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How to Get Salt Out of Your Carpets

No one likes slippery sidewalks. That’s why winter sidewalks and roads are salted down with rock salt or magnesium chloride to keep everyone’s cars (and tailbones) safe. But all that salt can soak into shoes, clothes, and carpets, leaving stains and weakening carpet. Here’s how to keep winter streets from doing permanent damage.

Keep Salt Off

Of course, the best way to keep salt from damaging your carpets is to keep salt outside where it belongs. The primary way that salt will get into your carpet fibers is through your shoes — that’s why we recommend that you always take your shoes off when you’re inside the house, even just for short trips.

Another good step, especially in winter, is to lay down sturdy, waterproof doormats inside every door in the house so you can leave shoes and boots to dry out. You can even get a few pairs of inexpensive slippers to leave by the door so that your guests have something to change into when they come over. Of course, those slippers shouldn’t be taken outside, not even to grab the newspaper.

Cleaning Stains Yourself

When it comes to cleaning doormats, car mats, or spot stains on carpets — if your shoes drip into the carpet by the door, for example — you can try to get the salt out yourself before it sets into the fibers.

Mix a 50/50 solution of warm water and white vinegar in a spray bottle, then spray a small amount onto the affected area and let it soak for a few seconds. Then, use a dry towel, paper towel, or clean cloth to absorb the solution out of the carpet. You can even stand on the towel to help soak up as much as possible. Repeat the process a few times for extra stubborn stains. If you have one, use a wet-dry shop vac to pull any excess moisture out of the carpet fibers.

One important thing to note — vinegar can sometimes have a bleaching effect on natural dyes. If you have a carpet made of natural materials like wool, cotton, or sisal, you should stick with just warm water.

Get the Help of a Pro

DIY cleaning might work temporarily for spot stains, but it’s no substitute for a real, professional cleaning. Hot water extraction cleaning, also called steam cleaning, forces water deep into the carpet and then removes it with powerful suction. At-home options that can’t be matched by at-home options.

We recommend having your carpets professionally cleaned once a year, ideally late in the spring, when the weather has started to improve, and there’s less gunk to track in on people’s shoes.

Replacing Your Carpets

Eventually, years of wear and tear will take their toll. We estimate that a typical residential carpet will last 10-15 years, depending on usage. When your carpet is showing signs of wearing out — crushed yarns that don’t fluff up enough, thin spots where the carpet backing is visible or stains that won’t leave — it’s time for a brand new floor!

Lucky for you, Sloane’s Carpet Secret offers deep discounts on brand name carpets in a vast array of modern styles, materials, and colors. So book an appointment at our showroom! Our carpet experts have decades of expertise and experience, so we’re sure that we can find a carpet that’s perfect for your home, your family, and your life.