Ice melter residue that is found on sidewalks and parking lots is sometimes brought indoors and ends up on our floors and carpets. Often, it also produces white stains on car mats and boots.
How is it produced?
The sodium and potassium chlorides containted in the ice melters mix with the snow and create brine. If the concentration is high enough, white residue will appear after its evaporation.
That residue is water-soluble and is generally very easy to clean. Calcium chloride can also leave residue on floors, carpets and boots.
How to protect your floor
To protect your floors from ice melter residue build-ups, you can use neutralizing agents or floor conditioners. Those will lift residue off the floor, which will effectively remove it.
Removing stains from carpets
On carpets or car mats, shampoo should do the trick if using a vacuum doesn't work. Want a homemade solution? Scrub your carpets with a stiff brush and the following solution: 1 cup of vinegar for 4 cups of hot water.
Removing residue from boots
Residue can accumulate not only on the soles of boots, but also on the sides and top. To remove them, soak a cloth in vinegar and water and scrub vigorously until the calcium stains disappear. After drying, repeat to make sure your boots have been cleaned thoroughly.
Avoid using sand or another abrasive material instead of an ice melter. It won't melt the ice and you could even damage the surface of your floors.
The amount of residue greatly increases when ice melters are used with excess. Apply a product containing dye with a spreader to prevent excessive applications.