December 19, 2016 at 01:26pm
By: Eric Scholl, Multi-Clean
Ice melting compounds are used extensively in the winter months near the entrances of buildings to keep the ground from getting slippery, to ensure the safety of employees and customers.
The problem is, as people enter the building, the ice melt residue is tracked inside and onto carpets and hard floors. This creates cleaning challenges.
To understand the solution to this issue, we first need to understand the chemistry of ice melts.
Ice melts are water soluble salts. They dissolve in water and reduce the freezing point of the water solution. For example, a water solution containing calcium chloride (the most common ice melt compound) would have a freezing point of -20 oF. Compare this to the traditional freezing point of water, 32 oF.
The result of using these types of salts to melt ice is the formation of a compound called calcium carbonate. We often refer to this compound as "hard water residue" or "lime scale." It is the same compound that you often see and have trouble cleaning in restrooms.
If you need to remove tracked in ice melt residues from floors, be sure to use a product recommended for the type of floor you are using it on. Use only products where it specifically states that it is safe for carpets and hard floors.
Dalco’s Orbit is a mildly acidic neutralizer that can be used for ice melt residue. It is safe for use on carpets.
Use the following procedures to remove stubborn ice melt residue your floors carpets:
- Dilute Orbit at a rate of 4 oz/gal of water.
- Apply to area using a pump up spray or trigger sprayer.
- Work into the carpet using a spotting brush.
- Let the product stand for 5-10 minutes, then lightly agitate with the brush.
- Re-apply with more Orbit, then extract or blot out the stain.
For hard floors, Dalco ICE KLEEN is a non-acidic product designed to be used safely on all types of hard floors including finished (waxed) tile floors, rubber floors, granite, marble, ceramic tile, grout, sealed wood, polished concrete and entry way matting. It quickly dissolves ice melt residue on floors. Use on virtually any floor not harmed by water!
- For removing stubborn white stains on hard floors, dilute Ice Kleen at 2-4 oz/gal of water.
- Apply to the affected area and let stand for 1-2 minutes.
- Pick up or rinse away the solution.
For hard floors that are sensitive to acids, like marble and concrete, Dalco’s Ice Kleen is a great alternative that is effective against ice melt residues without harming acid-sensitive surfaces.
You can also follow these tips to help prevent the formation of ice melt stains:
Use good quality walk-off matting that includes a combination of wipe and scraper matting.
Use at least 15 feet of walk-off matting at entries. In winter months, consider using additional matting to keep floors dry.
Use Orbit daily to help prevention of ice melt deposits on hard floors.
In entry areas where ice melt tracking is likely to occur, mop floors regularly with Orbit. For daily mopping of finished or other hard floors, dilute Orbit at 1 oz/gal of water and mop floors as usual.
Maintain entrances outside the building.
Using ice melts is a necessity. Keeping areas outside just before entering a building as clean and ice-free as possible helps to prevent ice melt tracking.