How To Keep Carpeted Stairs Clean? [Tips and Advice]

If you have carpeted stairs in your home, you know that they can add a touch of elegance and comfort. However, they also require special attention when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. In this …

how to keep carpeted stairs clean

If you have carpeted stairs in your home, you know that they can add a touch of elegance and comfort. However, they also require special attention when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. In this blog post, we’ll explore some practical tips and advice on how to keep your carpeted stairs looking pristine and inviting for years to come.

How Often Do You Have to Clean Carpet on Stairs?

Cleaning your carpeted stairs regularly is essential to maintain their beauty and hygiene.

The frequency of cleaning depends on factors such as foot traffic, household members, and pets. As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to vacuum your carpeted stairs at least once a week to remove dirt, dust, and debris.

Pro Tip: Consider investing in a high-quality vacuum cleaner with a narrow nozzle attachment to effectively clean the nooks and crannies of your stairs.

Can You Put a Runner on Carpeted Stairs?

Adding a runner to your carpeted stairs enhances their visual appeal and also provides an additional layer of protection for the carpet on the stairs.

A runner is a long, narrow rug that covers the middle part of the staircase, leaving the edges exposed. This way, you can showcase your beautiful carpet while preventing excessive wear and tear.

But keep in mind that in general it’s not advised to put a runner on carpeted stairs because of safety reasons. Unless you fasten the runner really securely.

Pro Tip: Opt for a runner that complements your interior decor and is made from durable materials to withstand heavy use.

What Can You Put on Carpeted Stairs to Protect the Carpet?

To protect your carpeted stairs from potential damage, there are several options to consider.

Here are some practical solutions:

  1. Stair Treads: Stair treads are protective mats designed to cover the entire step, providing a shield against scuffs and stains. They come in various materials like rubber, vinyl, and carpet, and you can choose the one that suits your needs best.
  2. Clear Carpet Protector Film: This adhesive film is perfect for safeguarding your carpeted stairs during high-traffic events or home renovations. It adheres securely to the carpet, keeping it safe from spills, dirt, and construction debris.
  3. Carpet Sealant: Applying a carpet sealant can create a protective barrier on the carpet fibers, making it easier to clean spills and preventing stains from setting in.

What Is the Best Way to Protect Carpeted Stairs?

The best way to protect your carpeted stairs depends on your specific requirements and lifestyle.

If you have children and pets, you might want to use a combination of stair treads and a runner to provide maximum protection. On the other hand, if you frequently host gatherings or undertake home improvement projects, investing in clear carpet protector film can be a game-changer.

Pro Tip: Establish a “shoes off” policy in your home to reduce the amount of dirt and debris that gets tracked onto the stairs.

How to Protect Carpet Stairs During Construction

Home renovations can be exciting, but they often come with a fair share of mess and chaos. When you have carpeted stairs, it’s crucial to take extra precautions during construction to preserve the carpet’s integrity. Here’s how:

  1. Cover the Stairs: Use heavy-duty drop cloths or old blankets to cover the entire staircase and secure them in place. This will shield the carpet from dust, paint, and other construction debris.
  2. Clear Pathways: Create clear pathways from the entry point to the construction area to minimize foot traffic on the stairs. Designate alternative routes or set up temporary barriers if needed.
  3. Set Rules: Communicate with contractors and family members about the importance of keeping the stairs protected during the construction process. Enforce rules to ensure everyone adheres to the precautions.

How to protect carpeted stairs from wear and dirt during construction

Plastic Carpet Protector for Stairs

Plastic carpet protectors are an excellent option for safeguarding your carpeted stairs from daily wear and tear.

They come in the form of adhesive films or rigid plastic mats that fit the shape of each step. These protectors are transparent, allowing your carpet’s design to shine through while providing reliable protection against spills and stains.

Pro Tip: When using adhesive plastic carpet protectors, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid leaving sticky residue on your carpet.

Clear Carpet Protector Film

Clear Carpet Protector Film
Plastic carpet protector for stairs

How to Clean Stair Carpet Edges

Cleaning stair carpet edges can be a bit challenging, but with the right tools and techniques, you can achieve great results.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Gather Your Tools: You’ll need a small brush or an old toothbrush, a vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool, and a mild carpet cleaner.
  2. Vacuum the Edges: Use the crevice tool of your vacuum cleaner to remove loose dirt and debris from the edges of each step.
  3. Brush Gently: Take the small brush or toothbrush and gently scrub the edges to dislodge any embedded dirt or stains.
  4. Clean with Carpet Cleaner: Apply a small amount of mild carpet cleaner on a clean cloth and blot any stubborn stains on the carpet edges.
  5. Dry Thoroughly: Allow the edges to air dry completely before walking on them again.

How to clean edges on a carpet

How to Keep Carpeted Stairs Clean – Reddit Advice

Reddit users often share valuable insights and experiences. When it comes to keeping carpeted stairs clean, some popular Reddit advice includes:

Main Point
Vacuum the stairs thoroughly and use carpet shampoo with a brush for gentle scrubbing.
Use a carpet cleaning machine with an upholstery/stairs attachment for effective cleaning.
The Dyson V11 Animal vacuum is highly recommended for cleaning carpeted stairs.
Use a stick vac or a handheld vacuum with attachments to clean the stairs, including the crevice tool and brush.
Use a Shop Vac and Green Bissell carpet cleaner for regular cleaning of high-traffic stairs.
Use the hose and hand tools on a standard upright vacuum for detailed cleaning, including the crevice tool.
Utilize carpet cleaning powders with baking soda, work them into the fibers, and use Scotchgard Rug and Carpet protector.
Recommend Bissell Little Green wet vac for effective cleaning of carpeted stairs.
Use the hose with brush attachment on a vacuum for better suction on stairs.
If your vacuum has a motorized upholstery head, use it for efficient cleaning of carpeted stairs.
Develop a no shoe policy, use mats at entryways, have professional cleaning with carpet protector, and vacuum regularly.
Staple a runner to the carpet to maintain cleanliness until hardwood replacement.
Carpet rake can help with high pile carpet, but it may flatten quickly with foot traffic.
Hoover from the back over the curve of the step with the flat attachment for carpet cleaning.

Products mentioned in the recommendations:

Scotchgard rug and carpet protector

  • Use Baking Soda: Sprinkle baking soda on your carpeted stairs before vacuuming to help eliminate odors and refresh the fibers.
  • Spot Clean Spills Immediately: Address spills and stains promptly to prevent them from setting into the carpet.
  • Invest in a Carpet Cleaner: Consider renting or purchasing a carpet cleaner for a deep clean at least once a year.
  • Regularly Rotate Rugs and Runners: If you have rugs or runners on your carpeted stairs, rotate them periodically to distribute wear evenly.

Preventing Stains and Spills on Carpeted Stairs

Prevention is always better than cure, especially when it comes to maintaining the cleanliness of your carpeted stairs. Here are some practical tips to avoid spills and stains in the first place:

  1. Shoe Storage: Designate a shoe storage area near the foot of the stairs. Encourage family members and guests to remove their shoes before ascending, reducing the chances of bringing in dirt and grime from outside.
  2. Use Non-Slip Stair Treads: Non-slip stair treads not only add traction to your stairs but also provide an additional layer of protection against spills. The textured surface can help prevent accidental slips, and many non-slip treads are also water-resistant.
  3. Establish “Eating Zones”: If you have young children who enjoy snacks throughout the house, create designated “eating zones” away from the stairs to minimize the risk of spills.
  4. Practice Good Food and Drink Habits: Encourage family members and guests to consume food and drinks in communal areas like the kitchen or dining room, rather than on the stairs.

Dealing with Pet Hair on Carpeted Stairs

If you have furry friends in your home, you’re likely no stranger to the challenges of dealing with pet hair. Here’s how you can effectively manage pet hair on your carpeted stairs:

  1. Regular Grooming: Brush and groom your pets regularly to reduce shedding. Regular grooming sessions can significantly minimize the amount of pet hair that ends up on your stairs.
  2. Use Lint Rollers or Tape: Keep lint rollers or adhesive tape handy to quickly remove pet hair from the carpeted stairs. Simply run the roller or tape over the surface to pick up the loose hair.
  3. Vacuum with Pet Hair Attachments: Invest in a vacuum cleaner with specialized pet hair attachments. These attachments are designed to pick up pet hair effectively from various surfaces, including carpets and upholstery.
  4. Carpet Rakes: Consider using a carpet rake to lift and remove embedded pet hair from the carpet fibers. Carpet rakes work wonders in restoring the carpet’s appearance and removing trapped fur.

Lint roller for carpets

Cleaning Carpeted Stairs Naturally

For those who prefer natural and eco-friendly cleaning solutions, several options are readily available. Here are some effective DIY methods to clean your carpeted stairs naturally:

  1. Baking Soda and Essential Oils: Mix baking soda with a few drops of your favorite essential oil (such as lavender or tea tree) to create a fragrant and natural carpet deodorizer. Sprinkle the mixture on the carpet, let it sit for a few minutes, and then vacuum it up.
  2. Vinegar and Water Solution: Create a simple carpet cleaner by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the solution on the carpeted stairs, and blot any stains with a clean cloth.
  3. Lemon Juice and Salt: Combine lemon juice and salt to form a natural paste for stubborn stains. Apply the paste to the affected areas, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub gently with a brush before wiping clean.
  4. Cornstarch for Grease Stains: Sprinkle cornstarch on grease stains and let it sit for a few hours. The cornstarch will absorb the grease, making it easier to vacuum up.

Choosing the Right Carpet Cleaning Services

While regular DIY cleaning is essential, it’s also a good idea to schedule professional carpet cleaning services periodically. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a carpet cleaning service:

  1. Experience and Reputation: Look for a reputable company with years of experience in the industry. Read customer reviews and testimonials to get an idea of their quality of service.
  2. Certifications and Training: Check if the company’s technicians are certified and trained in professional carpet cleaning techniques. Certification ensures that they follow industry best practices.
  3. Cleaning Methods and Equipment: Inquire about the cleaning methods and equipment the company uses. The best companies use modern and efficient cleaning techniques that are safe for your carpets.
  4. Eco-Friendly Practices: If you prioritize eco-friendliness, look for companies that use environmentally friendly cleaning products and practices.
  5. Price and Transparency: Get quotes from multiple companies and compare their prices. Choose a company that provides transparent pricing without hidden fees.

Carpet Cleaning Stairs Cost

The cost of carpet cleaning for stairs can vary depending on factors such as the size of the staircase, the cleaning method used, and the service provider.

On average, professional carpet cleaning for stairs can range from $50 to $150. DIY carpet cleaning solutions are more budget-friendly, with costs limited to the price of cleaning products and equipment rental, if needed.

Best Carpet Cleaning Solution for Stairs

When it comes to choosing the best carpet cleaning solution for your stairs, it’s essential to consider the carpet material and any specific cleaning requirements.

Some popular carpet cleaning solutions that work well for most carpets include:

  • DIY Vinegar Solution: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water to create an effective and natural carpet cleaner.
  • Commercial Carpet Cleaners: Look for carpet cleaning products specifically designed for stairs (such as Scotchgard, etc.), as they often come with features that target dirt and stains in high-traffic areas.
  • Steam Cleaning: Renting or using a steam cleaner can deep clean your carpeted stairs and remove deeply embedded dirt and allergens.

Remember, always test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of your carpeted stairs before applying it to the entire surface.


Keeping your carpeted stairs clean and well-maintained not only prolongs their lifespan but also ensures a healthy and inviting living space for you and your family.

By following the tips and advice provided in this blog post, you can preserve the beauty of your carpeted stairs and enjoy their comfort for years to come.

Whether you choose to use protective measures, invest in cleaning solutions, or seek advice from Reddit, a little care goes a long way in keeping your carpeted stairs in top-notch condition. Happy stair cleaning!

About the Author

author pic

Helga is writing here all about carpets and rugs in our lives. She puts her own expertise of an ordinary human being, looks for challenges we all face in the world of carpets, does research, and puts the most valuable parts of information together to help homeowners and business owners maintain clean, fresh, and inviting spaces. We believe that a well-maintained carpet not only enhances the aesthetics of a room but also contributes to a healthier living or working environment.