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Well, I guess winter has finally hit us in Victoria BC. One minute we are posting pictures of the spring flowers stating to sprout up, then boom! We are hit with a polar vortex.  Thankfully, most of the roads are now ploughed and salted. The salt is great for transportation and avoiding injuries, but the salt is not so great once it gets inside our buildings. Salt from the roads and sidewalks can do real damage to our hardwood and laminate floors. We encounter this with our office cleaning and want to provide you with some tips on winter salt.

Here are our tips for cleaning up the salt from hardwood floors:

Outside Footware

Ideally, you would take off any outside footwear before stepping onto hardwood or laminate floors. This is good advice for the home, but for a business, it is not great etiquette to ask your employees and customers to remove their shoes before entering! Sweep or vacuum salt crystals off floors as soon as possible. Larger crystals can puncture and scratch the finish on hardwood or laminate flooring, and finer crystals can wear away the finish like sand paper if repeatedly walked on. You also don’t want to start mopping with any loose crystals still on the floor, as this too can cause scratching.

Heavy White Salt Stains

If the floor has heavy white stains from the salt, even after vacuuming, spray some warm water on the salt stains before mopping. The water will start dissolving the salt before the pressure from the mop is applied. This will again prevent wear on the floor finish.

Castile Soap

Prepare a solution of warm water and Castile soap. Castile soap is a biodegradable, non-toxic soap made from vegetable oils; usually olive oil, coconut oil or hemp oil. You only need a small amount for the soap; around 1 table spoon for 2 gallons of water. Just using a microfiber flat mop and warm water would work just fine, but the Castile soap helps with the extra winter grime. Although many people suggest using vinegar and water on hardwood floors, the acidic nature of vinegar can damage the wood finish over time.

Microfiber & Warm Water

Next soak a microfiber flat mop head in the warm water, then squeeze out as much water as you manually can. You do not ever want your mop head to be too wet when cleaning hardwood. This is why I would never recommend using a string mops for this type of flooring. Excess water gets between the hardwood or laminate boards and will lift and warp them over time.


When mopping with the microfiber flat mop, always mop along the grain of the wood or laminate. Mopping across the grain will cause streaking.

Keep Rinsing

If you don’t have more than one microfiber mop head you can use, keep rinsing out the salt and dirt for the mop head as you go.

Polish the Dry Floor

Because you are not using a lot of water on the floor, it should dry pretty quickly. Alternatively, if you have one, use a dry microfiber mop head to polish the floor dry.

If you would like any more information about Non-Toxic Office Cleaning in Victoria BC contact us today for a free consultation and quote

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