Can You Vacuum Salt? (Rock Salt and Table Salt)

Cleaners Talk is supported by its readers. This post contains affiliate links, we may earn a commission at no additional costs to you. We hope you love the products we recommend!

When winter comes around, snow arrives. But it also means that rock salt will be everywhere, especially on the entrance of most buildings, including your house, apartment, and office. With so much snow sludge and rock salt, it’s tempting to use a vacuum cleaner to pick everything up -- but is it safe?

Can you vacuum rock salt? It is safe to vacuum rock salt with a regular vacuum cleaner as long as it is dry. Because rock salt can get mixed up with ice melt, snow, and debris, your best bet is to use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner (Shop-Vac) to clean carpets and entrances that are wet and damp.

Additionally, some vacuum cleaners catch dirt with water instead of vacuum bags, so they catch rock salt and ice melt from damp areas very well. In this post, we will answer everything you need to know about the question: can you vacuum salt? You will also discover the difference between rock salt and table salt.

What is the Difference Between Rock Salt and Table Salt?

The biggest difference between rock salt and table salt is the size. Rock salt is made of bigger grains than table salt, which is usually finely ground. Because table salt is finely ground, anti-caking agents are often added to keep the crystals from sticking together and forming a clump.

Rock salt is the mineral form of sodium chloride, which can lower the freezing point of water. Because of its ability to melt ice, rock salt is used as a deicer, keeping your family safe from slips and falls during the winter. Unfortunately, they can also cause a mess indoors, so vacuuming them often is important.

Can You Vacuum Salt:

Rock salt and other ice melting products can damage your floors inside your home. They can also penetrate deep into carpets very quickly, so you need to clean them fast and often. If you use ice-melting products on your walkway, driveway, or porch, it is paramount to reduce as much exposure of these products indoors.

Can You Vacuum Table Salt?

Table salt is finely ground so it will not damage your vacuum cleaner. You can easily clean table salt with a regular vacuum cleaner. If you cook often, keep a handheld vacuum cleaner that is both convenient and lightweight nearby, so you can maintain the cleanliness of your kitchen area easily.

Additionally, you can use a broom and dustpan to sweep salt from the kitchen area. People often forget that the old-fashioned way of cleaning things is often the simplest and easiest way to get things done. You can also wipe the kitchen area from salt and other food ingredients with a microfiber cloth.

Can You Vacuum Ice Melt and Rock Salt?

While you can vacuum rock salt, we don’t recommend vacuuming them with a regular upright vacuum cleaner. Large particles that are wet may not be friendly for the average vacuum and can damage both the filter and motor. Remember, rock salt never travel alone and will bring their deicing friends inside your house. 

If you want vacuum ice melt and rock salt, you need a vacuum cleaner that is fit for the task. You need a wet-dry vacuum cleaner, also known as a Shop-Vac, capable of picking up rock salt and its wet residue, including ice, debris, and snow. Most wet-dry vacuums have large hoses to capture larger particles.

We know how annoying it is to come back home and bring the winter salt along with you. Thankfully, we found an amazing vacuum for cleaning rock salt from Sirena (link to Amazon). It is equipped with a power nozzle and a floor brush, which combine to eliminate rock salt particles and ice melt effortlessly.

The beauty of the Sirena vacuum cleaner is that it uses water to catch dirt. Unlike traditional vacuum cleaners, the Sirena doesn't need vacuum bags. Instead, the air is forced through a basin full of water that catches 99.9% of all contaminants, including rock salt, so everything is caught in the water and easy to dispose of.

Avoiding Floor Damage From Salt

In addition to vacuuming often, there are several things you can do to keep your house clear of salt. It takes a collective effort from each family member and office colleague to achieve the best outcome. Here are some of the things you can do to avoid floor damage from rock salt and ice melt materials:

  1. Take off your shoes before entering the house - This simple action can make a world of a difference in keeping your house clean from rock salt and snow sludge indoors!
  2. Place a doormat in every entrance of the building - Whether you are trying to keep your house or office clean, placing a doormat on every entrance is an amazing way to keep indoor floors clean!
  3. Use natural vinegar solution to clean carpet stains - Mix equal parts vinegar and water. Spray any discolored spots in the carpet and let the vinegar solution soak in for about 20 minutes. This gives the vinegar time to break down the particles that cause the salt stains.

You will be surprised at what vinegar can do to clean salt stains. In fact, according to an article by a USC alumni, vinegar is an excellent liquid to remove stains and break up soil particles because it has an acidity of 2.5 to 4.0. Not only is vinegar non-toxic, but it is also safe to use on different surfaces, including carpet.

Hard floors are generally easier to maintain than carpets. So if you are dealing with a stubborn salt stain on carpet, gently scrub the area with a sponge to break up any residue left behind. You can always spritz a bit more vinegar solution and let it soak before scrubbing the carpet. Hope this tip helps!

Final Words

And there you go, the answer to: can you vacuum rock salt? While you can easily vacuum table salt with a handheld vacuum cleaner, it is best to vacuum rock salt with a wet-dry vacuum cleaner. Additionally, take your shoes off before entering your house and place a doormat to keep your house free from winter residue.