The winter time is harsh on wooden floors. You and your family members can drag in rock salt used to keep your sidewalks and driveway clear of ice on your boots and shoes. The residue from the rock salt can seep into the wood and damage the finish on the floor, and it should be cleaned up as quickly as possible to protect the floors. Here is how you can remove the rock salt residue to keep your hardwood floors looking shiny and new.
You Will Need:
- Salt Neutralizing Agent
- Gentle Cleaner
- Warm Water
- Hand-Held Sponges
Neutralizing Rock Salt
You need to neutralize the rock salt before you do a general cleaning. Mopping with a mild soap usually just spreads the salt around and makes the situation worse. Instead, first mop the floor with a salt neutralizer to break down the rock salt crystals.
You can buy a concentrated form of salt neutralizer at most major hardware or floor care stores to break down the salt crystals. Mix the salt neutralizer with warm water in a bucket according to manufacturer's directions.
Mop where people have recently tracked rock salt across the floor. You also need to look for areas that may have already dried and left a white powdery substance on the surface of the floor.
Constantly rinse and wet the mop after a couple of sweeps over the floor.
Make sure you get along the edges of wall. In difficult to reach spots, you may have to use a hand-held sponge to clean the rock salt residue.
Allow the floor to dry to see if any white powdery stains appear. If some do appear, clean those areas again with the salt neutralizing agent.
Clean the Floor
The next step is to remove the neutralizing agent residue from the floor.
Mix in the mop bucket a gentle floor cleaner with warm water and mop over the area you previous mopped to clean off the rock salt residue.
Drain the mop bucket and rinse the mop thoroughly after cleaning.
Rinse the Floor
Fill up the mop bucket with plain warm water and mop over the area again to remove any residue from the cleaner.
Let the floor dry.
Hardwood Floor Rejuvenator
A hardwood floor rejuvenator will restore the shiny finish on the floor. Rejuvenators typically come in ready-to-use formulas. Spray the rejuvenator onto the floor and spread it around with a damp mop. The floor should look as good as new once the rejuvenator absorbs into the wood and dries.
If you find that there may be more damage than you originally thought, it may be a good idea to contact a local hardwood flooring service, such as Idaho Hardwood Flooring.