Tis The Season: Tackling Ice Melt Residue

by EnvirOx
Tis The Season: Tackling Ice Melt Residue

Every winter, ice melt residue becomes the nemesis of custodial staff. The more snow there is, the more ice melt is required, and the more mess it leaves behind on floors. This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting a wetter-than-average winter for parts of the US, as seen on the map below:

Winter 2019/2020 NOAA precipitation MAP


NOAA doesn't make predictions about actual snowfall, as that can usually only be determined within a week or two. However, it does mean that these portions of the country could have more ice and snow, even if overall temperatures are expected to be a little above average1.

There are three huge issues with ice melt residue:

  • The most obvious—the white powdery residue looks unattractive.
  • If left on the floor, it can dull or damage floors.
  • Ice melt made of calcium chloride or magnesium chloride can also leave a slippery residue.

There are some steps to help prevent this residue from being deposited on floors in the first place, however. Consider installing floor mats or runners. They can absorb a lot of moisture and debris from the outside. A scraping mat can also work wonders preventing the outside mess from getting tracked in. Also, consider using a fertilizer spreader to distribute the ice melt more evenly. Using a scoop or pouring from the bag can lead to an excess of ice melt being used.

However, no matter what steps you take, cleaning the floors regularly will be necessary. Cleaning 2-3 times a day may be needed so that the ice melt residue doesn't sit on the floor's surface for too long and cause damage. Unfortunately, ice melt residue is known to be difficult to clean up.

For this, we recommend our Green Certified Neutral Floor Cleaner. It’s been proven to cut through ice melt with ease and replaces your neutralizer and detergent with one product.

Before and After using EnvirOx Green Certified Neutral Floor Cleaner on Ice Melt Residue

Here’s our recommended cleaning procedure using this product:

Equipment Needed: Pump-Up Sprayer and Mop OR Autoscrubber

  1. Assess the soil load/residue on the surface.
  2. Fill Pump Up Sprayer with Heavy Duty cleaning solution.
  3. Pre-Spray area with Heavy Duty cleaning solution. Be sure to saturate the surface thoroughly. Keeping the surface wet is key to residue removal.
  4. Let the product sit for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Use a mop buck or autoscrubber with clean water to remove the excess liquid. Change your water frequently to make sure you’re not putting salt residue back on the floor.


1. NOAA (October 2019). Winter Outlook: Warmer than average for many, wetter in the North. NOAA.gov. Retrieved from: https://www.noaa.gov/media-release/winter-outlook-warmer-than-average-for-many-wetter-in-north

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