Only in St. Louis can we have a week with 70º+ temperatures on one day and snow the next, yet last week served up precisely this combination of weather. Our city has long been known as one of the largest meteorologist mysteries in the western hemisphere, hasn’t it?
While we certainly can’t promise that the winter of 2017 doesn’t have one really good snow in it before March, Spring will inevitably arrive in all it’s warmth and sunny glory. That means it’s time to start thinking about getting your vehicle ready for the warm seasons.
For the drivers out there who have been carrying a mound of road salt in their floorboards since the one snowfall we received in mid-December, this article is for you! Today, we’re showing you how to remove salt stains from car carpet and upholstery.
What is road salt made of?
Many reading this article already know what salt does; it’s the white, granular crystals strewn across roadways to ensure drivers don’t slide around on ice or snow. But when was the last time you stopped to consider what road salt was made of – and more importantly – how this salt affects the materials it comes in contact with, such as your vehicle’s floorboards or other upholstery items?
Similar to table salt, road salt has the same sodium chloride composition as its flavor-enhancing cousin. Unlike table salt, however, the mineral used to treat roadways is bathed in iodine and other chemicals to improve the rate at which they melt snow and ice. As a result, road salt is not fit for human consumption, but it definitely makes our roads more passable when winter strikes.
How to Remove Salt Stains from Car Carpet and Upholstery
When road safety crews treat the streets in preparation for severe cold or impending snow storms, it can be easy to track some of these particles into your vehicle. Each time you get into your car, you rest your feet onto the floorboard, repeatedly grinding road salt into the floorboard carpet. In only days to a week, this salt can become infused with your floorboard, making it increasingly difficult to remove. Not only are these spots visually unappealing, they can also cause damage to the carpet itself.
In order to remove salt stains from your carpet or upholstery, all you need is a spray bottle filled with a 1/2 water, 1/2 vinegar solution and a dry towel.
Simply spray a helping of the solution onto the carpet or upholstery spot containing salt residue. Once the area has been thoroughly saturated, gently press the dry towel onto the soaked area. The idea of this technique is not to grind the salt deeper into the carpet but to soak up the salt, water and vinegar. If salt still remains once this process has been executed, repeat this paragraph over again, using a freshly dried towel to clean up the wet material.
Once all road salt has been removed from your carpet and/or upholstery, you may wish to remove any residual vinegar smells from your vehicle. This can be accomplished by rolling down the windows of your vehicle and letting the upholstery air out for a few hours.