Keeping your carpeted stairs clean should be a priority to maintaining your home’s overall appearance. However, determining how to clean carpet on stairs is challenging for many homeowners, especially when stubborn dirt and tough stains seem impossible to remove.
Cleaning the carpet on your stairs is essential for many reasons, from improving your home’s hygiene to maintaining its aesthetic appearance and increasing your carpet’s longevity. However, many difficulties arise during the carpet cleaning process – beyond tough stains, you might struggle with steps like cleaning the edges of your carpet or determining which cleaning method is best for a deep clean.
This article will help you by providing the top tips to clean carpeted stairs and ensure a thorough cleaning. From cleaning by hand using homemade solutions to commercial cleaning products or a rented carpet cleaning machine, you’ll find everything you need to keep your carpets clean here. Let’s dive in!
Before starting the cleaning process, you must gather everything to ensure a thorough cleaning. Carpeted floors require special attention during the cleaning process, and you’ll need to have certain solutions on hand and a game plan in mind to ensure your cleaning journey is successful.
One option is to use a homemade cleaning solution to freshen up the carpet on stairs. One solution you can create combines white vinegar with water and baking soda to target stubborn stains and remove embedded dirt from the carpet. You can begin by adding equal parts water and white vinegar to a cleaning spray bottle, then adding a couple of tablespoons of baking soda for a more thorough cleaning.
However, homemade cleaning solutions aren’t always the best option, especially if your carpet is particularly dirty. You can also consider using specialised cleaning solutions to clean carpets. If you choose this, read the product label carefully and follow the recommended instructions. Test products on smaller areas before you use them to clean your entire carpet to see if they’re effective in achieving your cleaning goals – and always wear gloves when handling these solutions!
Achieving clean stairs also requires removing clutter blocking your cleaning path before the process begins. Ensure you hoover your carpet using a dry vacuum cleaner and consider investing in a handheld vacuum to remove dirt from hard-to-reach areas.
Before you begin cleaning, identify specific points of concern on your carpet, such as stains and any area that receives heavy foot traffic. This step is important because it helps you determine how the cleaning will be done, including what solutions you’ll need, the water temperature required, and whether any machinery, like a steam cleaner, is necessary to reach your objectives.
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Cleaning Methods to Clean Your Stairs
You can consider several deep cleaning methods to clean the carpet on your stairs. Depending on how long it’s been since your carpet had a deep clean, you might choose a specific method to remove all the dirt and debris present in your carpet. Below are a few methods you might consider to achieve clean stairs.
Steam Cleaning and Hot Water Extraction
The first and most effective method of cleaning your stair carpet is using a steam cleaner for hot water extraction. Steam cleaning uses pressurised hot water to penetrate carpet fibres, killing bacteria and viruses and helping loosen and remove all the dust and debris building up in your carpet.
When you use steam cleaners to clean your carpet, you not only help your carpet look fresh, but you also help extend the life of your carpet or carpet runner and unlock a solution to remove tough stains. The combination of high temperature and high pressure is the perfect recipe for deeply cleaning your floors, and this method is suitable for most carpet types, including synthetic and wool carpets.
If you’re cleaning a wool carpet using a steam cleaner, your best bet is to use cold water with a maximum heat of 30 degrees Celsius. To perform this method, you can rent a steam cleaner machine (such as Rug Doctor) – or hire professionals.
Another option for cleaning your carpets to remove dust and debris is a dry cleaning method, which uses specialised machines to achieve clean carpet stairs. This method is a low-moisture option to clean your staircase carpet while still achieving a deep clean. Dry cleaning uses compound cleaning agents, and a scrub brush to work cleaning solutions into the carpet and pretreat the carpet fibres. This treatment helps break down dirt, as the scrubbing brush loosens particles before the machine cleaning begins.
While this method uses some water, it doesn’t use excess water like steam cleaning. During the dry cleaning process, you or a professional will do the following:
- Use a lightweight vacuum to vacuum the carpet
- Pretreat tough stains
- Apply a chemical agent, like a powder, solvent, carpet shampoo, or detergent, using a soft brush
- Perform a final vacuuming using RBM machines to remove the chemical agents and water
Dry cleaning is the only suitable method for sisal, jute, and seagrass carpets. However, very few carpets are like this – meaning dry cleaning might not suit your carpet needs.
Another option for cleaning stairs is a DIY cleaning method. While this method might not be suitable for cleaning a high-traffic area, it can help remove dust and debris and can be useful if you’re regularly cleaning your carpets.
One DIY cleaning option is mixing one part white vinegar with three parts warm water. Dip the bristles in the mixture using a stiff brush and rub them into the carpet. Massage the mixture into the carpet fibres, but avoid overly saturating the carpet. Use a dry towel or clean cloth to get rid of excess moisture.
Steam Cleaning: Step-by-Step
Cleaning with a steam cleaning machine is the most effective way of cleaning a staircase carpet. It’s the best way to remove stains and debris like pet dander, making it perfect for practically any carpet. You can perform the steam cleaning process in the following steps:
Vacuum your carpet and pretreat any visible stains. This will lead to loosened dirt and is crucial to any regular cleaning routine. You can use a handheld carpet to access hard-to-reach areas and ensure your entire carpet is prepared for steam cleaning.
Fill the steam cleaning machine with hot water and your carpet cleaner. You can use a water and white vinegar mixture or a commercial cleaning solution – whatever suits your carpet type.
Perform the deep steam cleaning. Steam cleaner machines typically provide instructions on how to perform this process properly. Generally speaking, you begin in the corner of one room and use the machine’s trigger to release the solution slowly and backward. Repeat this motion over the same spot. The dirty water tank will begin filling up with brown water – continue cleaning the area until the water pulled from the carpet looks clean. Move to the next spot and continue until your carpet is clean, emptying the dirty water when the machine alerts you.
Begin the drying process. While you can let your carpets air dry, this option takes up to 24 hours. You can expedite the drying process by using a floor fan in the area until the carpet is completely dry.
Common Stains on Carpeted Stairs
Removing stains is one of homeowners’ main objectives when cleaning carpeted stairs. However, depending on the type of stain, you might use different cleaning methods for removal. Below are some of the most common stains and how to remove them:
While you probably know your carpet is a hub for pet hair, removing pet stains is a different battle. You can treat these stains using a steam cleaner – however, they’re also treatable using home remedies and store-bought products. If you choose one of the latter, pour the solution on the stain. Rub the area with a stiff-bristled brush and let it sit for 10 minutes. Use absorbent towels to dry the area, then perform a final vacuuming.
For coffee drinkers, you’re likely all too familiar with pesky coffee stains that seem impossible to remove from your carpet. While steam cleaning is also effective for removing these stains, you can use a DIY cleaning solution to get the job done.
Begin by blotting the coffee with a towel and removing as much as possible. Use a combination of 2 cups of warm water, ½ teaspoon of liquid dish soap, and ½ teaspoon of white vinegar. Using a clean cloth, begin cleaning the stain using your mixture. Blot the stain with a cloth until it’s removed, then sponge it with cold water and dry it with an absorbent towel.
Blood stains are some of the most difficult to remove, but with the proper cleaning method, you can get these stains out of your carpet in no time. To remove blood stains, you can use a hose and brush attachment on a cleaning machine or a scrubbing brush to break up the stain.
Combine a tablespoon of dishwasher detergent with two cups of cold water, then sponge the stain using a clean cloth. Blot the area until you’ve absorbed the liquid, and repeat the process until the stain disappears. Dry using a clean cloth.
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Why Choose a Professional Cleaning Service?
While you might be prepared for spot cleaning, thoroughly cleaning carpeted steps requires additional help. Professional cleaning services have many benefits that make them a viable option for cleaning your stairs.
Professional cleaning services provide a better chance of removing tough stains than a DIY solution or store-bought product. These services can also help you expedite drying, ensuring your room is properly heated and ventilated to promote faster drying times. This benefit saves you significant time and eliminates the need to perform laborious cleaning yourself.
Additionally, professional cleaning services have the equipment necessary to get your carpets as clean as possible, including equipment you might struggle to find access to. Rather than renting a machine with a hose attachment, you can hire a professional service. We’ll cover all the steps necessary to guarantee a thorough cleaning to apply carpet shampoo, scrub your floors using a stiff broom, and steam clean your carpet for the best results.