The winter storms of the past few months have rained havoc on roads, homes and offices, but one place people might not know is being hurt by the storms is beneath their feet: carpet.

Ice melt is the mixture of salt and ice or snow, which can take a toll on carpeting if it is not cleaned quickly and properly. The problem with ice melt is that even after the water dissipates, the salt crystals can remain embedded in carpet and destroy the carpet fiber.

Of course, the first and best way to defend against ice melt is by using walk-off mats both inside and out to keep the salt from ever reaching your carpet. Over the years, the Carpet and Rug Institute Blog has highlighted the importance of entrance matting and the vital role it plays in keeping ice melt and other unwanted debris from tracking onto carpet.

If ice melt or any type of salt residue finds its way onto your carpet, it can be extremely difficult to remove. Thankfully, our friend Mark Violand with D&R Carpet Service, Inc., a CRI Seal of Approval Service Provider from Brooklyn Heights, Ohio, has come up with some helpful tips for dealing with this problem.

Here are D&R Carpet Service’s tips for defending carpet against salt residue:

  1. Vacuum the slush from the mats and carpet using a wet/dry vacuum. Do this several times a day if needed.
  2. When the mats and carpet are dry, vacuum them using a traditional vacuum, with the brush bar making good contact with the fibers.
  3. Vacuum mats and carpet in multiple directions and do so slowly and deliberately in the worst areas.
  4. If the salt stain is still evident, a stiff plastic bristle brush could be used to dislodge the crusted salt.
  5. If the residue still won’t break loose, you will need to apply an Encapsulating Salt Stain Remover. (Homeowners: you will need to call a professional in to do this step).

Thanks, again, Mark for all the great advice you offer the professional carpet cleaning community as well as all us regular folks.