How to Clean Carpet On Stairs With or Without a Machine?

No doubt, the carpet on the stairs is a decorative component in your home. It gives a comfortable feel and a warm look. In fact, it enhances the whole look until they are clean. When they become dirty, the home look gets dull and it is a case of embarrassment. 

Stairs are the most often used area in a home. When they endure lots of foot traffic, they quickly get dirty. Moreover, it needs regular maintenance to preserve its shininess. But how to clean carpet on stairs? This article will assist you to find out the best way to clean the carpet on the stairs. 

We have discussed two methods: with a machine or without a machine. At first, you get to know the cleaning method using a machine. 

How to clean carpet on stairs using a machine?

When you are using a machine to clean the carpet, you can quickly get the job done. In this method, you need to use a vacuum cleaner and prefer a lightweight carpet cleaner rather than a heavy one. It allows for cleaning the carpet conveniently. 

Things you will need

  • A brush
  • Vacuum 
  • Carpet cleaning solution 
  • Carpet cleaner machine

Step by step instructions

Step 1: Clean the large objects

Before using the vacuum machine, clean the large particle-like toys, paper, hair, or other things that can be stuck with the machine. Or you can use a stiff brush to wipe out these excessive particles. 

Step 2: Use a vacuum 

Before using the vacuum, ensure ample cord slack so that you can move it from the top to the downstairs. Now attach the brush extension on the hose and start to clean the dust from the top of the stairs. Always manipulate the brush from left to right so that the vacuum cleaner can gather all the dust and debris that bury in the carpet fabric. 

Step 3: Use the carpet cleaner machine 

Next, pour the cleaning solution into the carpet cleaning machine. Now clean each stair thoroughly using a back-and-forth motion. Clean each stair two times to get effective results. 

Step 4: Air dry

When you cleaned up the carpet, let it dry completely before allowing traffic. It will probably take 30 to 40 minutes.

Recommended post: How to clean stairs carpet cleaner

How to clean carpet on stairs without a machine?

Many think it is tough to clean the stair carpet without a machine. Though you need more time, you can clean the carpet efficiently. There are some simple ways to clean the carpet manually.

Clean carpet with vinegar

Vinegar is a natural acid and you can see the wide usage of vinegar for cleaning purposes. It is an old school method in a cost-effective way

Things you will need

  • 3/4-cup white vinegar
  • Salt
  • Essential Oil
  • Stiff brush 
  • Scrub brush
  • A bucket
  • Warm water
  • Dry towel

Step by step instructions 

Step 1: Prepare the solution 

Take a bucket and mix 1/4-cup of white vinegar with one gallon of warm water. Always use warm water as it helps to get off the dirt and debris away from the carpet. For stubborn stains on the carpet, make a blend using vinegar, salt, essential oils, and warm water. 

Step 2: Bush the area 

Dust away the excess particles so that they will be easier to clean with the cleaning solution. 

Step 3: Apply the cleaning solution 

Rinse the scrub brush into the vinegar mixed water and then clean each step. While applying the solution use vertical, circular and horizontal strokes so that the fibers get cleaned easily. Remember one thing, take an ample amount of solution in the scrub so that the fibers can’t soak in the water. Otherwise, it will take a longer time to dry and can get mold. 

Step 4: Villager solution for stubborn stains

If the carpet has got stubborn stains, you can use the vinegar, salt, and oil mixture to get off the stains. Pour into a spray bottle and apply directly on the spot. Then clean with a white towel. 

Step 5: Wipe down the steps

When you have finished cleaning the bottom steps, replace the bucket with cool, clean water. Rinse a clean towel into a bucket and squeeze well before wiping. Now wipe down the steps with the towel to get off the vinegar.

Step 6: Air dry

Leave the stairs overnight to dry the carpet on the stairs perfectly. 

How to clean carpet on stairs with baking soda

Baking soda is another inexpensive material to clean the carpet on stairs. It is a natural ingredient and also helpful to remove odors and difficult stains. It also helps to brighten the carpet. 


The cleaning steps are much similar to the cleaning process of vinegar. Here you need to make a baking soda solution and it is really straightforward. Take a ¼ cup of baking soda in a spray bottle and fill the rest with water. Now spray the solution onto the steps. Start with the top of the stairs. After spraying, leave it for 2 to 3 hours to set and it will remove odor and debris. 

Then clean the area with a vacuum cleaner, or you can use the clean water and cloth process. If there is a stain, then sprinkle baking soda on the spots directly and then set for 30-minute. Using a vacuum or cloth wipe put the areas. 

How to clean carpet with laundry detergent 

The regular laundry detergent can be used to clean the carpet on stairs. It effectively cleans the carpet as it has the cleaning power to get off the dirt from fibers. Here is an instruction to use the laundry detergent.


Make a mild detergent solution in a bucket. Fill the bucket with one gallon of warm water and pour 1/4-cup of liquid laundry detergent. Just pour the right amount of detergent because an excessive amount of it will end up with soapy steps. 

Now dip a scrub brush and remove the excess water. Now start at the top of the steps and use a circular motion to clean up the tough stains and hidden dirt from the carpet. 

Next, take a bucket of clean water and rinse a towel. Then wipe out the stairs to remove the detergent. You may repeat the rinsing process if you’re an excessive detergent. You won’t like stiffness after drying, right?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. When often should you clean the carpet on the stairs? 

The cleaning time depends on the first traffic on the stairs. Typically you need to clean the carpet every three months. But if you notice great activities on the stairs or visible dirt and stains on the carpet you need to clean it. 

2. What is the best homemade cleaning solution?

People use vinegar or baking soda solutions to clean the carpet and these are the best homemade solutions. So you can also use them for an effective outcome. But be careful with the portion of using these elements. Unreasonable amounts of these elements can make more mess. 

3. How to clean the carpeted stairs without a vacuum?

If you do not have a vacuum, then you can follow the cleaning methods with vinegar or laundry detergent. These cleaning solutions don’t need a vacuum in the procedure.

4. Is it OK to vacuum every day? 

Every day vacuuming cleans the dust and debris from the carpet. It helps to keep the carpeted stairs hygienic. But you should saturate with the cleaning solution to preserve the shininess and hygiene. 

Final words

In this article, we have discussed cleaning carpets on stairs using different cleaning solutions and tools. If you are running out of time, you need to choose the machine cleaner to tidy up the carpet on the stairs.  Or if you don’t have a machine you can use these old school methods to clean the carpet on the stairs. These DIY methods are also effective to clean the carpet.

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