Dealing With Salt During Harsh Winters

Janitorial companies everywhere have to deal with the elements of harsh weather when attending to their customers.

In the northern United States, rock salt and ice-melt are part of the working environment for at least four to five months of the year. Both are used for ice and snow removal on walkways.

Snow and ice present a lot of work for those who maintain facilities. Snow and slush carried in on footwear can be tracked more than 150 feet into a building, and once the moisture evaporates, what’s left—besides dirt—is salt-residue.

Given time and foot-traffic, this residue results in salt crystal buildup on both hard floors and carpet. The crystalline structure of salt products is damaging to all types of flooring, and if salt remains on the floor, the foot traffic over these crystals will begin to physically break down carpet fibers and etch hard flooring until it can no longer be cleaned, and instead, must be repaired or replaced.

Removing salt from carpet and walk-off mats requires more than excessive rinsing. You will need to suspend the use of salts and the other compounds for proper removal, and use an ice melt remover instead.

The cleaning agents in these products (if you follow the instructions) will suspend other compounds, especially the salts. Applying them allows the floor cleaners (mechanical extractors or mops) to remove them in their suspended state before they can deposit again on the flooring.

Posted On December 10, 2016
Joel Craddock

Joel Craddock

President of Doc’s Facilities Solutions

Joel Craddock is president of Doc’s Facilities Solutions in Rochester, NY, and is a master trainer for CMI’s certification programs. He has more than 30 years of operations and sales experience. For more information on Craddock, visit


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