Snowy and icy winters can be hard on your carpet and floors. The rock salt and ice melt that we use to make our roads and sidewalks safe can be a hazard to the inside of your home. Firstly, pets that walk on sidewalks or roads treated with ice melt can ingest the harmful chemicals when they lick their paws. It can also affect their eyes and noses. Children can ingest the chemicals while crawling or playing on carpet near doors where ice melt has been tracked in on shoes. The second harmful effect is the wear on your carpet. Ice crystals that are tracked in on shoes can damage the pile of the carpet and increase wear. In some cases it can cause discoloration.
What can you do?
1. Use doormats
Placing doormats on the outside and inside of your doors will help keep you from tracking ice melt onto your carpet. You may want to replace them or wash them throughout the winter.
2. Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum again
Vacuuming your carpet often will help keep the damage at bay. Some carpet cleaners even recommend vacuuming up to three times per day, depending on the amount of traffic coming in and out. A general guideline is to vacuum your carpet every night after everyone gets inside and settled in.
When vacuuming rock salt turn off the brush and just vacuum with suction. The brush will scrub the rock salt into the carpet causing damage to the pile.
3. Professional Cleaning
The best way to remove those harmful chemicals is to use the hot water extraction method that professional carpet cleaners offer. It’s a good idea to get your carpet professionally cleaned every year after the winter months.
What about hardwood?
Rock salt and ice melt can be harmful to your hardwood floors as well. When ice melt, rock salt, or dirt are left on your floor it can cause a sand paper-like effect as you walk through the house. Over time, this can cause your finish to wear off and look dull. To keep this from happening, you’ll want to use doormats inside and outside your doors (as stated above.) Also, make sure to sweep daily- especially when you’ve been walking on sidewalks that have been treated with ice melt. Gentile mopping is also advised. For more info on hardwood care, check out our blog here!
Does anyone have your own tips in preventing ice melt damage? Leave a comment!
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