Tracking red clay soil into your North Texas home can have you running around in circles looking for a solution, both figuratively and literally. Luckily, the prevalence of the soil in this area has resulted in locals knowing just what to do, when the clay threatens to mold their homes into grimy paradises. By keeping the following spring cleaning tips in mind, you can ensure that red clay soil won’t present a muddy problem down the road and in your home.
Banish Red Clay Soil Stains
To remove these tenacious, russet stains from your floors, first make an important and counter-intuitive decision: let the soil dry. This allows it to harden and makes it easier to loosen up and remove with a hard brush, which should be your preliminary clean-up step. Once you’ve cracked the clay and manually dislodged bits and pieces, create a hardy and inexpensive naturally abrasive solution by combining water and borax. Mix about 2 tablespoons of borax with a gallon of water and use this solution to scrub away streaks, smears, and tracks. In many cases, this process will rid your floors of clay mark eyesores easily and thoroughly. For particularly stubborn stains, apply stronger products, like commercial cleaning agents or ammonia and consider a pretreatment or overnight soaking.
Change Your Habits
While there are a number of commercial cleaning products that can oust red clay soil from your floors and home surfaces, longtime residents of Dallas will tell you that some of the best spring cleaning tips to win the battle against this notorious soil involve basic prevention techniques. Living in an area with red clay soil can require that you modify your habits in order to keep it as far away from the interior of your home as possible. Accustom yourself to taking off shoes before walking into your home. This simple act can spare you numerous hours of elbow grease and save you money on industrial-grade cleaning supplies. If you must enter your home wearing shoes, consider investing in a shoe or boot scraper for you and your guests to use before setting foot into your abode.
Give Your Topsoil a Facelift
If red clay soil surrounds your property and you find it impossible to avoid dragging it into your home, consider laying sod over the soil for a shot at green grass and happy relief. Be aware that you’ll have to invest time and energy into modifying your property’s terrain: Preparations such as choosing the right grass, regular watering, and fertilization may be necessary, but can lead to a completely new and improved stomping ground. While a lush lawn won’t happen overnight, the eventual emergence of soft and forgiving grass can cultivate your appreciation. Your cleaning efforts will reduce considerably and, as an added benefit, your yard’s aesthetic will improve, potentially increasing your home’s value.
Image Source: Flickr/Eric Huybrechts