Winter Carpet Cleaning Tips: Road salt will wreck your carpet

Winter is in full force here in the South New Jersey area. Road salt is beneficial to drivers because it helps melt snow and ice that accumulates on the roads, but it can also wreak havoc on carpets.

Steve Fogg, owner of highly rated Foggs Carpet Cleaning in Dorothy, NJ, says road salt is one of the single biggest contributors to carpet stains and deterioration in the South Jersey and Shore areas this time of year.

The recent snowstorm hit several areas hard during its two-day stay, said the National Weather Service.

Among the hardest hit areas were Hamilton Square, N.J. (14.5 inches), Bear, Del. (12.7 inches), New Egypt, N.J. (13.5 inches), Furlong, Pa. (12.0 inches), West Chester, Pa. (11.6 inches) and Perkasie, Pa. (11.0 inches).

Overall, central New Jersey was hit the hardest, while Cape May County had the least snow.

The totals also reveal how some areas escaped a big snowfall by falling just south of the rain-snow dividing line that was near the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

In all, 36 towns had at least 10 inches of snow from the storm.

Road salt is easily tracked into the carpets of homes and automobiles due to its small, granular size. “Unfortunately, the salt mixes with snow and water. When the carpet dries, you’re left with unsightly white salt stains due to the magnesium and calcium chloride in the salt. The heaviest buildup will appear white and crusty on the carpet,” Fogg says.

However, road salt has a high alkaline content and it can cause more damage to carpets than simply leaving a stain.

“The salt needs to be removed as quickly as possible because, if left alone, over time it will eventually break down the fibers, permanently damaging the carpet,” Fogg says.

The best way to prevent damage from road salt is to keep it from coming in contact with your carpet in the first place. Having friends and family remove their shoes before entering your home can drastically reduce the amount of salt that gets tracked into the carpet.

Placing a bench and shoe rack by the primary entrance of your home will help encourage guests to remove their shoes. Regular vacuuming will also help to remove salt from the carpet’s surface.

If you have salt stains that need to be removed, hire a professional carpet cleaning service. Steve Fogg reminds us that “Removing the salt without chemical cleaners or the proper equipment can be difficult and is best left to the professionals.” Contact Foggs today for a quote on your next carpet cleaning. 

Drive safe out there this winter and keep the salt on the roads and not in your carpet!