What a winter this has been. When the white stuff starts to fall everyone loves the white wonderland that is created. Once the roads have been plowed the next day, that winter wonderland turns into a sludgy, salty mess. It’s inevitable that boots and animal paws will eventually track that all into the house. How do you protect your floors from getting destroyed by winter salt and sludge?
Prevention is key. When the snow begins to fall, find some door mats for your entrances so others can wipe their boots and take them off. Designate a covered place where boots can sit to dry off as well. Traditional doormats like the LL Bean Waterhog Mat work well for some homes. If you need more square footage, check out a home improvement store like Lowes.com where you can pick up a 48”X72” mat for around $20. It may not look as pretty as the welcome mats with a cardinal on it but it will stop the sludge from getting to your floors.
No matter your flooring, there is a sealant or protection available. Hardwood and linoleum floors can be sealed, but carpeting can be protected with a stainmaster spray. In addition to protectants, you can be pro-active with keeping the area clean. Make sure water is soaked up quickly to prevent water rings or salt deposits. Quickly pulling up any water and dirt with a sturdy paper towel (my favorite is Bounty Select-a-Size) will keep dirt and sediment from settling on your floors.
No matter how much you try to contain the winter sludge to the entryways, it’s inevitable that someone is going to track in salty snow. On carpet this leaves the fibers dirty and stiff. If you find your carpet to be a dirty mess, start with a spray carpet cleaner like Woolite Oxy Deep Spot and Stain Carpet Cleaner, which is one of the highest rated carpet cleaners (90/100).
Or, let’s say you have gotten through the winter season and notice the area around the entry is less than clean. You could hire a carpet cleaner, or you could purchase a deep cleaner yourself that would save money in the long run.
With hardwood flooring you will eventually start to see the build-up of dirt and salt. Most regular floor cleaners will clean up the mess. Hardwood floor cleaners, coupled with a hardwood floor mop will make light work of a job you will need to complete a little more often during the winter months. For other hard floors like linoleum and tile, using Swiffer wet cloths can be quick and simple for lifting the salt off the floors and returning them to their beautiful shine. While these can be a little more expensive, they make up for it in convenience.
While spring is around the corner, the salt and sludge of winter will, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better. Protect your floors and clean them regularly to keep them in good shape for the long run.