How to Clean Dirty Wood Stairs? Maintaining Shining Method!

How to clean dirty wood stairs? Wood stairs give a classy, simple, and elegant look to your home, but you need to maintain their structure and form to provide you with the best possible look for your home and your budget.

However, it’s not that complicated to clean dirty wood stairs. In this article, we’ll show you the step-by-step process of making your dirty wood stairs back to it’s shining and slippery glory.

Step-by-Step Process in cleaning dirty wood stairs

Determine the type of wood your stairs have

If you’ve asked yourself the question “How to clean dirty wood stairs?” then your first idea is to wash it directly. But, trust us, the first step is not flowing it now but instead determining the type of wood that your stairs have. Wood has different styles that have their cleaning preferences; understanding what each wood needs will prevent your stairs from breaking or streaking within your house.

The surface-sealed type of wood is easier to clean than others because it’s completely blocked from any liquid that might penetrate the wood material. Moreover, Penetrating seals soak into the wood, hardening to create a sleek finish for your stairs. Additionally, waxing is also required for penetrating seal and surface-seal wood types as it gives the surface the coat it needs from dirt and dust.

Do a quick brush from your finger to your wood if you want to know the type of wood your stairs have. If a smudge appears where you touched wood, your floor is made from a penetrating seal or unfinished wood type. On the other hand, if there’s no visible smudge on the area, your floor are made from surface-sealed. However, if you’re still in doubt, you can call your home builder or floor installer for a detailed inspection of your wood material.

Cleaning your wood stairs

Indoor Wood Stairs

Now that you finished identifying the wood material your stairs have, it’s time to choose your cleaning products. Compared to other stairs, wood flooring requires paying attention to how you clean it to make it extra durable and beautiful.

  • The first thing you need to do is always sweep or vacuum your stairs to gather the dust and dirt accumulated in your stairs, starting from the top down to the bottom part. You’d be surprised how much dust has already picked in one part of your stairs once you start sweeping.
  • Once a complete sweep is done, you can start washing your wood stairs. A simple mop with a good mix of water and bleach would do just fine.
  • If you’re done mopping, immediately wipe them off with a dry cloth to prevent any liquid from being drained by the wood.

You always follow these steps strictly as this step-by-step method is the best way to give the utmost care to your wood stairs. However, it would be best to keep in mind to avoid using any complex chemicals and cleaning solutions to clean your stairs; these abrasive solutions may damage the finish on your wood, resulting in an even coating or color.

Finally, bear in mind that there are different types of wood material, as mentioned before. So, therefore, always try to use chemicals and solutions that work for the kind of wood you have.

Outdoor Wood Stairs

Compared to your home stairs, your outdoor wood stairs are more vulnerable to damages and creaks because of the weather conditions. As a result, taking care of them can be a bit complicated compared to indoor stairs.

Similar to cleaning your indoor stairs;

  • Start by sweeping your stairs to remove specks of dust and other debris that have accumulated.
  • Second, mop it with water and bleach, mixed if you have a pressure washer, then better as it removes any hidden stains or objects fixated in the wood’s crevices.
  • Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned it with a pressure washer or mop, give it about 1-2 days to dry.
  • After drying, apply a waterproof sealer on the wood. This simple prevents water from rotting your wood stairs, giving it long-lasting life before you get another one.

How often should wood stairs be cleaned?

Depending on how much foot traffic they experience, ideally, you should clean wood stairs once every week or two weeks. If you consistently clean your wood stairs, then they will last longer than they usually do.

Address any dents or scratches in the wood

Mos of wood stairs is experiencing foot traffic 24/7. As a result, their durability tends to get weaker, which may turn out to be dents or scratches.

What will you do if you see these damages? When you see a dent present on your wood stairs, applying an extra coat of wax is the best way to solve it as it fills in the dent while making the surface smooth.

If there are scratches on your wood floor, the best way to deal with those is to apply an additional finishing coat to seal any cracks that moisture or water might seep in the wood. Always regularly check your stairs to take action to fix it quickly, preventing rot and a replacement while gaining durability and a stronger shelflife.

How Do You Polish Your Wood Stairs?

Wood is already an excellent and durable material that adds classic and a modern twist to your home. However, you can spruce it up even more by giving your stairs the polish and finish it needs. Moreover, giving your wood polish makes it easier to clean and prevents any debris from latching to the wood.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Check again the material of your wood to best match the polish you’re going to apply. You can quickly know the finish by scraping the corner part of your room or the stairs with a small utility knife. Suppose the finish becomes smudged without any visual material being removed from scratching the material. In that case, your stairs likely have a brilliant finish, which would only require wax (and not polish).
  • Once you’re done checking, start sweeping the floor thoroughly to remove any dirt and dust; simple as that.
  • When you’re now ready to polish, gently shake the polish container to mix the solution. Using a dry cloth, put an ample amount of the polish into the fabric, then proceed to polish the wood along the grain or in a circular motion, not missing a spot.
  • Once everything is coated, wait for at least 20 minutes or, even better, an hour to completely dry off the polish. If you want to go for a second coating, repeat the steps above after letting your first coat dry for 1-2 hours.


Wood, which may not be as durable and shiny as metal, has its flair to add to your home theme. It makes your home more organic and natural, giving a lighter and fresher aura around your home.

Nevertheless, taking care of your wooden materials can be tricky. Regardless, if you have the proper knowledge and materials to clean your wood, you don’t have to worry about breaking it.