How to Clean and Maintain your Stairlift

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Contents: click to read more
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Stairlifts are generally very reliable and it’s unlikely that you would encounter any problems. However, as this is an electrical device, faults can sometimes occur. Therefore, undertaking some preventative maintenance is very beneficial and can prolong the lifespan of your product. In experience, we find that well-maintained products tend to last longer.

As a general rule, where possible your product should be:

  • Serviced and safety checked annually by a qualified engineer
  • Only lubricated if needed by a qualified engineer
  • Cleaned down weekly – paying particular attention to the rail
  • Only ever maintained and repaired by a qualified engineer for safety reasons


Cleaning your stairlift

Wherever possible, your product should be cleaned once a week as it does make a difference to its longevity. We understand that perhaps our users may not be able to undertake this task. If you have a cleaner or home help that comes to see you, perhaps they could do this for you.

If you see black marks on the rail of your lift, don’t worry. These are caused by dust and potentially pet hairs that get dragged and compacted under the carriage. They can be easily cleaned to ensure your lift continues to work in peak condition however, if left uncleaned they could eventually clog up the carriage and cause damage. Cleaning your model is simple and we’re here to share with you the best way to clean your model to keep it running smoothly. (alternatively, you can watch our video if you prefer (you can also find a video transcript at the bottom of this page.)).

  • By using anti-static foaming cleaner and a rag (or just a damp cloth), wipe down the rail of your stairlift while being careful not to touch either the teeth or rack. If you do this you could remove the lubrication that is essential for allowing the chair to travel up and down.
  • Very gently, clean the charge strips on your rail. If these are too dusty they can limit the recharging of the batteries in your lift.
  • Wipe down the chair and outside of the carriage to keep it looking spick and span in your home.


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Should I lubricate my stairlift?

You won’t need to lubricate the rail or any parts as this is done on a service, by an engineer, only if it is needed. Sometimes we see products installed in people’s homes where they have tried to maintain it themselves. They have done so by putting excessive grease, WD40, or even oil on the rail. This can do more harm than good and can cause problems. There is no need to do this job yourself, simply leave it for us to check on the annual service. Your product should only be maintained by a qualified engineer who has been trained to do this job professionally. 


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Servicing your stairlift

You should have an annual service of your stairlift. This is recommended by safety standards and should be carried out by a trained and qualified engineer. By doing so, your product is checked yearly to make sure everything is working correctly. This includes all the safety circuits, bolts, batteries and so on (there are 25 checklist points we use altogether).

You wouldn’t go out in a car without it being serviced regularly and this product is no different. It is your mode of transport and needs to be periodically checked over. This will ensure it remains safe to use. We have explained more about this in our article Why should I have a service?

If you need to book in a service, contact our Aftercare Department on 01249 814528 (Press option 3) and we can organise a convenient time to visit.


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Maintaining your stairlift batteries

  • Under normal usage (approximately 6-10 times a day) you shouldn’t encounter any issues with your stairlift. However, if you need to use your stairlift a lot more frequently (perhaps more than 5 times an hour), we recommend leaving your lift on it’s charge point for approximately two hours after doing so to ensure the batteries are able to recover.
  • If you do not use your lift frequently (not using it daily), it is recommended that you use your lift once a day while seated in order to keep the batteries topped up.
  • Never switch your lift off from the main power point as this will result in the batteries going flat. At this point you would need to have your batteries replaced. This is not included in any warranty so would come at an additional cost.
  • Don’t forget to change your remote control batteries too.  They run on standard household batteries and will probably need replacing once a year or more regularly if they are used frequently.


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What to do with your stairlift during a power cut

These days there is no need to fear that you’re going to be stranded in the middle of your stairs if a power cut occurs while you’re using your stairlift. Stairlifts are powered by batteries that are charged from the mains when they are left on a charging point. This therefore means that your stairlift will continue to work even when the power goes out.

Here’s what to do with your lift when you experience a power cut:

1. Stop The Beeping
The beeping is an alarm that rings when the lift is not charging. Turn the lift off at the main switch which is normally located on the front or side of the carriage. Leave the lift switched on at the mains plug.

2. Minimise Usage
You can still use your lift but try to minimise how much you use it. If possible, try to use it once coming down and once going back up each day. Of course, exceptions apply if you require access to an upstairs bathroom, for example.

3. Three Days Of Charge
With minimal usage, the battery should last for 3 days without being charged.

4. Turn Lift Back On
Remember to turn the lift back on when your power comes back. If your battery runs completely down and cannot be boosted back up, it will have to be replaced. This will be an additional cost as batteries are not included in any warranty.

We hope that you found this article informative, please feel free to share it on social media by clicking one of the social share buttons on the bottom of this page.

©1st Choice Stairlifts


Video Transcript:

In this video I want to show you why you should clean a lift and how you should clean it.
So first of all, why should you clean your stairlift?
Well down on the rail, this particular rail, you can see some black marks and that is compacted dust. So you might think the rail doesn’t look so good “It’s got black marks on the rail and my rail is a lovely light cream colour, what am I going to do?” That is just dust and that will come out.
So regular cleaning is quite important.
We want to clean the rail itself but not the rack that’s the bottom metal piece here or on the “teeth” that the drive cogs go up.
The other reason you should clean it is because this is compacted dirt and if you’ve got pets or even human hair as well, all of that can go on your rail and go into the carriage and clog up the inside of your carriage too. The rollers inside get all the compacted dust and the hairs and drags it all the way up your nice and cream rail.
I am going to show you how to clean it. I am going to use something called Ambercleanse, but you could use a damp cloth, but I’m going to use this anti-static foaming cleaner.
We’re going to do the whole lift, but going to start on the rail. I’ve just got a rag that we’ve got lying around. So we’re going to start by spraying it with the static foaming cleaner. I’m going to lightly spray the rail and then we’re just going to wipe it clean, and then the black marks disappear.
You can see we have had some black marks come off in there. I’m going to do the rest of this rail in a second and do a close up of a before and after.
You can also clean around your product too. We can do the chair, spray the cleaner on then just wipe. You can also use as I said, a damp cloth or something like that. That takes it round there.
You will notice I knocked the joystick control but it won’t move off if it hasn’t got that constant pressure on it.
I am just going to give this a wipe over, being careful with the footrest because you don’t want to create a slippery surface on there too, so just be careful with that. Being gentle with the footrest as we go round it.
And then we can do the carriage part as well and around the back and side.
I’m going to show you a close up of the rail and you can see which bit I’ve done and see which bit I haven’t, and you’ll see what a big difference it makes.
Here is a close up of the results.
You can see on this section of the rail, I have actually wiped it clean and you can the difference in this bottom part of the rail which I haven’t done yet.
I’m just going to do that quickly and spam that up a little bit!
Just going to spray on it, but we’re not going to touch the rack underneath. And then normally I would move the lift further up the rail, so that I can clean the bottom part there. That does make a difference to the rail section. Yuck (shows the dirt on the white cloth)!
That is how dirty they can get and that one was cleaned not so long ago. It’s definitely worthwhile making sure that you have your product cleaned regularly.
Straight rails are very similar to the curved ones for cleaning. We just do our little light spray down and we can do that. Notice that I’m being careful not to go on the teeth, which are inside here, we’re not going to go on the teeth. Wipe it down.
Up here, you’ll see we have the charge point here, sometimes if these charge strips get too dusty, they might not pick up as the charge contact to charge up the lift. So we’re just going to give them a little spruce over, just to make sure they are fine, they’re wiped clean and they’re picking up the charge point (thus preventing it from not charging).
So, a little wipe over once a week is absolutely perfect, if you can manage it. Or you could get a cleaner in to come in and do it or if you have at home help who comes into help you with any cleaning.
Just a light wipe over every week would be fantastic! Then that prolongs the lifespan and also stops anything getting clogged up inside.
Thank you for watching our video!
For more information about our products or to organise an annual service please call us on 0800 019 22 10 or visit our website www.1stchoicestairlifts.com.
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