Spring is in full swing and for many of us, that means spring cleaning. Although you probably already have a long list of to dos to give your house a good yearly deep clean, you might want to add one more thing- your stairs.
Regardless of the material your staircase, start by sweeping your stairs to thoroughly remove dust and dirt. This may be a given, but it is easiest and most effective to start at the top and work your way down. It may be necessary to use a vacuum attachment or a small brush, like an old toothbrush, to get the inner corners of your stairs and where the tread meets the risers. Dirt and grit act like sandpaper when it comes to wood stairs, often scratching and causing damage, so the more thorough you can be, the better. You should try to sweep, dust, or vacuum your stairs frequently to prevent damage.
When cleaning your wood stairs, it is important to use the proper cleanser. Before applying anything to your stairs, determine what kind of sealant is used. If your stairs are shiny, it is polyurethane. If your stairs seem to have more of a matte look, they were finished with a penetrating sealant like an oil or wax. When choosing your cleanser, you will want something that will not harm your finish or leave behind any residue. Also, be wary of anything that may create a slippery surface which can cause slips and falls. Most commercial cleansers are overpriced and ineffective. A safe and inexpensive solution for cleansing your stairs is a mixture of 1 gallon of water with ½ cup of vinegar. Never use ammonia on your stairs and avoid wax as it will make stairs too slick and potentially hazardous.
The best solution for cleaning your stainless steel is using a soap or mild detergent in warm water. Using a soft cloth or synthetic sponge, gently wipe stairs clean. Aggressive scrubbing is not necessary and not recommended. On occasion, other household cleaners can be used, but be sure to check that the product is safe to use on stainless steel. Rinse with hot water and allow to air dry or wipe dry with soft cloth. Routine cleaning will maintain the shine and cleanliness of your stairs and should remove everyday soil and stains.
For food stains you may need to use a mild cleanser with a fine abrasion sponge or cloth. Follow by using the routine cleaning method. For grease and oils, simply remove excess with paper towel. Then follow with the routine cleaning method to remove left over grease or oil. Finger prints can easily be removed with rubbing alcohol. If any chemicals come in contact with your stainless steel, such as bleach, rinse immediately with lots of water.
If needed, repeat gentle cleaning cycles rather than one abrasive aggressive scrub. Household cleaners can be used if approved for stainless steel. Do not use course abrasive powders, metallic scours, or silver or brass cleaners. These are too harsh and will dull and scratch your beautiful stainless steel stairs.
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