How to remove salt water stains from tile

Ice melt, a mixture of water and salt (and sometimes other chemicals like calcium chloride and magnesium chloride), is one of those handy little things that everyone needs during the cold winter months. Preventing falls and making otherwise slippery sidewalks safe, ice melt is the king of the winter. But there is just one problem… if not properly taken care of, the salt in the mixture gets tracked into households and can actually damage your tile flooring!

We see this all the time in our local Red Deer cleaning services. Most people wear boots with treads on them in the winter (to those of you still wearing sneakers, hats off to you if you make it through the season), and this is precisely where the ice melt gets stuck and ends up being brought into homes and deposited on your floors. Once the mixture begins to melt, it spreads out onto the floor and can leave stains that are difficult to remove. And if you go to apply floor wax or sealants without first taking care of the stains, they will certainly be there for a long time!

So instead of mucking up your entryway floors, read on to discover an easy and effective way to remove salt-water stains from tile, before they cause havoc in your home.

  1. Sweep the area of all dirt, salt, and other dry residue.
  2. Make a mixture of water and white vinegar. You will need approximately one cup of vinegar for every gallon of water, depending on how much area you need to cover, but the ratio should stay the same.
  3. Use a mop and dip it into the water-vinegar mixture. If you need more advice on how to use a mop, we’d suggest asking your mother or doing a simple YouTube search.
  4. If you just need to spot clean a small area, wet a cloth with the mixture and scrub.
  5. Once you’ve removed the stains, wipe or mop the area with clean water to remove any vinegar residue.
  6. Let the floor air-dry before walking on it, then admire your squeaky-clean floor and all your hard work!


Spot a salt stain on your favourite pair of shoes? No problem! Simply combine one part vinegar to two parts water, soak a clean cloth in the mixture, wring out, then gently dab the offending area of the shoe. Let air-dry, then polish or condition as you normally would. This method works well on canvas, leather and other common materials, but avoid using it on suede.

Now that you know how to take care of those pesky salt-water stains, you’re sure to sail through the cold winter months with ease. Luckily, salt stains are fairly easy to deal with, but if you end up with a more difficult task, it might be easiest to find out what services we have to offer.

Either way, we wish you all the best in your cleaning endeavors come rain, snow, or shine!