It’s that time of year again. Winter floor care season. Snow has blanketed much of the country and we are all dealing with the mess that it tracks in. Many are struggling with salt residue on their floors and the seeming endless flow of sloppy wet ice melting mess.
After dealing with these issues for years, I know what a pain this can be. There is hope though. With a few easy adjustments to your cleaning methods, you will once again be able to have clean, streak free floors, all year long!
4 Must Have Winter Floor Care Tools
#1 – Nylon Dust Mops
If you struggle to get your dust mop to slide across the salt covered floor, you are probably using a cotton mop. For years, cotton dust mops have been the standard. But, they have so many drawbacks. In winter, the biggest problem is they will not glide due to moisture. They grab and drag terribly.
To solve this, switch to a nylon dust mop like this one. The nylon does not absorb moisture, but will collect and push the dirt and debris. They need no dust mop treatment and are really easy to clean. You can even use them wet!
You can also check out my dust mopping tips and get a better understanding of how to make your dust mopping easier.
#2 – Change Your Cleaning Solution
Salt is alkaline. Dirt is not. Your normal neutral floor cleaner may work great for normal everyday soils, but will do nothing to remove heavy salt residue.
To remove the sticky alkaline salt you will need a neutralizer. (Here is a link the neutralizer I recommend) This takes the alkalinity of the salt and changes it to neutral. Once the alkalinity of the salt has been neutralized, it will rinse away easily.
In case you have never heard of neutralizer, you can read my article on the subject and learn how it is different from neutral floor cleaner here.
#3 – Backpack Vacuum
When it comes to winter, there is nothing I hate more than those little salt crystals. They just seem to be everywhere. We spend time sweeping them up, only to turn around and it looks like we were never there. They just keep coming!
Using a backpack vacuum makes the process so much easier. Regular upright vacuums don’t work so well with larger particles because the brush roll tends to kick them back out or blow them around. With the back pack vac, you are able to suck those pesky little devils up without the fuss. Also, because the area is probably wet, the mobility of a light weight wand makes it easier to avoid the puddles of water and NOT destroy your vacuum motor.
If you need a good, low cost backpack vacuum, here is the one I use all the time.
#4 – Wet/Dry Vacuum
Sometimes, when the snow is coming down, it can be difficult to keep floors dry as it is tracked in. So much so, that a mop and bucket will simply not keep up.
One thing that I have found is that using a wet/dry vacuum can really speed up the process and is super easy to grab and go. This will save your other vacuums from accidentally sucking up water and damaging the motors.
Here is a link to a good commercial grade wet/dry vacuum and I recommend getting to squeegee kit so you don’t have to deal with the hoses and wand. This is a really fast way to clean up any wet spill, but works exceptionally well for winter salt clean up!
There you go. Those suggestions should help you survive the mess and slop that winter brings with it.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please share them with me on the Bald Guy Clean Facebook page!