Cleaning Stairs

Cleaning Stairs Introduction

As you may know, cleaning or painting above stairs can be a real nightmare. This kind of chore usually has you stretching to reach high places, sometimes risking “life and limb” to do so.

With the handy cleaning strategy, which I will go through in a minute, you can make this most treacherous of tasks, fun and simple.

The Inverted 'A' Cleaning Strategy

I've named this cleaning strategy as such, because when you view it from a side-on position it looks like an inverted letter 'A'.

Please note. This can be pretty dangerous if you get it wrong, so pay attention ;-).

First of all you'll have to purchase a plank of wood (or preferably an aluminium scaffolding plank) with a width of around 12 inches, thickness of 2inches (enough to support 1.5 x your body weight) and a length of 10-12ft. When purchasing the plank ensure that it is not damaged in any way; any defects may reduce the sturdiness of it. When you get the wood home, sand away the corners and any rough edges and it'll be ready for use – Obviously if you're lucky enough to get hold of an aluminium plank then no sanding down will be needed.

Oh, before I forget. Make sure you don't sand it too well. Too smooth a surface will become dangerous and slippery.

To set this up, see the diagram below.

Cleaning Stairs

  • Place the single ladder so that the foot of it is wedged between the foot of the bottom step and the floor and the head of the ladder wedged between the apex of wall and ceiling. Place a towel between the top of the ladder for extra safety.
  • Place a step ladder (with somebody holding it) on the landing at the top of the stairs.
  • Finally insert your wooden and aluminium plank between the steps of the two ladders; seeing to it that it is parallel to the ceiling and the floor i.e. not sloped. The set up should now look like the one in the diagram.

    N.B. For safety purposes keep the length between the two ladders as short as is needed to safely complete the job.

    If you find that you are still stretching to reach the higher places, then you need to bring in specialist cleaning equipment. Don't put yourself or others in unnecessary danger.


    This stair cleaning strategy can be adapted to clean or paint high surfaces, as outlined in the picture below.

    Cleaning High Places

    Place the plank between the rung of the step ladder and a sturdy box. Ensuring, again, that it is parallel to floor and wall.

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