Best Way To Clean Carpet On Stairs

Below we share our tips for the best way to clean carpet on stairs including removing stubborn stains, dirt and debris.
Vacuuming stairsThe stairs in a hope are one of the most traveled on places in the home, as it is typically the only way to get from the first to second level of the one. This can cause some dirt or stains or even matting to happen on the stairs carpet.

This can become an even more prevalent problem if people wear their shoes or dirty socks up and down the stair on a regular basis.

Do not fear though, there are a bunch of different way to get that carpet looking fresh and clean again, no matter what may have gotten into it! Some of the best ways are described below.


For smaller, newer problems beginning with a standard vacuum is a great place to start. This can seem like a struggle since the regular vacuum may not be the right size for a small staircase.

Utilizing the pull out accessories, or special stiff brush for stairs accessories will be your saving grace. Use the stiff brush accessory to remove ground in dirt and debris. Then hit the area with the regular vacuum.

An issue you may run into is that these accessories are not long enough to reach the top of the staircase. In this case you may need a portable vacuum.

A cordless vacuum can take the hassle out of having to find an outlet near the stairs that will reach all the way from top to bottom.

Additionally, using a handheld vacuum can also be useful, as they tend to be smaller and can be done in one quick go up the stairs. These types of vacuums often need to be emptied more frequently, especially if you have not vacuumed your stairs in a while.

Tip: Always Start Vacuuming at the Top of the Stairs

Now, simply grab the vacuum and begin at the top of the stairs and work your way down, hopefully meeting yourself in the middle. If this still is not working for your staircase there are still more options.

Carpet Shampooing

So the vacuuming is done and it is still not as clean as you would like it? The next step you should take, especially if you have any old dirt or stains that are deep into the carpet, is to shampoo the carpet.

There are once again multiple ways this can be done. One way to shampoo the carpet is to do it by hand, getting out the bucket, soap and a scrubber.

While this sounds like the more difficult solution to the problem, it can often be the better choice, and ultimately less frustrating.

Once you have the materials mentioned, get scrubbing and the tough dirt and stains will start working its way out with your hard work.

The second option for shampooing many different types of carpet is to use a machine. A carpet shampooer is going to look an awful lot like a standard vacuum, except it is going to have a few added components.

The shampooer is going to be larger because of these added functions. This often makes it difficult, if not unsuitable for shampooing the carpet on the stairs. This is not to say it is impossible, it could just take a great deal of strength, balance and patience.

Start by adding the water and the soap to the shampooer and work your way up the stairs, making sure to take your time.

When doing either of these methods it will do you well to remember that you want the shampooing to follow you so you are not splashing around in the clean wet carpet. This means that you should work from the top to the bottom of the stairs in most cases.

Following the initial shampooing of the carpet, the carpet is going to need to be dried out a bit, otherwise it could take days to dry by itself.

The machine method often sucks a lot of the water back into the machine with it, but could still leave some behind. The hand scrubbing method leaves as much water as you put on it, so would definitely need to be dried by hand as well.

This is when you can pull out the wet/dry vacuum to suck up any access water, or get some towels to pull out as much of the water as you can. In this case the machine is probably going to be the better option. Getting a handheld wet/dry vacuum will be a lifesaver.

Carpet Cleaner & Scrubber Brush

For really stubborn stains you may want to try spraying the affected area with a carpet care product such as Vanish Clean & Fresh or Carpet Miracle.

Starting from the top stair, spray the product in the middle of the stairs or where the most dirt has accumulated.

Then with a plastic hand scrubber brush one can scrub each stair thoroughly to work the dirt and grime from the carpet. Then vacuum each stair with a regular vacuum or a portable hand vac. Afterwards you can use a micro fiber cloth to wipe down the stairs handrails and ballusters.

How to Clean Your Stairs Carpet Fast

Long story short, the best way to clean a set of carpeted stairs is to first use a handheld vacuum followed by a hand scrub and a handheld wet/dry vacuum to finish it off! This will give you a deep clean with the least amount of frustration!

For more related content visit our page on how to clean a fabric sofa here.

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