Vacuuming Stairs

Generally, I’m not one to sweat the small stuff.  But my stairs are bugging me.  For those of you with stairs, how on earth do you vacuum them?  We have a central vac system but it doesn’t have any kind of attachment for stairs.  I went to the Beam store in Joplin to get myself a stair cleaning attachment and there isn’t one!  I have all there is.  Then I decided to buy a separate hose so I wouldn’t have to haul it upstairs and downstairs.  It was over $500!  No, thanks!  I love the central vac but I wasn’t about to pay $500 for a second hose.  I still wouldn’t have anything for cleaning the stairs.


I recently got this Eureka to use downstairs and on the stairs but really . . it’s a big honking heavy vacuum cleaner and I hate dragging it up the stairs and then dragging it back down.  The baby gate is to keep Speck from going up and down the stairs . . don’t get any crazy ideas about why I have a baby gate! 🙂

Anyway, there has to be a better way to vacuum stairs.  This isn’t the first house I’ve had with stairs but it it is the first house I’ve had with white carpet on the stairs . . and I didn’t put it there but if I thought I was staying here, I’d replace it, along with the white carpet in the family room.  And then I’d like to pass another law . . white carpet shall never be manufactured again.  I put white carpet in our house in Texas  and about met my maker when I decided the carpet had to be replaced after four months.  Never again would I ever put white carpet in a house but I can’t help it that the previous owner of this house put in white carpet.  I wonder if they did it right before they put the house up for sale . . just as a cruel joke to the next owner!  I’m betting that’s exactly what they did!



  1. 1

    Sandy says

    Judy, I have a little Dirt Devil Series 500 hand held vacuum that I use to vacuum the 13 steps we have. It has a beater brush, 25 foot cord, 2.0 amp motor and the best thing, no tall handle. It fits in your hand easily and no struggling to lug it up and down since it weighs maybe 5 pounds at most. It comes with 2 attatchments. I have found this to do a better job than lugging my Wind Tunnel up and down those stairs.

    I purchased this probably 10 years ago so am not sure it is still being made. It was under $30.00 I think.

  2. 3


    LOL! I was going to suggest a dust buster or something similar. We have a dirt devil in our RV — it works great.

    I know what you mean about white carpet. I used to *yearn* for white cabinets in my kitchen. When we moved, it was into a kitchen that was huge and white, from hanging cabinet door, to hanging cabinet door.

    M I S T A K E.

    Never do it again. Ugh. Fingerprints, spills, dust, cat hair — it all shows on the now not-so-pretty white cabinets. And you know, life is just way to short to mess with ’em!

    Good luck! 🙂

  3. 4


    I have a little lightweight, no bag – Phantom Cyclonic by Euro Pro that I use on my stairs. They have indoor/ outdoor carpet on them. The No bag lets me see how dirty they really are when I vacuum them.

  4. 5


    They make one. Mine is called a Rug Rat. It was an add on from the central vac I bought (Beam). I don’t use it, but the cleaning lady (wonderful person that she is) uses it for the stairs. It has brushes inside. I also “sprung” for a downstairs hose as DH makes large messes down there and I like keeping the cleaning lady coming back.

  5. 6

    Deb says

    We are slowly illimating our carpet, as money allows, since we are replacing it with bamboo flooring. I HATE CARPET. Anyone who has replaced it themselves can understand. GROSS! And with animals, well, EEEYYYUUUU. BUT, I use my Electolux. I also hate carrying it up and down, but usually have to vacuum the basement after the upstairs, so have to carry it down anyway. I do have a little Vac and Blo that I use for drying wet dogs and vacuuming, which is why I bought it, but they hate it, and it works good for the campers. Actually, I have never used a built in system, but the shop vac has the best power, just not so user friendly! They should make vacuum cleaners like LAWN MOWERS, with different horse power motors! They would if GUYS did all the vacuuming!

  6. 8


    Not sure how often you vacuum or how bad the stairs get but you could always sweep it down the stairs or get one of those little rubber brushes to brush with. Really picks up the hair.

  7. 9

    Diane says

    I used a small Dirt Devil too. It was perfect for the job of the stairs. Amazon has one that is similar to mine it is called the Dirt Devil Ultra Power Handheld Vacuum and cost $30. I love mine.

  8. 10


    I, unfortunately, own a really, insanely heavy Kirby and have white carpet on my stairs. Most of the time, I just look up when I walk up and down the stairs, because as soon as I vacuum, they’re dirty! Let me know if you come up with a good solution!

  9. 13

    Cynthia H., El Cerrito, CA says

    I purchased a Miele vacuum cleaner in 1999, when my “had this one since college” Hoover went out in a blaze of glory. (Really: it shot flames 😯 )

    The Miele is very maneuverable, and I do my stairs with it. There are 14 stairs: 10, then a 90-degree landing, then 4 more. I can vacuum just over half of the stairs from the top or from the bottom, depending on where I start, so it’s not a problem.

    And, given what we paid for it, this Miele had better last at LEAST another 10 years. Yes, I love it; yes, it’s a HEPA-filter machine; yes, it’s cobalt blue. But I remember it being $$$, and the filter bags are a little pricey, too.

    But I have two Bernese Mountain Dogs (for several years I had three), and have always had cats, so I definitely needed a hard-working, reliable vacuum. I think I have one! 🙂

  10. 14


    Judy, I HATE vacumming my stairs. But it’s a must-do since I have five cats and a dog. My Hoover has an attachment with a brush, but it doesn’t work very well. I end up using a hand-held Dirt Devil. I’ve been in the same house for 25 years and have tried a lot of different vacuums on the stairs, and have never truly been satisfied with any of them. When retirement time comes, it’s going to be a one-story house for me.

  11. 16


    I vacuum my stairs just the way you have in your photo, and it’s a pain. But happily we have jade green carpet — we are no way tidy enough to have white carpet, with two dogs and two kids and the blackest garden dirt in the world! Maybe I need to invest in a Dirt Devil. I just looked them up online and they look very good.

  12. 17

    Cherrie says

    I have a small (1.5 gallon) ShopVac that does the best job on stairs, I have two flights in my house. It’s light, easy to carry with one hand and suck up stuff with the hose in the other. Not particularly glamorous but it works perfectly for what it’s needed for. I also use it around my quilt machine for the thread, lint and globs of stuff that accumulate there.

  13. 19

    karla says

    All I can say is with the Texas dust and 5 dogs I would prefer never ever to have carpet again. This doesn’t include the DH who tracks in dirt whenever possible or the grandkids.

  14. 20

    Linda H says

    Interesting how many commenters would prefer wood/bamboo flooring over carpet. I thought I was abnormal because I hate carpet! My last house had a looong carpeted stairway. I used the Black and Decker hand held vac with brush. It was better than lugging the vac with the extra extension cord. I swear that if my next house has carpeting, I will rip it out and walk around on the subflooring!

  15. 21


    I have a cannister vac I bought when we moved into the townhouse. I have 4 flights of carpeted stairs in the house and they’re a pain in the butt. I keep saying I’m going to get a cleaning woman in here but so far I haven’t.

    We need to either clean or replace the carpet in our main living areas — problem is too much furniture and no where to put it while it’s done.

  16. 22

    Evelyn says

    Miele, Miele, Miele! It has adjustable speed (low speed is great for scatter rugs), telescoping hose, lots of attachment, a motor that doesn’t quit… there is 1 model that has trouble with the cord. Also – the little one doesn’t have “in-house” storage for the attachments. But, I don’t think you can really go wrong with a good Miele. I have, ummm – 4 of them! Now, if you don’t want to spend $$$ on a new machine – then a little hand held vacume should do the trick.

  17. 23


    I hate vacuuming the stairs. That’s why I don’t do it very often. (But I did do it right before you visited!) I have a slight advantage in that my staircase has three pie shaped landings that turn to go up to the second flight. I can set the heavy vacuum on the middle of those and get the top and bottom half without having to move it again.

  18. 24


    Hmmm not sure about your Beam store?

    When we installed a Beam system in our house in MA ages ago we had them give us a discount and keep the power attachments because we had wood floors and I didn’t need the power brushes… although I wish I had kept the small one for vacuuming pet fur off furniture.

    Check out this from the Beam site… actually says it’s for stairs.

    unless it won’t fit your system… but I find it hard to believe there isn’t a hand power brush available… you may find a less expensive extra hose too

  19. 25


    I have a little hand held rechargable Dirt Devil and the swiffer…I just actually need to use them more often! Dust bunnies abound on my steps!

  20. 26


    I have wood on my stairs, but in the past I’ve been happiest with a small hand-held vac.

    When I was a kid and my parents were getting new carpeting, they took in some dirt (GA red clay) to color match to the carpeting! It evidently worked as you never saw dirt stains on the carpet.

  21. 27

    Elaine says

    When I started having trouble with my leg, we took the carpeting off the stairs. Best thing, it gave me more room for my foot to place on the stair. The stairs were not of the best quality, they were not stain grade, so we painted them with deck painting a lovely shade of green. Now they can be swifterd, brushed with a broom or even washed.

  22. 28


    I have an Electrolux central vac and it came with a Sidekick which is a small powerhead. It’s great for carpeted stairs, furniture and mattresses. We hardly ever use it now as we don’t have carpet on the stairs, too many allergens lurk in that stuff. There should be one to fit your central vac. The dealers say that you can’t mix and match parts but we have a Beam hose and attachments in the lower levels because it’s a pain hauling that long hose all over the house.

  23. 29


    Remember when we came to visit you in Texas in the house with the white carpet? Our sweet little always house trained dog promptly hiked his leg and I guess that might be one of the reasons you had to replace it so soon after. Benji had fun that trip and so did we!

  24. 31

    blop says

    A 6 yo….in our house, once you turned 6 you GOT to vac the stairs…..quite a privilege!!!! Too bad they are all way over 6 and they have their own 6yr olds!! Now I don’t have carpet on the stairs!

  25. 32


    The only carpet we have left in our house is the stairs. I have been forbidden from vacuuming them because my vertigo has caused me to fall while doing that. So I use a lint roller! It takes several sheets and, granted, it doesn’t get the deep stuff, but my hubby vacuums the steps for me occasionally. So, for what it’s worth, in addition to the hand held vac, I highly recommend the lint roller!