How to Vacuum Stairs the Right Way (In 3 Easy Steps)

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how to vacuum stairs

Anyone that has stairs in their home knows that vacuuming stairs is challenging.

In addition to hauling the vacuum up the stairs as you go, there’s all the little nooks, crannies, and edges you must clean.

Fortunately, with a little know-how (and the right tools) you can vacuum stairs with ease.

Key Takeaways:

Start by using the attachments on your vacuum cleaner (such as a crevice tool and the brush attachment), cleaning the edges, the treads, and the risers. Do also look for a vacuum cleaner built with stair cleaning in mind.

Gather the Right Tools

It’s extremely difficult to vacuum stairs with a standard upright model of vacuum.

That’s why it’s so important to make efficient use of attachments. You’ll need at the very least a crevice tool (the long attachment with a thin, skinny end) and a brush attachment.

Even better is a mini motorized brush attachment. This special type of attachment fits on the end of the long stick on the attachment hose. It makes vacuuming stairs a cinch.

Start with the Edges

start vacuuming the edges

Now that you have the right tools, it’s time to start vacuuming all of the edges of the stairs.

Use the crevice tool for this step. Clean along the edges of each tread, taking care to get into the corners.

Vacuuming the edges first ensures that any debris that is knocked free will be sucked up during later steps of the process.

Move on to the Treads

Once the edges are vacuumed, move on to the treads. These are the parts of the stairs that you stand on.

Your best bet is to use the brush attachment or mini motorized brush. Both of these tools enable you to efficiently clean each tread without lugging the entire vacuum up the stairs with you.

It’s typically best to start from the top of the stairs and work down so that any debris that is knocked down the steps is eventually picked up by the vacuum.

Don’t Forget the Risers

The trickiest part of vacuuming stairs is cleaning the risers. These are the parts of the stairs between each tread.

The brush attachment does make cleaning the risers easier. You will have to twist the tool and your arms into the correct position to effectively vacuum the risers.

The easiest method is to alternate between treads and risers as you work your way down the entire staircase.

Buy the Right Vacuum

buy the right vacuum

It’s more than possible to effectively vacuum your stairs with just about any vacuum.

However, there are certain vacuum models that make it even easier to vacuum stairs. These are typically the highest quality models overall for cleaning the entire home.

The best vacuum for stairs is lightweight and easily maneuverable. They can be positioned exactly where you want them for the most precise cleaning action.

These models also come with numerous attachments, including a long reaching stick. The variety of available tools makes it simpler to clean just about any surface in your home.

Finally, the best vacuum for stairs is powerful. You likely can’t position the vacuum onto the stairs for the full brunt of cleaning power, so it’s better to have as much suction as possible.

Final Thoughts

Those that own a multi-level home already know how difficult it is to vacuum stairs.

But just a little extra knowledge of the best techniques makes the process that much easier. And that’s not to mention the benefits of buying a lightweight vacuum.

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Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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