If you live in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota, or any community that salts their icy roads, then you know that salt coats your car and needs to be rinsed off regularly to avoid rust. The truth is that this salt coats the bottom of our shoes as well. We don’t notice how much salt is on our shoes because it is most abundant on the part of our shoes that we don’t see very often (the bottom). That surface has tread that is designed to grip the surface that you are walking on. The better the tread works, the more it also grips sand and salt.
Salt is especially harsh on carpet for several reasons;
- Salt is coarse and abrasive; It can wear out the carpet fibers.
- The salt from roads is coated in smog which can transfer to the fibers and dye them a darker color.
- The chemical make-up of salt is harsh on the carpet fibers and can break them down.
- As salt gets damp it dilutes and re-crystalizes around the carpet fibers holding fast in place.
The problem with salt that has re-crystalized around the carpet fibers is that it has to be diluted into liquid form to release itself from the carpet. This is done through the method of hot water extraction. The heat and water injected into the carpet dilutes the water and the vacuum sucks that salty liquid out of the carpet. This is why The Commercial Steam Team uses powerful truck mounted hot water extraction (steam cleaning) unit. Weak vacuum strength will leave the carpet soaked since it takes large volumes of water to melt the salt down. Also be sure after the salt has visibly disappeared to continue rinsing the carpet as the diluted salt is invisible and may still be in the carpet. Extra rinsing is essential.