The $10 Item Pros Recommend for Rescuing Your Floors from Winter Grossness

published Jan 25, 2020
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to find yourself trying to get de-icing salt out of your carpet, you know that it takes a professional to get the job done. So the key is to avoid getting salt all over your flooring to begin with—and a $10 boot tray can help you avoid a much pricier pro cleaning.

“Due to the nature of de-icing salt, we recommend contacting a carpet cleaning professional as the substance can change the color of carpet,” says The Carpet and Rug Institute’s communications manager Paul Tucker. “Also, we recommend the use of walk-off mats on the inside and outside of entrances as this keeps contaminants, like de-icing salt, from ever reaching carpet, along with regularly cleaning the mats.” And the biggest thing? Containing grimy shoes on boot trays after you’ve stomped off as much slush as you can, which goes a long way for preventing damage.

Credit: Ottomanson

For a super budget-friendly pick, Amazon offers a plain, no-frills black option for just $9. The outer lip will help contain any melting snow as your boots dry off.

Buy: Ottomanson 15″x30″ Multi-Purpose Indoor & Outdoor Waterproof Tray, $9.01 at Amazon

If you’re looking for something a little sturdier, try this steel Crate & Barrel tray, which has a raised inset to let water drip down away from shoes and boots, speeding up drying time.

Buy: Metal Boot Tray, $39.95 at Crate & Barrel

Don’t forget to add two door mats, too. A lot of people have mats outside, but placing another inside your door will not only protect the flooring at your entry—it will also help soak up any grossness (de-icing salt, dirt, and more) that could stay on your shoes and find its way into the rest of your home. That’s why pros like Tucker recommend the one-two punch of a double mat system.

Credit: L.L. Bean

For inside and out, try these recycled polyester doormats from L.L. Bean. You know these doormats work because the company actually uses them in its own flagship store, which sees around 7.5 million visitors each year. The amount of people who show up to your doorstep are nothing compared to that! Their combination of thick and thin fibers trap dirt and water—up to 1.5 gallons of water per square yard, in fact.

Buy: Everyspace Recycled Waterhog Doormat, Mountain Scene, $39.95 at L.L. Bean