The best vacuum for stair carpet

Written by neil greenlees
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The best vacuum for stair carpet
Stair carpet requires a vacuum that can be used safely on the treads and risers. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

When vacuuming stair carpet, a vacuum's cleaning performance is matched in importance by how safely it allows you to carry out this household chore. Of course, you want a vacuum which removes dirt and dust from the deepest recesses of the stair carpet pile, but you do not want one that poses a major trip hazard as you work your way from the bottom to the top.

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Working With an Upright

If you favour upright vacuums, the best one for cleaning your stair carpet is one with a suction hose long enough to stretch from the bottom to the top. You must have the ability to vacuum the highest tread with the cleaner sitting on the floor at the bottom. Trying to balance an upright on a stair tread is very dangerous. If it falls, it will pull the hose after it. Were this to happen, you could also easily overbalance and fall backwards. Working with a vacuum hose stretched taut is also dangerous. Ensure it is long enough to provide the flexibility necessary to vacuum both the treads and the stair risers.

The Best Canister for Stair Carpet

A canister vacuum can also pose a hazard when cleaning stair carpet if it is balanced on a tread on its wheels. In this situation, very little movement is required to send it tumbling to the bottom. If you have stairs to vacuum, purchase a canister cleaner that can stand on its rear. In this position. it cannot roll off the tread because its wheels are not in contact with the surface. However, keeping the canister behind you is important. If you position it several treads ahead and it falls, it could easily knock you off balance.

The Best Attachments for Stair Carpet

Whether you are using an upright or a canister, a turbobrush attachment will give good results on the stair treads. As well as suction, this features a brushroll that loosens dirt on the stair carpet. It can also be used from side to side on the risers. If you do not have a turbobrush attachment, use the upholstery nozzle for the treads and risers. The crevice tool is used to clean the edges and the join between the riser and tread. Larger areas of wood at each side of the carpet are vacuumed with the dusting attachment.

Using a Handheld Vacuum for Stair Carpet

A well-equipped handheld vacuum offers a very safe way to clean stair carpet, providing the suction is strong enough to lift dirt from deep in the pile. Some handheld vacuums have a visor over the cleaning head. Once you have vacuumed the stair tread, you lift the visor, and you can clean the riser without having to hold the vacuum at various angles. Look for a handheld that also features a crevice tool and dusting brush.

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