and especially with the magic eraser, be sure not to scrub too hard because the eraser can remove paint. The Magic Eraser works on tons of surfaces throughout your home just by adding water. So easy!


Use WD-40 if you have vinyl baseboards. Spray on this lubricant and buff with a microfiber cloth. You probably have a can in your garage.

Do robot vacuums damage baseboards?  

Robot vacuums are a real time-saver for a lot of people. These little machines can be set to a timer, controlled by an app, and vacuum your house for you. You don’t even have to be home! 

While they are super convenient, they can leave the occasional scuff mark on your baseboards. 

Does Roomba damage baseboards? 

The most popular brand of robot vacuums is the Roomba. Roomba has several different models at different price points. While they can be a bit more expensive than the average vacuum cleaner, what you spend to purchase a Roomba, you’ll get back in time saved from not having to vacuum!  

Unfortunately, some customers have reported that the Roomba can leave scuff marks on baseboards and can leave a dark line on your baseboards, especially when it’s new. 

Is there a solution to protect Roomba from damaging it?  

You can get a bumper guard to fit your Roomba in order to protect baseboard against scuff marks.  This bumper guard from Amazon will fit your Roomba or other brands of robot vacuum (since it is a simple cut, peel-and-stick product, it could work on regular (non-robotic) vacuums, too).

It provides a cushion so when your Roomba does bump up against your baseboards (it works to keep furniture from being damaged, also), it won’t leave marks behind. It’s a really helpful product to get especially if you have white or light-colored baseboards that will show scuff marks easily.

Measure and cut to fit your Roomba (or other brands of robot vacuum), and then simply peel and press on. Make sure you occasionally wipe off the bumper guard.

TIP: If you want to make a do-it-yourself bumper guard, some foam door weather stripping, like this Duck brand foam weatherstrip will stick right on. Measure around your Roomba, and then peel off the backing and press around the perimeter.