Don’t let the salt stains get you down this winter!

Winter activities are a lot of fun but lots of snow means salt on the roads. Homes At Heart is here to help you to learn the quickest and most efficient way to get rid of salt stains. During the snowy winter months, salt residue sticks to everything and can damage your shoes, clothing, and carpets both inside your home and your car.

In cold climates, salt is essential for preventing the accumulation of ice on roads and pathways. Our blog can assist you in quickly cleaning up the dreaded salt residue. A typical salt stain is a powdery white mark that can materialize in any location where salt has made contact. These are the top 5 places where you can commonly find salt stains.

  • Shoes and Boots
  • Clothing
  • Front Entrance
  • Carpets
  • Inside Your Car

We will touch on each of these areas to outline the tools necessary and the steps to clean each area.

What Will You Need To Remove Salt Stains?

Before we dive into how you can win the battle against winter salt stains, let’s get all the necessary materials together. White vinegar solutions are a great natural and cost-effective method for completely removing a salt stain. Mixing a 50% vinegar solution in a spray bottle will be handy for several stain removal projects throughout your home and inside your car. Professional cleaning products can be effective as well. You can read the labels of your favourite cleaning products to see if they are recommended for stubborn salt stains.

Once you have your chosen cleaning solution prepped, it’s time to gather the needed tools. These tools/materials can vary for where your stain is located, but this is a comprehensive list. The items needed will be:

  • Warm Water
  • Clean Cloth
  • Dry Vacuum
  • Scrubbing Brush

The type of cloth and brush will depend on the material you are cleaning such as carpet versus hardwood flooring. Consider this when setting off on your cleaning adventure.

Shoes and Boots

Shoes and boots are notorious for accumulating salt and transferring it all over your house, but removing the salt from your footwear will help extend their lifespan and prevent more mess in your household.

Cleansing your footwear is a straightforward task. Change out your cloth and brush depending on the material of your shoes. The 3 steps for footwear cleaning are:

  1. Apply a small amount of your cleaning solution to your cloth and wipe the affected area. (Make sure to not oversaturate soft material shoes such as UGGs or other cloth-based footwear.)
  2. Allow the shoes to dry. (This timeframe can differ based on the type of shoe.)
  3. Recondition the footwear such as applying leather glaze or shoe shine.

How To Remove Salt Stains From Clothing

Finding salt stains on your clothes is quite a regular occurrence, all it takes is brushing up against your car. These stains on your clothing can cause damage resulting in discolouration or the breaking down of fabrics. It is important to clean these areas the moment a stain is spotted and not simply brush it off with your hands. It’s ok, we’ve all done it!

The quicker that you treat an area, the easier the stain will come out.

  1. Wash the area in cold water to remove all salt on the clothing.
  2. Use a soft brush on the area to remove any leftover or stubborn debris.
  3. Wash the clothes as usual.

Simply pretreating and giving extra attention before washing will be enough to remove salt from clothes.


Carpets are notorious for catching any material brought into your home on your shoes and boots. Salt is no exception. Salt can easily fall off of clothing and footwear only to get caught in your carpets. Just like clothing, these stains can cause fibre breakdown and discolouration If left untreated.

Cleaning carpets is always easiest when the affected area is dry. Follow these steps to make sure the area is properly cleaned:

  1. Vacuum the affected area to remove any excess debris or salt.
  2. Apply small amounts of your cleaning solution and allow it to dry.
  3. Pat dry the area with a clean rag or paper towel.
  4. Vacuum the area again after lifting any compressed fibres.

Simple cleaning routines like this will extend their lifetime.

How to remove salt stains from your front hall

Make use of a “welcome mat”

Place a welcome mat outside your door to wipe your boots off before you walk into the home. If you live in a condo, and they don’t allow it then the next point will help you and your winter-long battle with salt!

Five steps of foyer matting

What does that mean? Well, you want to place a winter mat that provides at least five steps’ worth of space around your front door. This allows you to walk into the front hall without stepping onto your carpet, laminate or hardwood. You can then wipe your feet off before removing your shoes/boots By wiping as much of the salt and slush residue off your shoes and boots as possible, you can reduce runoff as the snow melts. Oh, don’t forget to stomp your feet before you walk into your home!

Be sure to choose a mat designed for this purpose. These mats use a material ideal for scraping, while also offering safety underfoot with antiskid backs. They aren’t necessarily pretty but they serve the purpose. If you want to keep your home looking gorgeous while functional, consider using an outdoor area rug that can provide a punch of colour, while also doing the job of absorbing the mess. Good outdoor area rug materials include wool, sisal, seagrass, hemp and polypropylene.

Get a proper boot tray

Make sure to keep a boot tray designed specifically for winter footwear right at the door. Once you wipe your feet, take your boots off and place them in the tray. The design of a boot tray is to prevent snow and slush from running off or staining boots and shoes, which is achieved by the lip and ridges on the tray that keeps the melting of snow and slush on the tray.

Use a winter rinse floor cleaner

Cleaning salt on your floors isn’t the same as during the summer months. This is a special formula that can be harder to find if you don’t use condo cleaning services like our cleaning services at Homes At Heart. Be sure to choose one suitable for your floor type. The right winter rinse will break down salt deposits, without leaving behind a residue to dull floors.

Wipe floors often

Keep a handy floor cleaner ready at the door to wipe up any splashes right away. Swiffer products serve as effective solutions by allowing for a swift cleanup by spraying and wiping. However, it’s important to watch out for any rogue salt grains as they can cause damage to the flooring. To prevent scratches on hardwood or laminate surfaces, begin by sweeping away any remnants of grit and then proceed to use the Swiffer softly.

Salt stains on house mats

If you notice your mats are getting gritty and stained, you should show them some cleaning love. Winter rinse products are usually okay for use on carpets too. However, you’ll actually need a wet/dry vacuum to use on carpeting or mats. This is a messy job and most people don’t have such a fancy cleaning machine if they live in a condo. If this is the case, be sure to at least vacuum your mats regularly to suck up any salt that might get tracked in.

Inside Your Car

Our cars can be a catch-all for debris and stains. Salt stains are even more common in your car than in your home. Ensure to keep on top of cleaning salt stains in your car will keep it fresh and protected.

Cleaning the inside of your car is much like cleaning your carpets. These easy steps will make sure all the areas are properly cleaned:

Vacuum the area. Remove floor mats if the stain is on the floor and the mats are removable.
Apply small amounts of cleaning solutions and pat dry with a rag or paper towel.
Thoroughly dry the area to prevent any mildewing or odour.

Protecting your car will ensure your investment will be the freshest and cleanest for many future trips.

Don’t forget about your pets! Those daily walks mean that salt can be tracked into your home.

If you have pets, keep in mind that salt and ice melt products can be very harmful if pets eat them. Try to find a place in your closet to keep your boot tray and shoes so there is less risk of them licking or chewing at them and getting residue into their systems. It is also equally important to keep carpets and floors as clean as possible with frequent wiping and cleaning if you have pets.

We hope these tips on how to remove salt stains can help you protect your apparel, carpets and vehicles.

At Homes At Heart, we pride ourselves on offering high-quality residential cleaning services throughout Medicine Hat. Our team is keen on detail and flexible to accommodate your unique cleaning needs.

Join our growing happy client base enjoying our exceptional service delivery. Contact us today!