Managing and Preventing Salt Residue Stains

Salt Residue

This is an extract from an article originally published in Bald Guy Clean. To read the complete article, visit

For a more complete information on floor and carpet maintenance, please view our Floor and Carpet Care Guides under our Training Centre.

Winter weather brings with it additional areas of concern for cleaning professionals. The cold and snow add steps to many cleaning routines and present different challenges to maintaining the cleanliness of facilities. One of the most common is trying to remove salt residue from floors.These residues attract water and can lead to slippery surfaces to can cause slip and fall accidents.

Removing salt residue from floors is difficult because the soil on the floor has changed and the cleaning chemicals have not.

Most floor cleaning chemicals or neutral cleaners are designed to remove typical dirt and grime. When a substance as different as salt or calcium chloride becomes the main soil overnight, it requires a different approach.

Removing Salt Residue

The makeup of most ice melting products is based around calcium chloride or salt, because of its effective melting properties and because it is relatively cheap. The problem when it comes to floor care is that it has a high pH, just like floor stripper. The pH balance of salt residue is the opposite of dirt and grime.

To remove salt residue, it has to be neutralized, changing the pH to neutral or 7. Otherwise, it just smears around the floor and becomes a sticky mess. The stickiness can come from two causes:

  1. It has such a concentrated amount of residue which is sticky.
  2. It has begun to dissolve the floor finish. Either way, your floors are now attracting dirt and making them very hard to clean.

If let go too long, the finish will have to be stripped and re-coated.


  • To remove heavy film from equipment:
    Dilute at 1:40. Spray liberally over equipment surfaces. Rinse immediately with clean water.
  • For daily damp mopping:
    Sweep the floor of any granulated salt or other debris. Dilute at 1:80. Apply liberally to floor with a mop. Rinse immediately with clean water, wringing mop out frequently. You may have to make repeated passes and change the solution frequently depending on the amount of residue build up.
  • To eliminate carpet stains left by ice melting residue:
    Dilute at 1:120 in carpet extraction equipment. Do not use a hot solution and do not mix this product with any other chemical. For the final step, use your wet/dry vacuum or extractor to suck it up. Your mats will look like new again!

What We Recommend

Film Away 4L 51440
To tackle your toughest salt stains, try ECOLOGO Certified Film Away (51440) at a dilution rate of 1:80.

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