Ice Melt Problems
One of the key elements in a SMART Cleaning program is matting. Matting is very important in stopping dust and soils from entering the main areas of the building.
This time of year in the northern regions cleaners begin dealing with ice melt problems. These ice melters are usually sodium chloride or calcium chloride.
When tracked into a building, calcium chloride absorbs and holds moisture, keeping walk off mats and carpeting wet and slippery. When calcium chloride comes in contact with a normal detergent the alkalinity in the detergent converts the calcium chloride into calcium hydroxide (better known as lime) which is almost completely insoluble in water.
To remove calcium chloride from carpet or matting an acidic rinse is needed.
One SMART (green) method of this would be to add 1 cup white vinegar per 2 cups warm water to a pump sprayer and spray the solution on the fibers. Then extract the carpeting or matting with clear water.
This same mixture can be used in an auto scrubber to remove the ice melt from hard surfaces also.
Andi Lee-Marnicio, CCT, CCRT
Blackhawk Intermediate School
Blackhawk School District
Beaver Falls, PA 15010