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How to remove winter salt stains

By Luke Armstrong

Winter is here in Illinois, and with the holidays comes the cold weather and the snow – and with the snow comes the perpetually salted sidewalks and roads.  Salt is of course great for driving, as it melts ice and snow and helps you get where you want to go safely, but when it comes to keeping your home clean road salt can lead to staining and damage.

Winter cleaning tips to combat salt stains

When crushed by your car’s tires or your feet, road salt becomes a very fine powder that sticks to basically everything it touches.  This means that if you’re walking on salted sidewalks or roads, you’re inevitably going to bring road salt into your home and end up with salt stains.  Salt can also come in through half-melted snow.  Besides being unattractive, salt stains can actually harm the interior of your home, especially if you have wood floors.  Pulverized road salt acts like sandpaper when you walk across it, and it can eat away at the finish of your wooden floors.  Left unchecked, salt stains can eventually lead to a situation where you need wood damage restoration; but, with a few simple steps this is easily avoidable.

Floor cleaningThe most important part of winter floor care is to remain vigilant.  If you have a large family, people are going to be coming in and out constantly, but even still salt stains can be prevented.  One good practice is to set a wintertime rule: No shoes or boots in the house, non-negotiable.  Not everyone is always going to follow this rule, though, so you’ll need to set up a quick and effective way to remove salt stains before they set in.  Some families opt to keep a Swiffer-styled wet mop by the door way during the winter.  The mop will act both as a reminder and a means of cleanup for whoever brought the salt stains in.

In addition to quick clean up and prevention, it’s also helpful to establish a regular wintertime floor care routine.  If you have wood floors, it’s best to do a total mopping every 1-2 weeks.  Many times, salt stains are invisible, which means that you might be walking on them and harming your floor unknowingly.  Wood damage restoration can be expensive, but a simple soapy water mop-down will only cost a few dollars and at most an hour of your time.  Make sure to use a quality wood soap and to avoid pools of water, as these can also harm wood floors.

Remember that seasonal cleaning practices can mean the difference between future restoration or replacement and your floors should be able to make it through this winter unharmed.  For more advice, we recommend entering “winter cleaning tips” into your favorite search engine.  You might surprised with what you can find.

As for staying warm, dealing with the snow, and combating cabin fever, well that’s another topic entirely.  All we can say is hunker down, keep the home clean, and enjoy the holidays…or move to Florida or California, where snow is something most people have only heard of and salt stains are an utter mystery.