Yes, it snowed again over the weekend. Sigh. It’s always about this time that people across Michigan start to get a little tired of winter. The cold, the snow, the road salt stains on their carpet and shoes; The holidays are over, winter can end anytime! Bring on summer!
Before we can get there, though, we have to deal with this snow. Obviously, you can’t let it pile up right outside your business, so you pay someone to remove it. And, of course, salt the sidewalk and steps so your customers don’t slip and slide all over the place. That’s where the trouble starts.
Necessary, but not Necessarily Good for your Carpet
If you’ve noticed unsightly white spots accumulating in the carpet near the entryway, you have a salt problem. Salt crystals stick to customers’ feet, and when they walk in from the wintery outdoors, these crystals get transferred to your carpet. A simple process, to be sure, but the consequences can be complicated and frustrating! Have you ever tried to remove salt stains from your business’s carpet by yourself? Did the spot look good at first, but then the exact same stain kept reappearing and reappearing and reappearing? We know. We’ve been there, it’s not fun!
To keep your business looking its best, Modernistic has put together a few ways to prevent and remove salt stains from your business’s carpet.
Prevention (Worth a Pound of Cure)
Floor Mats – Ok, to get the obvious out of the way, use floor mats. Use them! More than 1, preferably. If the space outside your business’s front door allows it, place a good outdoor mat right outside your door in addition to the mat just inside your door. Double floor mats = half the amount of salt making its way inside to your carpet.
Vacuum – Every. Day. Is it tedious? Sure, but removing the salt crystals before they get ground into your carpet fibers will help tremendously. Make vacuuming part of your closing checklist, and if you can manage it, vacuum at least once during the day when foot traffic is light. If you’re lucky enough to have associates working for you, they need something to do when it’s not busy, right?
Put Up A Sign – Right inside your entryway that says “Please Wipe Your Feet”. Sure, not every customer will read it, but more people being mindful about what they’re tracking in to your business can’t hurt!
Vacuum – That’s right, vacuum is on the list twice! For very light salt spots not ground into the fibers, a concentrated vacuuming can lighten the spot considerably or remove it entirely.
DIY (Do It Yourself) – Since salt crystals love to stick to carpet fibers, you might need a little “chemical persuasion” to loosen them up. Mix up a 50/50 solution of vinegar and warm water, then apply to the affected area using a sponge or towel. Agitate the solution into the carpet by gently scrubbing the spot with your towel or fingers. Wait 5 minutes, then blot up the liquid with a dry towel. Repeat as necessary, since salt stains can be extremely stubborn.
**NOTE** If you like your carpet at all, please don’t use soap of any kind. Soap will leave a residue that will actually attract more dirt and salt, making your problem much worse in the long run.
DITEW (Do It The Easy Way) – If you’re a busy person (or not keen on your business smelling like vinegar), have a professional take care of those pesky spots. To get the best results, make sure the professional you hire uses a truck-mounted hot water extraction method, AKA steam cleaning. Also, make sure they use an emulsifier and specialized products that specifically treat salt stains – someone using regular “shampoo” will only attract dirt and salt, making the problem worse!
There are a few different ways to prevent and remove salt stains from your business’s carpet, but these are the most effective. We put up with a lot to live in Michigan during the winter, but you don’t have to put up with pesky salt stains!
For over 40 years, Modernistic has been dedicated to restoring the health of homes and businesses across Michigan with our award-winning service, start to finish! To learn more about how we can help keep the salt out of your business’s carpet, contact your local Modernistic for a free cleaning quote!