How to Clean Stairs

Do you know how to clean stairs with different types of carpet? And how do you clean hardwood steps?

Today we’ll show you all the things you need to clean stairways with ease.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.

How Do You Clean Stairs?

How to Clean Stairs, Carpet on StairsHow do you clean the stairs? There’s a house cleaner who asked this question. “Hello, my name is Jennifer Thomas I live in Huntsville, Alabama. I have a new company, Huntsville House Cleaning. I have a question about vacuuming stairs. Two different homes that I clean, one has a low pile, like indoor-outdoor carpet. And the other has short shag, I guess it’s called a frieze.

Anyway, both of these desperately need a good vacuuming. And I was wondering if you could recommend something to vacuum them with. The upright was horrible to try, the low pile, I’ve used a broom. But I just need some advice on what to use.”

This question comes up a lot because there are a lot of stairs in people’s homes. And so, like house cleaners, we have to navigate the stairway. How do you do it?

Different Types of Stairs That Customers Have

How to Clean Stairs, Dog on StairsSo, a lot of houses have different types of stairs that have no carpeting whatsoever. And then there are houses that have the smaller carpet, which is probably a Berber carpet. And then there are carpets that are thicker, and they’re harder to clean.

So, what do you want to do is not bring special equipment with you but find out what the customer has that’s going to make that job easier. So, if they have a vacuum that has a hose on it, do they have a hose attachment? Because a hose attachment will allow you to vacuum the stairs while just keeping the vacuum in one spot.

You might have to kind of hold the vacuum with your foot, or prop it up against the side of the stairs. It is hard if it’s an upright vacuum, but if it has a vacuum with the hose, the hose often will allow you then to use an attachment.

The Challenge for Most Stairways

How to Clean Stairs, House Cleaner Thinking with BroomThe challenge for most people’s stairways is there’s not a plug for the vacuum that is near the stairwell. And so, if they have an extension cord, you could use that.

There’s also a smaller vacuum on the market, like stick vacuums. And if the customer has a stick vacuum, I recommend that instead. Because you charge the motor, but you don’t actually need the cord while you’re vacuuming. And that plugs into a smaller head.

The head is about the the width of a stair. And so, you can run this up and down on a stair and vacuum the stairs without ever having a corded vacuum. So that’s also an option.

How to Clean Stairs With Smaller Pile

How to Clean Stairs, Light Carpet on StairsNow, when you get to the stairs that have the smaller pile, like the Berber carpet, what I recommend is probably a brush and a big dustpan. Because instead of bringing special equipment, if the client doesn’t have one, you can bring this with you. So, this is something that’s easy to clean.

It’s easy to sanitize when you’re done, and then you have it for every stairway that you’re going to use. So, when you get to the top of the stairway, you’ll start at the top and work your way down. Starting at the top, you’ll brush the stairs into the dustpan. And so, whatever’s on that stairwell will go into the dustpan.

Then you move down a stair, and you brush that, and then move down a stair, and you brush that. Until you get to the bottom of the stairs and you have a whole dustpan full of gunk, that you then put in the trash and you’re done.

Wipe Down the Wooden Edges of Carpeted Stairs

How to Clean Stairs, Man Vacuuming StairsNow, you may want to wipe the stairs down if the edges are made of wood, and it’s visible. If you haven’t wiped down the spickets of the stairs, or the edges, you may want to do that separately.

What you do is take a neutral pH floor cleaner, and this is going to be about a number seven. You see a big seven on my container, that’s what that’s for. And then use a dust mitt. This is a microfiber dust mitt that allows you to spray with one hand and just kind of mop with the other.

So, there’s no standing water, it’s not really wet. You’ve already swept or dusted the area. And that gives you a chance then just to wipe it down. So, it’s neat and tidy before you’re done. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It just has to be clean.

You Can Also Use a Spin Mop for Wood Stairs

How to Clean Stairs, Wood StairsOne of the other options for dusting wood stairs that doesn’t have any carpet whatsoever, is a spin mop. Most spin mops have a microfiber head to it. And so, all the little strands are made of microfiber, which are flexible.

So to sweep this along the edge of the stairs, what happens is this goes where the spickets are and it kind of wraps around the spickets and it dusts that area as well. It does a really great job, just using this as a dry mop. Then if you have to go over the banister to get that little ridge that maybe is hard to get, or if you can’t get to it very well, then you can put this over the banister and you can get the area all the way down, going all the way down the stairs.

You have a lot of ability to do that because you have the handle to hold onto. So, you’re not bending over or putting your body in a weird position. It’s not dangerous at all. You just use your big mop as a duster.

Find the Option That Works for You

How to Clean Stairs, House CleanerSo there are a couple of different options. The secret is to find one that works for you in the home. Because in most homes, there are only 16 to 20 stairs at most. That’s just an average home.

So, you don’t want to be bringing special equipment with you, but you use the equipment that you or the customer already have.

Like the stick vacuum if they already have one. So that would be my suggestion for cleaning the stairs. But once the stairs are clean, boy oh boy, do they look nice.

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