Winter time in the Pocono Mountains and Northeast Pennsylvania can be a wonderful experience. However, the sights and scenes and activities that come along with the wintry weather also bring maintenance problems that can damage homes and businesses. Ice melt products that are meant to keep people safe from slip and falls can also cause damages to textiles, structures and furnishings. Cleaning up this winter weather mess can be quite challenging.
Ice melt products come in different chemical compositions which affect they’re operating temperatures, however they all have one thing in common. Ice melt products don’t actually melt ice they lower the temperature at which water freezes. The resulting chemical reaction between the melted ice and the product being dissolved creates a compound known as calcium carbonate which is just basically the same as hard water. Many people know hard water due to lime scale build up and its ability to stain and damage plumbing and fixtures.
When ice melt residue gets tracked onto carpets and rugs, or brushed onto fabrics, it leaves unsightly white crusty stains which can be difficult to remove. The residue has a high alkalinity which can also cause deterioration to items like door jambs, thresholds and concrete. Although some ice melting mixtures claim to be safe for plants, animals and walkways, removing their ugly presence from your floor coverings requires the proper treatment.
Furnishings and rugs should be cleaned a little differently but usually a mild acidic rinse needs to be applied with a sprayer, gently brushed into the affected area and then rinsed away. This must be accomplished without over wetting and without causing more damage than already exists. There are effective products on the market such as “Back to 7” or “All Fiber Rinse” that the Do It Yourselfer may purchase and try but some tasks are best left to someone with the proper equipment and knowledge. As a certified and professional carpet cleaner I must offer a word of caution though. Follow the directions, pretest any cleaning solutions in an inconspicuous area and test run a very small area first so that you can check for adverse reactions that may occur, mainly color loss and dye bleeding.
For small areas, vacuum the area thoroughly first to remove any loose debris and undissolved ice melt. Then mist on a mixture of half vinegar and half water with a clean spray bottle. Use a large tooth hair comb to gently brush in the solution and let it sit for a few minutes so that it can have time to neutralize the residue. After about 5 minutes or so take a white absorbent towel and start blotting up the moisture. Use a clean spray bottle to mist on some plain water as a rinse and blot again. If you are getting positive results, continue this process until you have achieved the best possible result. Remember to blot and never rub as aggressive actions can cause permanent damage to the face of the carpet yarns. Dry the carpet as best you can.
In some cases, calling your trusted professional IICRC certified cleaning firm is the best idea. The time, labor and material costs you invest might be better spent on having the carpets, rugs or furniture professionally cleaned. Services Etcetera Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning has been serving Northeast Pennsylvania, the Poconos and surrounding communities since 1990. We offer friendly and free estimates with IICRC certified Journeyman Textile Cleaners on staff. Give us a call today at 570-459-0429 or visit us at www.nepacarpetcleaning.com