How To Vacuum Stairs Effectively And Effortlessly

Vacuuming seems like an easy task with the help of an efficient and high-quality vacuum cleaner. Stairs have a lot of corners and crannies. Also, stairs are the “high traffic” areas in your house where people use it a lot, making these among the dirtiest areas in your house. For two reasons above, it is undoubted to say that it is not easy and would be time-consuming to vacuum the stairs. Nevertheless, there are some tips and methods which can help you do the job much more easily. Follow these steps and tips on how to vacuum stairs below if you’re interested in vacuuming the stairs effectively and making it look clean.

Here are the steps on how To vacuum stairs

Before you vacuum the stairs, make sure you remove all of the large pieces of rubbish and paper lying on the stairs. This would help to prevent the vacuum cleaner from getting clogged. You should also consider dusting the stair spindles and handrail.

First, vacuum the edges and corners of the stairs. These are the areas where most of the dirt and debris settle in. You can easily do so by removing the large brush and using only the smaller nozzle. Some products come with special attachments for cleaning stairs as well- they are normally smaller than the usual nozzle with a sharp and pointy head.

Then reattach the large brush or nozzle and vacuum the stairs again. You should run the brush in both the horizontal and vertical lines so that you can cover the entire surface of each stair.

Don’t forget to vacuum the vertical areas of the stairs as well.

Let’s consider some of the most effective and useful types of vacuum cleaners to help you clean the stairs.

Canister vacuum cleaner

Pros: Most of the canister vacuum cleaners are compact and lightweight. This type of vacuum cleaners also has a powerful suction. Pick the one with a motor powered brush roll for cleaning the stairs easily. Canister vacuum cleaner is suitable for both carpeted and not carpeted floor.

Cons: The main problem with a canister vacuum cleaner, in general, is that with attached hose and wand, it is harder for you to store it, especially when you have a small house.

Canister vacuum cleaner

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Handheld vacuum cleaner

Pros: It is very lightweight, making it easy for you to bring it upstairs and downstairs. You can easily reach the farthest corner with this type of vacuum cleaner.

Cons: A handheld vacuum cleaner is not powerful. It is also not effective against carpeted stairs.

Handheld vacuum cleaner

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Cordless vacuum cleaner

Pros: Like a handheld vacuum cleaner, this vacuum cleaner is very lightweight and portable. Also, you don’t have to find a power outlet if you vacuum a long stairway.

Cons: With this type of vacuum cleaners, you need to charge it before using. Charging time and using time may vary among different models and brands. The cordless vacuum cleaner provides the weakest powerful suction. It is also not suitable to use on the carpeted floor.

Cordless vacuum cleaner

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Finally, you might need some more tips on vacuum the stairs

You should vacuum each stair multiple times in different directions. Once is never enough if you want to pick up the smallest dirt and hair.

Choosing the right type of vacuum cleaners is critical. The upright vacuum cleaner, for example, is not suitable since it is very heavy and bulky. On the other hand, the canister vacuum cleaner tends to be lighter, making it easier for you to move it upstairs and downstairs.

In case you have an upright vacuum cleaner, there are still two ways you can vacuum the stairs effectively.

The portable mode

The portable mode

Image source: Bissell

Remove the long and bulky handle of the upright vacuum cleaner and attach the portable handle instead. Then place the vacuum cleaner on the stair, put the pedal in neural mode and move the cleaner back and forth the clean the stair. With this mode, you can clean the stairs with the powerful suction. However, you still have to move the vacuum cleaner by yourself, and to be honest; it is quite heavy.

The canister mode

With this mode, instead of removing the handle, you can switch from the normal attachment to the special attachment which is used to vacuum stairs. Furthermore, you can vacuum the stairs with full power without having to lift the vacuum cleaner. However, it might cost you extra money in case the special attachment is not included in the package.

Also, always remember to choose the suitable attachment. The key thing to remember here is the smallest nozzle to work the corners and the bigger brush for the surface.

  • The spinning brush helps to remove dirt in a wide area.
  • The crevice tool is effective in term of vacuuming corners and crannies.
  • The upholstery tool is more useful if you vacuum the carpeted floor.

Besides the right attachment, you should also remember to choose the right setting as well. The setting is chosen depending on the type of floor the stairs in your house is covered with. Hardwood stairs need different settings from carpeted stairs so make sure you choose accordingly.

Overall, a good vacuum cleaner for stairs should have a powerful suction, a long cord (or cordless) as well as a light weight. With a long cord, you don’t have to worry about finding a power outlet. And with a light weight, you don’t feel tired bringing a vacuum cleaner upstairs and downstairs.


To vacuum the stairs effectively and effortlessly, you should have the right type of vacuum cleaner, the right mode as well as the right brush. Along with the suitable equipment, I hope that with the guided steps above, you would be able to know how to vacuum stairs and do this task easily so that you can keep your stairs clean and tidy all of the time.

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