How to vacuum stairs


In most houses, stairs are a constant source of traffic. Shoes pounding up and down the staircases day after day can not only track dirt onto the rug-covered steps, but grind it in as well. Though few people like vacuuming stairs, a job well done can make stairwell maintenance a lot easier.

Vacuum Stairs With a Canister Vac

  • Locate an electrical outlet close to the stairwell, preferably somewhere at the top. It's okay to use an extension cord if your vacuum's cord won't reach from the outlet, but make sure the extension cord is heavy-duty extension and the outlet is grounded.

  • Attach the smallest nozzle to the canister hose. This attachment is usually straight with an angled tip to easily get into corners and crevices. Your vacuum may also have come with a special attachment specially for cleaning stairs. If so, attach that now. If not, you may be able to purchase it as a add-on attachment. Check with your vacuum cleaner's manufacturer to see what stores may carry it.

  • Begin at the top stair and clean the corners and edges. Wedge the nozzle into the corners and drag from the back edge of the corner to the front of the stair. Then, start in the corner and clean from corner to corner against the back edge of the stair.

  • Work your way down the stairs. When you get to the bottom of the stairs, remove the small nozzle and replace it with the regular beater-brush attachment.

  • Vacuum your way back up the stairs, first running the wide attachment across the width and length of each stair. Then turn the attachment so it is facing outward and vacuum the vertical panel between each stair. Continue this process until you are back at the top of the stairs.

Vacuum Stairs With an Upright Vac

  • Bring your upright vacuum cleaner to the top of the stairs and plug it in. If your machine has an adjustable setting, change it to "rug" and adjust for the carpet pile.

  • Attach the hose attachment (if the vacuum has one) and put the base of the vacuum on the second stair from the top. As you vacuum you will continue to place the upright on the stair directly beneath the one you are cleaning. It helps to keep both you and the vacuum more easily balanced.

  • Use the hose attachment and its smallest nozzle to vacuum the stairs as you would with a canister vac. If your machine doesn't have a hose attachment, then you will need to use the base to clean the stairs.

  • Place the base in the corner of the stair with the base facing away from you while you are standing on the stair below the one you're cleaning. Drag the base directly toward you, from the back of the stair to the front. Repeat this all along the length of each stair, making your way down to the bottom of the staircase.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pick up pieces of paper, leaves, string and other large debris that may have been tracked onto the stairway. Though your vacuum may be powerful enough to pick it up, the stairs are a precarious place to have to stop and unclog the vacuum hose.
  • <br>Though some people prefer to vacuum from bottom to top, beginning at the top ensures you will be cleaning up any debris that may fall down as you clean.

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