In a city that has seen snowfall in every month of the year, Calgary is no stranger to having its roadways and sidewalks salted and sanded. In fact, Calgary dumps between 30,0000–40,000 tonnes of salt and sand on its roads annually — and that doesn’t include what individuals use on their personal walkways and sidewalks. 

So, when your boots move indoors, you’re bound to track some salt and sand along with you.

Thankfully, most of the sand can be vacuumed or swept up, but the salt can leave stains and residue build-up on your tile and carpeted floors.


Reducing the Amount of Salt in Your Building

The first step is to reduce the amount of salt entering your building from the get-go. We suggest adding extra mats to your entryways to help residents clean their boots as they enter the building. Change these and have them professionally cleaned frequently to avoid soaking wet mats or ones filled with so much residue they aren’t collecting debris anymore. 

In doing so, you not only make the clean up easier but you reduce the wear and tear on your flooring. Salt can be higher in alkaline and can remove the protective finish on your hard flooring surfaces, similar to a floor stripper. It can also eat away at your carpet fibres, making them hard, brittle and more likely to wear down faster. To avoid having to re-seal your floors, we suggest daily or biweekly floor cleanings during the winter months to keep on top of the residue. 

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Remove Salt Stains from Carpet

Depending on the size of your carpeted area, you may be more inclined to try one technique over the other. 

For small areas, you can:

  1. Dry vacuum the carpet
  2. Mix equal parts vinegar and warm water into a spray bottle
  3. Spray on the area covered in salt 
  4. Lightly dab it with a cloth to help lift the salt without pushing it further into the fibres
  5. Use a wet-dry vacuum to pull up the water and stain 
  6. Repeat as needed 
  7. Let the area completely dry

For larger areas, we recommend: 

  1. Dry vacuum the carpet 
  2. Follow the instructions on the carpet cleaning machine, most include:
    1. A water-to-product ratio in the machine 
    2. Heat the machine up, if needed
    3. Let the trigger go, do one slow pass over the area but don’t over-wet the carpet
    4. Pass the machine over the area in slow forward and backward passes to extract the water without pushing the trigger that releases more cleaner
    5. Repeat in overlapping passes over the entire carpeted area
  3. If the carpet is really dirty, let the shampoo sit for a couple of minutes and then extract the water and cleaner from your floor

Some of the common mistakes we see with DIY carpet cleaning are over-shampooing, leaving soapy residue behind; over-wetting, shrinking your carpet; and repositioning the furniture too early after cleaning, which can stain the carpet. 

Rather than risking these costly mistakes, finding time in your busy schedule to do it yourself and renting the equipment, save yourself the hassle and let us help! We can schedule cleaning services to match your needs. 

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Washing Hard Floors to Remove Salt

Put the mop down! As you may have noticed, it can spread the salt, leaving a film and looking worse than when you started. As water dissolves the salt, it becomes sticky and your regular floor cleaner may not be working as well as it could be. 

Instead, follow these steps:

  1. Sweep the floors to remove debris
  2. Mix the recommended dilution of acidic pH neutralizer cleaning solution with warm water in your mop bucket
  3. Apply the solution to the floor and let it sit for 5 to 8 minutes
  4. Scrub the area using a mop or floor scrubber and wipe clean
  5. Then rinse with plain water using a mop or floor scrubber

For a natural option, you can try mixing 1 cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water to neutralize the salt. Mop the floor until the salt stains are removed then you’ll need to rinse with plain water. If you want, you can also clean the floors with a cleaning solution. 

Both options will help you keep on top of the revolving door of foot traffic in your common areas. 


Keeping Your Floors in Their Best Shape

Caring for your floors requires much more attention in the winter. Extend the life of your flooring by avoiding carpet shrinking, staining and hard flooring staining or striping. Keep them looking new, spotless and replacement-free with regular, on-going cleaning services. 

Book a FREE in-person consultation with our team.