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How to Clean Carpet on Stairs (By Hand or with Machine)?

This article rolls out a step-by-step guide on:

  • How to clean carpet on stairs by hand or with a machine?
  • How to remove stains from carpeted stairs?
  • How to make a homemade cleaning solution for cleaning?
  • Which items you will need?
  • How to fluff up your carpets using DIY hacks?

Key Takeaways

Cleaning the staircase runners is easier than cleaning the carpets installed on the stairs. Just remove the staircase runner, sprinkle baking soda, shower some vinegar on it, put it in the washing machine, and wash it using carpet shampoo. 

You can clean the fixed carpeted stairs by hand either by using carpet shampoo or by making your own homemade cleaning solution by mixing baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish liquid soap. 

Cleaning the stairs with a portable carpet cleaner machine is the easiest and less time-consuming method. Just pour some cleaning solution into the tank of the cleaning machine, and scrub the carpet using a brush attachment.

Stairs receive the most foot traffic in a multi-storey house and thus get dirty quickly. While carpets are safe to use on stairs and provide so many benefits, they are not easy to clean. 

Carpeted stairs require much more than just vacuuming and mopping. Along with regular maintenance, it also requires deep cleaning and stain removal as well. And the thicker the carpet the harder it is to clean. 

Carpet on stairs can be cleaned either manually or by using a portable cleaning machine.

How To Clean Carpet On Stairs?

There are different ways to clean the carpeted stairs depending on the type of fixing.

How To Clean The Staircase Runner?

how to clean staircase runner

To clean the staircase runner, follow this step-by-step guide:

  • Remove the staircase runner
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda and pour vinegar on it This will remove all the foul odor and help loosen up the dirt and debris
  • Now throw it into a washing machine
  • Put in some carpet shampoo and wash it

While the staircase runner is removed, you can easily clean the stairs manually by sweeping and mopping.

How To Clean Fixed Carpet On Stairs?

how to clean carpet on stairs

Cleaning stairs with wall-to-wall carpet installed on the floor is a different matter. It requires more work as the carpet cannot be removed. 

For this purpose, you can choose the following methods;

  1. Clean carpet on stairs by hand (without machine or vacuum) 
  2. Clean it with a homemade cleaning solution.
  3. Clean it with a carpet cleaner machine

How To Clean Carpet On Stairs By Hand?

If you don’t own a carpet cleaner machine or if it is broken, you can opt for cleaning it by hand. Manually cleaning the carpet on stairs is also preferred if the carpet is delicate or if it is not that dirty.

Things you will need

Follow this step-by-step guide for cleaning:

  • Take a hard bristle brush or a broom and sweep off all the loose dust and debris. If the carpet is thick and has high fibers, you will have to sweep a bit more vigorously to agitate the high pile and take out all the debris from the bottom
  • Cleaning by hand also requires you to clean the stains caused by liquid spills or mud
  • Take carpet shampoo and make a solution of it with warm water
  • Apply this solution to the stains
  • Work the shampoo into the carpet using a scrubber
  • If the stain is deep and old, you will have to leave the shampoo on the stain for at least an hour
  • Use a towel to soak the solution. If the stain is not gone, apply some more shampoo and let it sit on the stain for a longer time. 
  • Once the stain is gone, let the carpet dry before allowing any foot traffic.

How To Clean Carpet On Stairs With Homemade Cleaning Solution?

If you don’t have cleaning shampoo, you can easily make your own carpet cleaning solution at home with household items that can easily be found in every house.

Things you will need

Follow these steps to make a homemade cleaning solution and hand wash carpeted stairs. 

  • Add an equal amount of hydrogen peroxide, dish liquid soap, and baking soda into a bowl. Mix it well until it becomes a paste
  • Apply this paste to the carpet. Filling this solution into a soap dispenser will make it easier to apply
  • Rub it vigorously into the pile using a scrubber
  • Leave it for at least one hour
  • Take a microfiber cloth and soak the liquid out of the surface
  • If the stains are not gone completely, repeat the process
  • Let the carpet dry before allowing any foot traffic

How To Clean Carpet On Stairs With A Cleaning Machine?

If you don’t want to put in the extra effort of scrubbing and scouring or the carpet on your stairs is extremely dirty, it is a better idea and an easier way to clean it using the best carpet cleaner

The level of ease of cleaning the stairs depends on the type of cleaning machine you select. While the traditional upright deep cleaners are the best machines to deep clean the carpets on your floors, you cannot pick up a 30 pounds machine and move it on every step of your stairs.

To properly clean the carpet on your stairs, you will need the best portable carpet cleaner. One that provides the much-needed flexibility, and movability along with deep cleaning ability. 

A carpet cleaner has two separate tanks. One for cleaning solution and the other one for collecting dirty water. This ensures that you always clean your surface with clean water. 

Follow this step-by-step guide to clean the stairs with the machine:

  • Install the hose attachment
  • Vacuum off all the loose dust and debris from the stairs starting from top to bottom
  • Fill the tank of the machine with the solution
  • Using the bristle brush attachment attached to the hose, apply the cleaning solution by vigorously agitating the carpet
  • Start from the top of the stairs and work your way toward the bottom
  • Make sure that the cleaning solution reaches deep into the carpet for effective stain removal
  • Leave the carpet after applying the cleaning solution for at least one hour. You might have to leave it for the whole night if it is extremely dirty
  • Now, vacuum the liquid using the cleaning machine and let it dry.

How To Remove Stains From Carpeted Stairs?

If you want to treat a specific stain, you can buy a spot-cleaning machine that has a motorized brush. This saves you from putting extra effort into scrubbing the stain.

You just need to place the spot cleaning machine on the stained area and the motorized brush will agitate the stain and automatically apply the cleaning solution from the water tank. It keeps vacuuming the dirty water and stores it in a separate dirty water tank. 

Once the stain is gone, remove the machine and let the area dry completely.

How To Fluff Up The Carpets?

The carpet pile becomes dead and flat after some time. On the stairs, the pile will become flat from the middle of the steps which receives more footsteps and will be a bit more fluffy from the side corners. This makes it look very odd. So, how to lift the pile and make the carpet fluffy again, especially on the stairs? 

The process of making the carpet pile fluffy again is the same as fluffing up your hair. Follow these steps:

  • Pour some hot water on the carpet
  • Take a hair dryer
  • Blow the wet carpet back and forth while combing and gently agitating the pile either with your fingers or a comb.
  • Repeat the process if the carpet is not completely fluffed up on the first attempt
  • Make sure to dry the carpet before allowing any foot traffic on it

How Often Should You Clean The Stair Carpet?

Carpets absorb dust and debris. This debris embeds deep into the fibers. So, no matter how clean it looks, it is always dirtier. And if the area receives heavy foot traffic, you should think twice before skipping a cleaning. Heavy traffic carpeted stairs must be cleaned at least once a week. 

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