Do you use rock salt to melt the ice and snow on your driveway and sidewalks? That rock salt can be damaging to your hardwood floors. Here, you will find out how to remove the stains that the rock salt leaves behind and tips for preventing more stains in the future.
Removing Rock Salt Stains
You will need a few supplies to get this job done.
- Hot water
- Flat mop with terry cloth cover
- White vinegar
- Liquid dish soap
- Floor cleaning product safe for wood floors
- Broom and dust pan
- Rubber gloves
Sweep the floors well to remove all of the loose debris and rock salt. Leaving debris behind can cause gouges and scratches in your floor as you continue with the cleaning process.
Mix one part hot water with one part white vinegar in a bucket. Put on the rubber gloves and dip the mop cover into the mixture and wring it out well. The rubber gloves will help to protect your hands from the hot water and from drying excessively from the vinegar.
Mop the floor, going with the grain of the wood. Continue going over the area repeatedly until the stains have been lifted. Stains that won't come up easily must be treated with the dish soap. Put a dab of dish soap directly on the spot and swirl it around with your finger. Let it sit for five minutes or so. Rinse the area well. If the stain persists, repeat until it is gone – eventually it will come up.
After you have removed the stains from the hardwood floor, fill your bucket with fresh hot water and your favorite cleaning product for hardwood floors. Use a clean mop cover and give the floor a good once-over.
Prevent Future Rock Salt Stains
The best way to eliminate the rock salt stains from being an issue in the future is to stop using rock salt around your property. If this isn't possible, use a floor mat outside of the door and another inside the door. Make sure that shoes are removed before walking on the hardwood floors.
Alternatives to consider include a beet juice and brine mixture. This is a liquid ice melting product that can be picked up at your local home improvement store. One downside to this mixture is that it can cause the carpeting in your home to become discolored if the mixture is walked on while it is wet.
Another option is to find pet-safe ice melt products. These don't contain rock salt and are just as effective in melting the snow and ice.
Talk with a hardwood flooring specialist like Upchurch's Hardwood Installation Refinish & Repair if you have difficulties getting the rock salt stains off of your hardwood floors.