Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cleaning the stairs

Most homes in the UK have a staircase, homes on one level are called a bungalow. I love stairs, don't ask me why, but I just love the look of stairs in a house. I especially like painted banisters with curly ends, and wonky staircases that twist and turn.

Stairs however are a bit of a pain to keep clean. It's not like a flat room where you can easily and smoothly push a broom or vacuum cleaner around, oh no, I'm afraid they have to be tackled one by one. So I thought I'd share some tips with you regarding stair cleaning, many of which I learned from the TV series and book by Anthea Turner... thanks Anthea!

To clean stairs always start from the top and work your way down. Whether you have carpeted/tiled or wooden stairs, you can use a small handheld broom to sweep the dirt from the top step down to the bottom step. However, if you've had some muddy boots climbing your stairs, use a dust pan to catch the dirt off each stair - you don't want to work the dirt into each step by letting it travel down the staircase!

Here is my step by step guide to cleaning stairs. Bear in mind this is for carpeted stairs, but if you don't have carpeted stairs, simply skip the bit with the glove and instead use a mop - see my post on cleaning hard floors here. I also have to warn you that our stairs are quite dirty because we have had the carpenter in to put up new doors, but I'm sure you don't mind (do you?).

You'll need:
Duster/dusting cloth/ old sock
A vacuum cleaner
Rubber glove
bucket/bowl of water
small hand broom

Step 1:

Use a duster or a dusting cloth to dust between all the banisters. An old sock is great if you slip it over your hand and use it to polish upright posts clean.

step 2:
You can use a short hand broom to sweep down some of the dirt, but the best way to really get the dirt out of the corners where the carpet meets use a rubber glove that you dip into bucket and shake off any excess water.

step 3:
Use small sweeping movements to lift the dirt from the corners with your gloved fingers. You should see the dirt on the glove.

step 4:

Sip the glove back into the water to remove the dirt from the glove, continue this down the stairs. Yuk! Look at that mucky water.

step 5:

Vacuum the stairs. If you have an upright vacuum, consider buying an extension hose if your vacuum cleaner is heavy. I know from experience that it can be quite tricky to balance a vacuum on the stairs while using an attachment. Have the vacuum cleaner lower down to the step where you are working and start from at the top step vacuuming the back of the step. Then move onto the tread. Use the small nozzle to vacuum the corners and sides.

Once you reach the bottom step, you should have a sparkling set of stairs! Now remember to tell everyone to remove their shoes before they go on the stairs and you'll avoid having to do that too often. Carpeted stairs should be vacuumed every three days, but once a week will suffice if you have a no shoes policy. Also, remember to add your favourite essential oil on a cotton wool ball to your vacuum bag for a lovely smelling home!

I'm off to pack my suitcase now. We are going to visit my family in South Africa (and I'm also going to be a bridesmaid for my friend's wedding!). It's only a short visit, but with an 11 hour flight just to get us there. I'll be back in a week's time next Monday and I'll make sure to catch up with all of your blogs as fast as I can! Have a wonderful week.


MelMel said...

Top tip!
Just watching have such double standards!
I've added you as a fave!xxxxx

Lesley (Notesfrommydays) said...

Firstly have a fantastic time - hope the jetlag isnt too bad!
secondly - fab post ! is it really sad I am looking forward to children being at school tomorrow so I can get on and do my stairs!! we have a 3 storey victorian house so lots of stairs to do - poor me!
Lesley x

Vintage Tea said...

Have a great time, I'm being bridesmaid for a friend next year.

I see you like Anthea too, have you got her Christmas book yet, it's got some lovely ideas and tips

Victoria x

MelMel said...

I've given you an award!x

thriftymrs said...

Nice tips!

Have a great time in SA!

MelMel said...

I went a few weeks back when we stayed with a friend in Banbury, was fab!
Overspent my budget, but Olly didn't mind! phew!
I got a few presents for Christmas, as they were such bargains! Did you get anything?

I'm glad the room is done now as we have so many ppl to stay this time of year, leading up to Christmas, i was sick of moving everything out, so this solves yet another problem!

Absolutly chucking it down here!
On my break now just fed the little one and she has gone down for her nap!

A note on perfection

Many of the posts featured on this blog are about doing household chores the correct, or so to say perfect way. My intention is not to make readers feel that the way they are running their households are wrong. So if making the bed, or ironing shirts in a certain way doesn't fit your lifestyle, do not feel guilty about it. But by learning the correct way of doing things it might just come in handy for those times when special guests are staying, or when you need to iron that shirt perfectly for a job interview. So enjoy the learning, but skip the guilt and LOVE your homes. x

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