How to clean dirty wood stairs?
A wood staircase floor provides your home a classic, elegant appeal, but you’ll need to maintain it over time to keep it at its best. Fortunately, once you know what to do, cleaning and maintaining your wood stairs is simple. Here’s a quick rundown of how to do it correctly.
Choose a Finish for Your Wood
The first step is to identify the sort of wood finish you’re working with, as each has its own set of care requirements. The easiest to clean is surface-sealed wood, which only requires a short sweep and mop. The most prevalent sort of wood floor sealant is this one.
The finish is created by penetrating sealants that soak into the wood and harden. You’ll need to wax these types of steps in addition to sweeping and mopping. Wax is also required for unfinished wood.
Wipe your finger across the surface of your wooden staircase to determine the type of finish. If you observe a smudge where you touched the wood, your floor is either unfinished or has a penetrating seal. Your floors are surface-sealed if there is no smear. If you’re still uncertain, check with your home’s builder.
Remove a clingy handrail
The oils from your hands accumulate on wooden handrails over time, creating a dirty, sticky mess. There will be no need to scrub or apply possibly dangerous chemicals. To break down the sticky grime, gently wipe it down with a baby wipe first. Any leftover oil-based residue can be safely removed from the wood using a vinegar and water solution.
Vacuuming carpeted stairs is necessary on a regular basis. In general, a short run through with your vacuum keeps them in good shape. However, you’re missing out on a lot of dirt if you don’t use specific equipment every now and then. All of the corners, crevices, and edges are crammed with debris that your vacuum can’t reach.
Keep your wood safe
Moisture is the number one enemy of wood stairs. Standing water on the treads will corrode them. If your steps require more thorough cleaning than sweeping alone can offer, use a moist towel and dry as you go. To protect against humidity and wear, apply a firm vegetable wax like Brazilian palm wax.
- Stiff brush or broom
- Vacuum cleaner (if you carpeted half of the treads)
- Wood cleaner
Cleaner for vacuums (if you carpeted half of the treads)
Step 1: Clear the Steps of All Clutter
Before cleaning the steps, remove anything that belongs on them, such as children’s or pet toys. Also, make sure to take down any purses, backpacks, or jackets that may be hanging from the banister.
Sweep the Steps in Step 2
After clearing the steps, take your broom and sweep each step using vertical strokes, starting at the top of the staircase. It’s preferable to sweep this way so that the dust and debris can be swept down to the next stage. Make sure to sweep the steps from the side to avoid getting debris on your legs.
Vacuum the Steps in Step 2 (If You Have Carpet Treads)
If your stairs have carpet treads in the middle, use the extended attachment on your vacuum to work your way down each step, starting at the top. If you have a handheld vacuum, vacuum from the left to the right of each tread as you go down each step.
Step 3: Clean the carpet with a carpet cleaner (Optional)
If you’re going to clean the carpets by hand, start at the top of the stairs and work your way down until you reach the bottom. It’s advised not to use too much solution while hand-cleaning carpet treads because it will take longer to dry.
Work your way from the left to the right of each thread with your brush, paying special attention to the middle of the tread (which is usually the most soiled). Also, if there are any spots that need to be cleaned, do so before applying the carpet cleaner so that it has time to dry.
If you’re using a portable carpet cleaner, begin at the top of the stairs and work your way down, starting on the left side of each step and working your way to the right.
Step 4: Let the carpet air dry.
Hand-washing the carpet treads can take some time to dry (anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour). If you’re cleaning the stairs using a portable carpet cleaner, you can wait about 15-20 minutes before moving on to the following phase.
Step 5: Wipe Down the Stairs
Fill a bucket halfway with warm water and your wood cleaning solution. Don’t use too much water on the steps, and after dipping the mop in the bucket, ring it out well. This is particularly important since too much water on your steps can cause them to swell. You can, however, omit this step if your steps do not necessitate mopping.
Step 6: Make the Steps Shine
Using a microfiber-covered mop terry cloth fabric to wipe off each step is the finest technique to apply wood polish (starting from the top of the staircase). Only use as much polish (and only as necessary) as the instructions suggest.
- When cleaning wood stairs, avoid using abrasive scrubbing pads, steel wool, or buffing pads.
- When cleaning your steps, avoid using chemicals like acetone, turpentine, or alcohol.
- Use the appropriate polish for the type of finish on your steps (you don’t want to have to refinish them).
How Often Should Wood Stairs Be Cleaned?
Steps that are swept and vacuumed on a regular basis will last longer and limit the likelihood of allergen-causing dirt spreading.
Cleaning a wooden staircase is different from cleaning other surfaces in the house. Wooden stairs, when properly maintained, can enhance a home’s distinct charm.