How To Clean Stair Carpets (Vaccum, Steam, Shampoo, or By Hand!)

You know how good it feels to walk on a clean carpet. It’s the same feeling you get when you walk into a house where the floors have been mopped and cleaned. But what if your stairs are carpeted? Worse, what if they’re carpeted but dirty? If you’re a homeowner or renter with carpeted stairs that need cleaning, we’ve got some tips for you!

The Fastest Way To Clean Carpeted Stairs

There is a lot of cleaning that needs to be done in order to keep your carpets looking fresh and new. However, there are some areas of the house that need special attention when it comes time for a deep cleaning session. 

One of those areas is stair carpets. Stair carpets can get dirty in the same way as other carpeting does but they also have their own unique set of problems that need to be taken care of before they become too big an issue. Here’s how to clean your stair carpets with a variety of tools and methods. I’ll even explain how to clean stair carpets by hand!


Vacuum your stairs

You should vacuum your stairs first in order to remove any dirt, dust, and hair that may be embedded in the carpet. This will ensure that when you clean it later on there are no particles left behind which could damage your carpet or leave stains. 

Vacuuming also helps to prevent trip-ups and falls by removing any large debris or objects which may cause someone to stumble over them.

Use a vacuum with a brush attachment for best results. The attachment is also useful for getting into tight spaces where dust tends to collect more easily as they are out of reach from regular vacuums.

Chose Your Carpet Cleaning Solution

You have many options here from carpet cleaners sold in stores or your own DIY solution. If you would like to make your own, mix equal parts of dish detergent and white vinegar in a spray bottle.

Spray your cleaning solution on the stairs. Leave the cleaning solution to sit for ten minutes. This allows the cleaning solution to work and loosen up any dirt or stains on your carpet. 

Here are some of the best carpet cleaning solutions suggestions, see if you have one of these on hand, or grab one to get started.

Carpet Miracle – Carpet Cleaner Shampoo Solution

Best for use in a shampoo or steam cleaner. This cleaner by Sunny and Honey may only be 32 ounces but it’s highly concentrated. It’s a biodegradable cleaner that’s powerful and nontoxic. It’s effective at cleaning dirt, food stains, spills, pet stains, and more.

Best for spraying and spot cleaning. Folex carpet cleaner is water-based but is powerful at removing pet accidents, grease, oil, ink, red wine, coffee, blood, rust, food, cosmetics, dirt, and grime. It is fragrance-free and safe to use around children and pets if used correctly!

Best foam for heavy traffic areas like stairs! The Febreeze Heavy Traffic foam can be used by hand with a sponge or brush or with appliances like vacuums. One can cleans up to 170 feet and it dries quickly with a fresh smell.

Cleaning Carpet Stairs With A Shampooer

For more stubborn dirt and stains, you may need to use a carpet shampooer. Carpet shampooers are available for rent at most grocery stores and home improvement stores.

Fill your carpet shampooer with water and shampoo according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Start at the top of your stairs and shampoo the carpet, working your way down. Allow the stairs to dry thoroughly before walking on them.

Cleaning Stair Carpets With A Steam Cleaner

Start by vacuuming the carpet thoroughly to remove any loose dirt or debris. Then fill the cleaner with hot water and cleaning solution according to the instructions provided with your machine. Turn on the steam cleaner and begin working in small sections of the stairs at a time, starting from the top. Move slowly across each section, allowing the steam to clean each area and remove stains and dirt. Repeat until each stair has been cleaned. Allow to dry.

The Best Way To Clean Stair Carpets By Hand

Don’t have a steam cleaner or don’t want to rent a carpet shampooer?

You can clean your carpeted stairs by hand by using dish detergent and white vinegar or your favorite spray or foam carpet cleaner along with some elbow grease.

  • Using a scrub brush, apply a generous amount of dish detergent to the carpet. The dish detergent will help break down grease and grime in your carpet fibers. If you are using a spray or foam carpet cleaner instead, spray the cleaner on your stairs.
  • Pour 1 cup of white vinegar over the soap or cleanser. The acidity in the vinegar will help dissolve any remaining caked on dirt or stains that were not removed during Step 1.
  • Work the combination into the carpet using a scrub brush (or other stiff bristle tool) until most of it is gone, then rinse with warm water and blot dry with paper towels or clean cloths until no excess moisture remains
  • Repeat steps 1-3 until the stairs are clean.

Cleaning Your Carpet Stairs If You Have Pets

If you have a pet, you know that they can make quite a mess. And one of the places they tend to make a mess is on the stairs. Whether it’s tracking in dirt and mud from outside or shedding fur all over the place, pets can make it difficult to keep your stairs clean. They could also have potty accidents on the stairs or even throw up.

One of the best ways to clean stair carpets if you have pets is to use an enzyme cleaner. Enzyme cleaners are designed to break down pet messes and remove the stains and odors that come along with them. You can find enzyme cleaners at most pet stores or online.

To use an enzyme cleaner on your stair carpets, start by vacuuming up any loose dirt and fur. Then, spray the cleaner on the stairs and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. After that, use a brush to scrub the stairs clean. Let the area or stair(s) dry.

Is it better to shampoo or steam your carpet?

The truth is that both methods have advantages and disadvantages associated with them. Shampooing carpets produces a deep clean by breaking down dirt and oils in the fabric, leaving it looking clean and fresh. Shampooing your carpet stairs does remove odors effectively. 

However, this process requires more effort than steaming because you need to scrub the solution into the carpet as opposed to letting the steam do all the work. You also need to be mindful of oversaturating the carpet and be sure that it fully dries. This will prevent mold and mildew growth.

On the other hand, steam cleaning uses hot water to lift dirt and debris from the carpet fibers, leaving them clean and refreshed. It is a relatively low chemical method if you prefer that. Steam cleaning leaves your carpet feeling fresh and soft. Steam cleaning your stair carpets can be good if you are worried about shampooing certain fabrics.

For most everyday messes, steam cleaning is the best approach as it can sanitize carpets without leaving them wet for long periods. If you have more stubborn stains, shampooing may be a better choice as it can penetrate deeper into the fibers.

Can you walk on the stairs after cleaning them?

You can walk on the stairs after cleaning them, but it’s a good idea to let them dry for at least 24 hours. If you need to use the stairs before then, use a towel or another cloth to dry your feet before walking. Remove your shoes before walking on the freshly cleaned stairs and this will help your stairs stay clean for longer!

 Keeping The Carpet on Your Stairs Clean and Fresh

Now that you’ve gotten a handle on cleaning them, you might be wondering how to keep your stair carpet clean.  Here are a few tips to help you keep your stair carpets clean and looking their best:

– Vacuum regularly. This will help to remove dirt and dust from the carpet fibers.

– Spot clean spills and stains as soon as they happen. This will help to prevent them from becoming permanent.

– Have your carpets professionally cleaned every 6-12 months. This will deep clean the carpets and remove any built-up dirt and grime.

-After cleaning use Scotchguard to help protect your stair carpet. This spray can only be used on certain types of carpets such as polyester, polyolefin, polypropylene, acrylic, nylon, and colored wool carpets. You can reapply after a deep cleaning, professional cleaning, or every 6 months. Since stair carpets are a high-traffic area, this may need to be applied more frequently. 

Stair carpets can be a challenge to clean, but with the right tools and techniques, it is possible to get them looking like new again. This article provided some tips on how to deep clean stair carpets. For more information on keeping your home clean and nice, be sure to check out our other articles on cleaning and organization!

Similar Posts