One of the more frustrating things about winter, besides cold weather and bad drivers, is cleaning road/sidewalk salt off of your hard surface flooring. This is a challenge for homeowners and cleaning professionals alike.
To understand why salt is so difficult to remove from hard surface flooring, especially wood floors, here is a short chemistry lesson. Salt is highly alkaline in nature so you need to neutralize the salt in order to remove it. The problem is that most floor cleaners are PH neutral and when used to clean up salt stains, they end up smearing the salt around and the floor becomes a filmy sticky mess.
There are products that you can purchase that are acidic in nature, but using plain ol’ white vinegar works pretty well. Mix 2-3 ounces in a gallon of very warm or hot water. (The warm water also helps to cut the salt). Use a flat microfiber mop or wipe on hands and knees for best results. After following these steps you may still notice a film on the floor. That’s because if the salt has sat on your floor for while it becomes difficult to completely remove. Also, you may have to rinse out mop and repeat. You can take a dry rag and buff your floors if you want them to shine. One note: do not walk on the floors when they are wet after using vinegar and water – you will see your shoe or foot prints.
We at Dirt Doctors Cleaning Services hope this cleaning tip helps you keep your floors looking good during inclement weather!