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How to Remove Salt Stains from Flooring

While Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring this year, winter is still upon us, which means snow, slush, and ice are prevalent in many regions of the country. Unfortunately, the salt products that people use to keep themselves from skidding and falling all over driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks can cause lasting damage to different types of flooring in your home. The good news is that we have a few pointers on how to get rid of salt on hardwood floors and remove salt stains from carpets or tiles.

Be Proactive About Prevention

It stands to reason that if you don’t have salt on hardwood floors or carpets, to begin with, you won’t have to worry about cleaning up stains.

Some of the best ways to accomplish this feat is to keep your snow- or slush-covered shoes from hitting those surfaces by:

  • Purchasing a boot tray
  • Keeping entryways clean
  • Prioritizing organization

Taking proactive measures to prevent salt stains on hardwood floors and carpets is a game-changer. By investing in a boot tray, maintaining clean entryways, and prioritizing organization, you can effectively sidestep the hassle of dealing with stains altogether. So, let's keep those floors clean and worry-free!

Removing Salt Stains from Wood Floors or Tile

The salt used to tackle winter snowfalls can scratch your floor’s finish and damage the material it's made from. Therefore, the sooner you can clean salt on hardwood floors and tile, the better.

You’ll need:

Note: This method should never be used on stone floors, as vinegar can cause permanent etching on these surfaces. Regardless of what material your floor is made of, it’s always a good idea to do a spot test on a small, inconspicuous area.

Steps to Remove Wood Floor Salt Stains

  1. Make sure the floor is dry and start by vacuuming as much salt as possible.
  2. Mix the vinegar and water. Pour this into the spray bottle.
  3. Lightly spritz the mixture over the salt on your hardwood floors or tile. Take care not to saturate wooden floors, as too much vinegar or moisture could cause permanent damage.
  4. Let the solution sit for about five minutes, then mop the area dry.
  5. Dampen a clean microfiber cloth. Use this to wipe the floor down once more to remove any last bits of salt.
  6. Wipe the area dry with a towel or fresh microfiber cloth.

How to Remove Salt Stains from Carpet

If your flooring is so badly discolored that it looks bleached, you might want to call a professional carpet cleaning service provider — like ServiceMaster Clean — to remove salt stains from carpets. Doing so could spare you a massive headache. However, lightly stained carpets can be cleaned with vinegar and water.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 3 gallons of water
  • A bucket
  • A vacuum
  • A sponge
  • A soft carpet brush
  • Microfiber cloths

Note: As with hard-surfaced floors, you should perform a spot test on a small, out-of-the-way area of carpeting before fully cleaning.

Steps to Remove Carpet Salt Stains

  1. Loosen any debris or salt from the carpeting with the soft carpet brush.
  2. Make sure the carpet is dry and vacuum the area. Work the vacuum cleaner in various angles and directions to remove as much salt as possible.
  3. Depending on how stained your carpet is, you may want to repeat Steps 1 and 2.
  4. In the bucket, mix the vinegar and water.
  5. Dip your sponge into the bucket and wring it out. Use this to lightly apply your cleaning solution to the spots where you need to remove salt stains from the carpet. Keep in mind you want to dab, not scrub. Scrubbing can actually cause damage to the carpet fibers.
  6. Let the solution sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Blot up the solution with a dry sponge or microfiber cloth. You’ll need to do this until the carpet is dry.
  8. With a clean sponge, gently apply water (no vinegar this time) to the spots where you were removing salt stains from the carpet. This will help get rid of any remaining salt or vinegar residue.
  9. Blot the areas once more with clean microfiber cloths until the carpeting is totally dry.

Your floors can take a beating during winter and the busy holidays that come with it. Help keep them clean with these tips on removing candle wax from different surfaces and getting wine out of carpets.

You can also trust our professional home cleaning team at Merry Maids® for detailed, customized cleaning plans.

Request your free estimate today by calling (888) 490-4227!