At Ecosparkle, we believe that clean just isn’t clean unless it’s good for the planet too!
This week, our Green Clean Team shares a favourite way to banish salt stains naturally – without using synthetic chemical cleaners!
A Simple of the Canadian Winter!
There’s no question that salt stains are a symbol of the winter experience here in Canada.
For anyone who owns a vehicle or steps through the slush on their travels into the frigid, frosty outdoors, they’re a little loved fact of life.
Isn’t it great, then, that we’ve got simple and easy ways of getting rid of them – without the use of synthetic chemical cleaners?
Vinegar – a trusty cleaning ally!
When it comes to breaking down the encrusted, dense salt build up that tends to accumulate on upholstery and the fabric or leather found on winter footwear, vinegar works wonders.
Why? In order to understand that, it helps to understand how the tough white crust formed in the first place.
Each year, over 5 million tonnes of road salt is used on roads and highways throughout Canada. While this salt is highly effective at helping to keep ice formation to a minimum, it also gets spread throughout our environment due to the continual melt of freshly fallen snow.
That melted fluid is filled with dissolved salt, which we then track everywhere – particularly into our homes and vehicles. As the fluid rests, the water evaporates and leaves behind a layer of salty film.
This is problematic, is many of these surfaces are easily damaged by salt’s drying and abrasive qualities. When layer upon layer are left to harden upon one another, as is typical around floor mats in vehicles, they form a thick and difficult to remove crust of salt that can ruin floor mats entirely – unless, of course, you’ve got the right tools!
This is where vinegar comes in.
Plain white vinegar typically contains a 5% solution of acetic acid. Acetic acid happens to be highly effective when applied to deposits such as salt and calcium (typically found on shower heads).
It works within minutes!
Have a salt stain you’d like to remove? Follow the instructions below!
For fresh, mild stains:
- Mix 1 cup of warm water (preferably filtered or distilled) with 1/4 cup of plain white vinegar.
- Using a clean household spray bottle, apply the mixture to the affected area (after checking to ensure the area will not be damaged by vinegar)
- Allow to soak briefly (30 seconds to 1 minute) and the wipe away with a clean paper towel or soft cloth.
This solution works very well on leather footwear, which should be cleaned quickly so as to prevent permanent salt damage.
For hard, aged stains:
- Use undiluted plain white vinegar.
- Apply undiluted vinegar to the affected area – either with a spray bottle, or by pouring a small amount from a cup or with a spoon.
- Allow to soak for approximately 3 minutes, to allow vinegar time to break down the hardened deposit.
- Gently rub the affected area with a terry cloth or, in the case of floor matts, with a bristly tooth brush.
- After rubbing away most of the visible signs of the deposit, rinse with clean warm water to ensure any remaining salt residue is washed away.
Remember, the older and harder the deposit, the longer the time you’ll need to spend removing it. Always act fast to ensure you don’t give salt stains enough time to take up permanent residence!
Spring is almost here… Kick Winter to the curb!
That about rounds out our Green Clean Tip of the Week – a look at our favourite way to banish salt stains naturally, without the use of synthetic chemical cleaners! We hope you enjoy and put it to good use as your Spring cleaning begins over the next few weeks.
Please remember to share your comments and success stories in the comments section below!
We’d love to help you discover the Green Clean difference in your home, office or retail space!
We’ve got 5 years of experience finding the perfect natural and organic, eco-friendly cleaning solutions for our customers, and have been voted ‘Best Cleaning Company’ 6 years in a row in the ‘Era Banner Reader’s Choice Survey’ right here in the York Region and the Greater Toronto Area!