Your home’s carpeted stairs should be cleaned regularly so that you don’t get dirt all over your feet as you walk up and down them. High-traffic areas such as the bottom of the stairs need to be cleaned with hot water steam cleaning methods. Learn how to clean carpet on stairs in this article.
In your multi-story home, do your stairs have carpeting or runner coverings? What is the worst that can happen to this material? Regularly cleaning your stairs’ carpet is necessary because dust and grime accumulate naturally. You cannot clean up the mess by vacuuming alone. No matter whether you use a carpet cleaning machine or not, you can learn how to clean carpet on stairs quickly and easily by reading on.
The best tools for cleaning carpeted stairs are the vacuum cleaner and the carpet cleaner, such as the Rug Doctor. You can clean soiled stairwells quickly with this method. While you can use machines to clean carpet stairs, other options exist. Depending on what kind of flooring you have, you can choose the best option.
In more detail, let’s examine the step-by-step directions and alternative machines and methods.
Best Way to Clean Carpeted Stairs
A variety of methods are available for cleaning carpet on stairs. If you have different machines on hand and different carpeting in your home, the methods you use to clean the carpet on your stairs may differ.
Stair runners (also known as carpet runners) can be cleaned by simply washing them in the washing machine. On the other hand, the carpeting on the stairs is a different story. If you want to do a thorough cleaning, you have a few options:
- The vacuum cleaner
- Stair cleaner for commercial use
You can finish the job faster and more effectively with a vacuum and carpet cleaner. Carpet cleaning equipment isn’t for everyone, though. You might be able to hire experts, but it might not always be affordable.
Thankfully, the supplies you’ll need to clean your carpeted stairs are cheap. Maybe you can use your vacuum cleaner (via the hose attachment) or something you already have around the house.
Alternatively, you can scrub the stairs by hand with a little elbow grease if you don’t have a carpet cleaner. When you don’t have a machine, cleaning takes longer, but still effective!
How to Clean Carpet on Stairs with Machine
If the stairs are dirty and you don’t clean them often, your carpet might need deep cleaning versus routine maintenance.
A vacuum may be enough to clean one unclean spot, but big messes may require more. Vacuuming and cleaning the stairs with a carpet cleaner is the best approach.
Clean Up The Area
Make sure there are no bulky objects in the stairwell before you clean. Make sure to pick up anything that might get trapped in the machine, like toys, threads, paper scraps, etc.
Scrub With A Utility Brush
You can use a stiff brush on carpeted stairs to get rid of hardened dirt and debris. Make sure you vacuum out any lingering messes from the carpet. Use a stiff bristle brush or a vacuum attachment to get rid of ground-in dirt. This step can be skipped if your stairs aren’t so dirty.
Using a scrubber, scrub each step from top to bottom to loosen the dirt. Clean up the excess by sweeping it down the stairwell.
Vacuum The Steps
Make sure you vacuum all the way up the stairs. Make sure you have enough cable slack before you vacuum, and proceed with caution. If you have a cordless vacuum,it makes the cleaning process much easier.
Upon reaching the bottom, you need to follow these steps:
- With the brush attachment on the extension hose, you will be able to get back up to the top.
- It would be a good idea to vacuum the steps once more.
- With a brush tool, blend the steps from left to right, paying close attention to the edges and visible stains
Use Carpet Cleaning Machine
Preparation of the carpet cleaner follows. The manufacturer will provide instructions on how to add the carpet cleaning solution and water to the tank. There is usually carpet shampoo included with most gadgets, unless you rent. To remedy this, you can either purchase carpet shampoo or make your own (more information on making homemade cleaners below).
The carpet cleaner needs to be carefully moved across each step at the top of the stairs. From left to right, go over every part several times with the cleaner.
Dry The Stairs
If your carpet cleaner does not have a drying option, your carpet will retain quite a bit of water after it has been cleaned. It must be allowed to dry for 20 to 30 minutes before you can allow people to walk across the staircase. If your machine absorbs water as it cleans, you may not have to wait as long.
If you want to let the steps dry naturally, you have a few options. The moisture can be removed from your carpet with absorbent towels or fans before mold and germs develop, which takes less than 24 hours. This phase should be completed with a wet/dry vacuum due to its efficiency.
Vacuum Steps Again
After you have removed all of the water from the carpeted stairs, let the steps dry overnight or for at least 12 hours. Ensure the carpet is free of debris from the cleaning procedure by vacuuming it one last time after the steps are dry.
How to Clean Carpeted Stairs by Hand (without Machine)
The process of cleaning by hand can sometimes be more effective. It may be necessary to do an old-fashioned clean if you do not have access to a carpet cleaner or your stair runners are fragile. In the absence of a machine, you can manually clean the carpet on your stairs as follows:
- Baking soda
- liquid laundry detergent
- Carpet Shampoo
- White vinegar
Carpet odors can be removed effectively and affordably with baking soda. You will, at the very least, need a vacuum cleaner as this approach does not soak the carpet.
The best way to clean carpeted stairs or stains is by sprinkling baking soda liberally throughout. Once the baking soda has been sprinkled, follow up with a spray bottle filled with boiling water. Allow three hours for the solution to soak up any remaining debris and brighten the carpet.
It is recommended that you wait 30 minutes to an hour for the stairs to dry before using them. Following the drying of the baking soda and water solution, vacuum the leftovers. Smells and grime should also be drawn out with the baking soda.
Lacking time to run to the store and out of cleaning supplies? You can use laundry detergent to clean carpeted staircases. In the same way that carpet cleaners act on fibers, this product is equally effective.
Fill a bucket with warm water and mix 1/4 cup of liquid washing detergent. In order to remove stains and buried debris from the carpet, use a stiff cleaning brush dipped in the laundry detergent solution to scrub the stairs from top to bottom.
As soon as you’ve finished the last step, replace your solution with cold water. With a cloth dipped in a bucket of water, scrub the stairs once more, removing any detergent that has gotten onto the carpet. The area should be allowed to dry for a sufficient amount of time.
If you leased a carpet cleaner recently, do you still have the shampoo from that time lying around your house? Use store-bought carpet shampoo to clean your stairs by hand. The downside of this approach is that it requires a lot of work.
In a mixing bowl, combine good carpet shampoo and warm water. A carpet brush or a scrub brush with firm bristles is the best tool for removing grime, dust, and pollutants from your stairs. Any remaining debris should be vacuumed up again.
When you don’t have carpet shampoo or a carpet machine, you can clean carpeted stairs with white vinegar. Using a scrub brush, mix 1/4 cup vinegar with warm water in a bucket and scrub away stains and slime. Dip the cleaning brush in the bucket and scrub each step with the mixture to clean your carpeted stairs.
Replace the water in the bucket with fresh water after draining it. The carpet should be scrubbed once more with a cloth. Once you have passed water over the carpet a second time, allow it to dry.
Using A Steam Cleaner To Clean Carpet On Stairs
Cleaning carpeted stairs with a steam cleaner can be effective if they are extremely dirty. Cleaning carpets with steam machines involves using hot water to remove dirt and tough stains from carpet fibers. In addition to preventing mold growth on carpets, steam cleaning also prevents mildew spores from growing.
Home improvement stores or hardware stores sell or rent a steam cleaner like the Rug Doctor. These devices can also remove pet hair, embedded dirt and dust particles, or carpet stains, as well as perform a number of other functions.
In spite of the fact that steam cleaning may not be able to remove every type of stain, it is still one of the most heavy-duty cleaning methods available (even spot cleaning). This is a much better alternative to weekly vacuuming and is a good way to ensure proper maintenance. For carpeting that can be used right away, help the drying process by making sure to dry excess water produced by steam cleaners.
How To Make Homemade Carpet Cleaner
Have you run out of carpet cleaner? Nothing to worry about. You can make an all-natural carpet cleaner for your stairs when you’re cleaning your carpeted stairs by hand. In terms of ingredients, along with a spray bottle, there are two main choices:
- A mixture of vinegar, salt, and essential oils
- A combination of baking soda and vinegar
How to Clean Stairs with Salt, Vinegar, and Essential Oils
A carpet can be cleaned and deodorized with vinegar mixed with salt and a little essential oil.
This cleaning process may be appropriate if you are cleaning a carpet runner or area rugs by hand on your staircase. The washing machine is safe for some rugs, but it is not recommended for others. Friction created by adding a tablespoon or two of table salt may aid in loosing lingering dirt from carpet fibers. However, once the salt is dry, you’ll have to use a vacuum cleaner on the carpet afterward to remove it.
Fill a large spray bottle with a mixture of one part white vinegar and two parts water. Each cup of vinegar water should contain a teaspoon of salt and a few drops of any favorite essential oil.
Using a clean cloth, scrub the carpet with the solution. After that, use only water to clean the stairs and let them air dry.
Using Baking Soda and Vinegar to Clean Stair Carpets
This homemade cleaning solution combines baking soda and vinegar. The vinegar should be mixed with equal parts water, and the baking soda should be added last. The mixture should be stirred before being poured into a spray bottle.
Allow your carpet to sit for an hour after you spray stubborn stains. Leave the stairs to dry after wiping them with a damp towel.
Using Liquid Dish Soap
It is also possible to clean carpets with liquid dish soap. A gallon of warm water and 4oz of Dawn dish soap are required, as well as a bucket and soft bristle brush. Warm water and liquid detergent (like Dawn) should be added to the bucket. Keep the carpeting on the stairs from becoming soapy by not using too much soap.
How Often Should You Clean Carpeted Stairs
A household’s cleaning habits determine how often carpeted stairs need to be cleaned. Researchers found that a well-kept home has daily and complete cleaning, regardless of the condition of the flooring. However, how often you should clean the carpet depends on the amount of traffic.
It is recommended that at least once a week the area is vacuumed to loosen dirt and the carpet is shampooed every three months or so. In order to prevent stains or smells from recurring, deep cleaning should be performed at least every six months.
Your carpeted stairs can be deep cleaned more frequently if they become dirty quickly. When you have small children, athletes, or pets, your floors may need to be cleaned more frequently.
Frequent vacuuming with vacuum cleaners, spot cleaning and attacking hidden dirt with a stiff broom or by way of the extension hose attachment can help keep your stair carpet looking it’s best. Removing pet hair will also keep your carpet cleaners working properly and help to protect carpeted stairs and keep carpeted stairs clean for longer.
If you do struggle to keep carpeted stairs clean and smelling fresh, try the essential oil baking soda hack or a vinegar solution for a refresh!
Cleaning Carpeted Stairs Bottom Line
It is important to know how to maintain carpeted stairs so that your home looks neat and tidy. It may be easier to clean carpet stairs with a vacuum and carpet cleaner, but these items aren’t necessary. It may be necessary to choose a different method of cleaning solutions based on the amount of dirt particles found on the staircase, pet messes, the type of flooring you have, and the materials available to you.
Keeping on top of animal hairs, hidden dirt, and spills can be difficult. But if you don’t have the funds for an expensive carpet cleaner machine, don’t worry! These hacks will help you create a routine in order to keep the stairs in pristine condition with very little effort in the long run. Happy cleaning!
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Grainne Foley is a wife and mother of 2 great kids. During her 5 years of full time RV travel, Grainne learned to become very efficient at household chores, in order to make time for family adventures. Now, back in a house, she has continued to create tools and techniques to help others lighten the load of household organization and cleaning.