How to Clean Wood Stairs

Written by ehow home & garden editor
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Cleaning your wooden stairs will prolong their life and maintain their beautiful appearance. Just follow these steps.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • All-purpose cleaner or dish soap and water
  • Broom
  • Brush, mop, roller or sponge
  • Large dry rag
  • Broom, vacuum or duster
  • Cleaning solution that is suggested for your wood's finish.
  • Micro-fiber covered mop or terry cloth

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    Exterior Wood Stairs

  1. 1

    Start at the top of the stairs. You will be working your way down from the top step.

  2. 2

    Sweep off the steps with a broom.

  3. 3

    Wash the stairs with an all-purpose cleaner or kitchen soap and water.

  4. 4

    Scrub with a brush, broom, mop, roller or sponge.

  5. 5

    Rinse the stairs with a damp rag or sponge.

  6. 6

    Dry them with a clean, dry rag.

    Interior Wood Stairs

  1. 1

    Sweep, vacuum or dust the stairs.

  2. 2

    Determine the type of sealant that is on the wood stairs.

  3. 3

    Buy a cleaner that is applicable for your type of finished wood.

  4. 4

    Wipe this solution on the wood with a terry cloth or a micro-fiber covered mop.

Tips and warnings

  • Thoroughly clean exterior wood stairs every 1-3 years.
  • A sealant will help protect the stairs from the elements and sun exposure.
  • If you do not know what type of finish is on your wood steps know that a surface finish is shiny and is sealed with polyurethane while a penetrating finish has a matte look and is sealed with an oil or wax finish.
  • A frayed tipped broom will work best when sweeping. It will help pick up the smallest dirt particles.
  • Sweeping, vacuuming or dusting the stairs daily will help prevent scratching the wood.
  • Never use ammonia on wood.
  • Do not wax steps. Wax will make them slippery and dangerous.

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