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How To Clean Carpet On Stairs (By Hand Or With Machine)? A Step-By-Step Guide

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 to clean carpet on stairs?
  • Which items you will need?
  • How to fluff up your carpets using DIY hacks?

Key Takeaways

Cleaning staircase runner is easier than cleaning the carpets installed on the stairs. Just remove the staircase runner, sprinkle baking soda and 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 carpeted 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 carpet cleaning machine, and scrub the carpet using a brush attachment.

If you live in a multi-story house, stairs are one of those areas that receive the most foot traffic, thus they get dirty quickly. If you have wall-to-wall carpets in your house, this means your stairs are also carpeted. 

Carpeting the stairs is a widespread practice, especially in cold areas. Carpets not only provide warmth and insulate the floor but also reduce the noise echo. 

Carpeting your stairs is important if you have a slippery floor. It will prevent slipping. And even if someone slips, carpets, especially high pile thick carpets, provide a cushion that breaks the fall and not your bones. 

Just like any carpeted area in your house the carpet on stairs also gets dirty with the mud people or pets bring in from outside. And if your pet enjoys the stairs, as does mine, your carpet will get filled up with Pet hair as well. 

And if by chance you happen to hold a cup of coffee or a glass of wine while going upstairs or downstairs, the liquid spills become inevitable. 

While carpets are safe to use and provide so many benefits, they are not easy to clean. 

Cleaning a concrete floor or a vinyl plank floor is easier as compared to cleaning carpets on stairs. Cleaning hard floor stairs is as easy as just cleaning and mopping manually. 

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

So, the question is, how to clean carpet on stairs? Stair carpets can be cleaned either manually or by using a portable carpet cleaning machine.

How To Clean Carpet On Stairs?

Considering the amount of dust and debris the carpet on the stairs gets, it requires regular cleaning. 

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

How To Clean The Staircase Runner?

staircase runner

Cleaning stairs with a staircase runner is easier. Just remove the staircase runner and clean it with the help of a washing machine using carpet shampoo. 

  • 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 the staircase runner. 

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. 

To clean carpeted stairs, you can choose two methods;

  1. Clean carpet on stairs by hand (without machine or vacuum) 
  2. Clean carpet on stairs with homemade cleaning solution.
  3. Clean the carpet on stairs 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 the carpet on the stairs by hand. Manually cleaning the carpet on stairs is also preferred if the carpet is delicate or if the carpet is not that dirty.

Things you will need

Follow these steps for cleaning:

  • Take a hard bristle brush or a broom and sweep off all the loose dust and debris from the carpet. If the carpet is thick and has high pile, you will have to sweep a bit more vigorously to agitate the high pile and take out all the debris from the bottom. 
  • Cleaning the carpeted stairs 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 carpet 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 all these 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 carpet pile using a scrubber.
  • Leave it for at least one hour.
  • Take a microfiber cloth and soak the liquid out of the carpet. 
  • 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 Carpet Cleaning Machine?

If you don’t want to put in the extra effort of scrubbing and scouring the carpet or the carpet on your stairs is extremely dirty, it is a better idea and the easiest way to clean carpeted stairs is to use a portable carpet cleaning machine. 

The level of ease of cleaning carpeted stairs depends on the type of carpet cleaning machine you select. While the traditional upright carpet 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 your carpet never tastes dirty water. 

Once you have selected the best carpet cleaning machine for the stairs, it’s time to start cleaning the stairs.

  • 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 carpet cleaning machine with the cleaning 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 towards 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 the carpet is extremely dirty. 
  • Now, vacuum the liquid from the carpet using the carpet cleaner machine and let the carpet 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 agitating the carpet. 

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 spot cleaning machine and let the carpet dry completely.

How To Lift The Pile Of Carpets On Stairs?

The carpet pile becomes dead and flat after some time. On the stairs, the carpet pile will become flat from the middle of the step which receives more footsteps and will be a bit more fluffy from the side corners. This makes the carpet on stairs 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.

How Often Should You Clean The Stair Carpet?

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