How to Vacuum Stairs the Right Way

As you likely know, a great vacuum cleaner can give your home the deep cleaning it deserves. If you have stairs, though, it can add a layer of complexity to your cleaning strategy.

Besides hauling the vacuum up every stair, all the edges, nooks, and crannies require cleaning. But don’t fret — we’ll talk you through the ins and outs of how to vacuum stairs with ease.

Fret not, as this guide walks you through the ins and outs of how to vacuum stairs with ease.

Get the Right Tools

Let’s face it. Vacuuming stairs with an upright vacuum cleaner is no easy feat. That’s why it’s crucial to make efficient use of the attachments. You’ll require a crevice tool (a long attachment with a thin end) coupled with a brush attachment. What’s even better is a mini motorized brush attachment that’s a snug fit on the attachment hose. It makes vacuuming stairs a cinch.

Begin with the Edges

Armed with the ideal tools to get the job done, it’s time to begin vacuuming all the edges of the stairs. Use the crevice tool for this step. Clean the edges of each tread, not forgetting the nooks and crannies. When you vacuum the edges first, you make sure any debris that is knocked free is sucked up during the cleaning process.

Move Onto the Treads

Once you’ve vacuumed the edges, proceed to the treads. These are the parts of the stairs on which you stand. Your best bet is to use the mini motorized brush or the brush attachment.

These tools allow you efficiently clean every tread without lugging the entire vacuum up the stairs with you. We advise starting from the top of the stairs, working your way down. By doing so, any debris that’s knocked down the stairs will be sucked up by the vacuum.

Remember the Risers

The challenge in vacuuming a staircase is accessing the risers, the parts of the stairs found between each tread. The brush attachment makes the cleaning process easier. You’ll need to twist the tool and your arms into the best position to effectively vacuum the risers.

The most straightforward method is alternating between the risers and treads as you work your way down the flight of stairs.

How to Vacuum Stairs with an Upright Cleaner

If you have an upright vacuum cleaner without the tools or attachments required to clean a flight of stairs, here’s how you can get the job done.

  • Stand on the third stair from the top
  • You’ll notice the vacuum cleaner plugs the cord at the bottom of the staircase and begins cleaning from the top step
  • Hold the vacuum cleaner with both hands. While one hand grips the bottom pole, your other hand should be on the handle
  • Put the cord over one shoulder to prevent it from getting in the way
  • For safety purposes, ensure both feet are on every step
  • Vacuum the top step. As you do so, make sure each stroke is away from the step and towards you
  • Repeat the process with every stair until you’re done

Choosing the Best Vacuum to Clean the Stairs

Vacuuming a carpeted surface
Source: Pexels

You might realize how challenging it is to use an upright vacuum cleaner to clean a staircase. For starters, you won’t efficiently reach the vertical part of every step and the corners.

Secondly, an upright vacuum cleaner is bulky, which increases the likelihood of it toppling over and falling down the stairs. Therefore, we recommend investing in a canister vacuum cleaner.

It’s smaller and more lightweight compared to its upright counterparts, making it easier to maneuver from the top to the bottom of your staircase.

Additionally, canister vacuum cleaners have a superior flow rate and powerful suction, making them more powerful. That makes them more effective in vacuuming stairs.  You can also opt for a cordless stick vacuum to clean your staircase. It’s compact and lightweight.

Given the absence of a power cord, cable tangles become the least of your concerns. The only setback with a cordless vacuum is that the battery might give out amidst a cleaning cycle. The same applies to a handheld vacuum cleaner.

Tips on Vacuuming Carpeted Stairs

Here are a few pointers on how to vacuum a carpeted staircase.

Pick Up the Large Stuff

Before you begin vacuuming, climb the stairs and collect large bits of debris, including clumps of pet hair, that have accumulated. Additionally, ensure nothing is getting in your way as even the smallest items become a tripping hazard.

Begin with the Corners

Check the corners of every stair. You’ll likely notice an accumulation of debris and dust. These are the trickiest areas to clean, which means you’ll require a slim attachment to access them.

Daily Vacuuming

Vacuum your carpeted staircase daily to keep it clean and fresh throughout. Your carpet will look good as new.

Opt for Lightweight Models

A lightweight vacuum cleaner such as the canister or cordless options is easier to maneuver on your carpeted stairs.

Have Someone Else in the House

We recommend vacuuming stair carpets when there’s someone else in the house in case of an accident.

Brush Your Carpet Beforehand

Before you start vacuuming your carpeted staircase, it’s advisable to brush the carpet beforehand to get rid of any dust, dirt, and debris lodged in the fibers.

Go Cordless

To avoid a tripping hazard that might land you in hospital, we suggest keeping both arms free for vacuuming by mounting a detachable vacuum cleaner on your back or shoulder.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s discuss the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions on vacuuming stairs.

How frequently should you vacuum your staircase?

Cordless models are perfect for staircases. Nevertheless, you can use a regular vacuum with the hose extension. Ensure you position the unit at the bottom rather than the top of the stairs for safety purposes. Remember to vacuum each step twice or thrice for a thorough cleaning.

What attachment is best suited for vacuuming stairs?

You’ll require a crevice tool and a brush attachment to get the job done. For optimum results, we recommend investing in a mini motorized brush attachment. It’s a unique component that’s a snug fit on the attachment hose and makes vacuuming stairs a breeze.

How do you deep clean your staircase without a vacuum cleaner?

If you don’t have a vacuum or carpet shampoo, you can get your carpeted staircase spick and span with white vinegar. Add ¼ cup to warm water and use a scrub brush to remove the grime and stubborn stains. Dip the brush in the cleaning solution and scrub each step.

How do you vacuum stairs without straining or injuring your back?

To maintain comfort during the vacuuming process, stand upright with your chest slightly pushed out and use your legs instead of your back to thrust back and forth. Keep the weight of the vacuum close. Reach the shortest possible distance when collecting objects from the floor.

Is a canister vacuum great for stairs?

Although canister and upright vacuum cleaners provide impressive suction power, they don’t score highly in usability and portability when it comes to cleaning staircases. Contrarily, the handheld and cordless stick counterparts are lighter, easier to use, and more portable. Furthermore, they are best suited for spillages and pet accidents.

Are cordless vacuum cleaners ideal for stairs?

Yes! Cordless vacuums deliver enhanced flexibility when it comes to accessing the hard-to-reach areas of your staircase. If you opt for a corded vacuum cleaner, ensure it is long enough to get to the top of your staircase.

Bottom Line

Cleaning stairs can be a hazardous task if not done correctly. Nonetheless, it’s a high-trafficked area of your home and we know many of you opt to do it frequently. The good news is that you don’t have to dread vacuuming your stairs — with the ideal approach and tools, you’ll have spotless-looking stairs in no time.

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