Tips to help you choose the right ice melt.

By Kemar Trepair on February 22, 2021


Winters are normally brutal on our lives, affecting aspects of our home and surrounding. The lawns, walkways, and driveways may need as much attention as you would pay for the interior of your home. As they need some assistance to get rid of ice that has built up over the season.
To assist you with the removal of ice that has built up, you will need to seek out the best option for your driveways, walkways, etc. Our go-to method of ice removal would normally be rock salt or other chemically based ice melts. These methods do not come with the heavy cost attached nor the physical effort needed. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind.


Ice melt or deicers is known to lower the freezing point of water, which then makes it impossible for ice to form or even turning it into slush. These results are more common if you have laid the ice melt before snow begins to fall. However, if the snow has already begun to fall, the ice melt can be spread over piles of ice to encourage melting.
There are numerous types of ice melts ( de-icers). The main ingredients used in most of them are calcium chloride, sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, and potassium chloride. All chemicals are safe to use in any form based on moderation and duration.


There is a lot to consider when it comes to deciding which de-icer or ice melt is best for your surfaces, whether it be your business or home. Ice melts will only be effective if it is matched with the proper location, surface, and seasonal temperature.


The two biggest known factors in choosing the right ice melt for your home or office are time and temperature. How fast, and how long it will take to be effective are facts to be knowledgeable of, in order to make the right decision. The list below contains the options that are known to start working effectively between 15 - 20 minutes of being laid on the proper surface.

Here are the temperature ranges, based on research from Peter’s Chemicals:

  1. Calcium Chloride (-25o F)
  2. Magnesium Chloride (5o F)
  3. Sodium Acetate (5o F)
  4. Calcium Magnesium Acetate (5oF)
  5. Potassium Chloride (12o F)
  6. Urea (15o F)
  7. Sodium Chloride (20-22o F)


Ice melts are applied to ice and then it melts and becomes a solution. The solution then turns into a brine that allows it to separate ice from the surface it is on. When ice melts come in contact with water, it emits heat. This then melts more ice, and creates more brine.


There are several different types of ice melts. Here is a list of the most common ones that are also super effective and easy to obtain.


Calcium chloride ice melts are a favorite of many, due to the fact that it can work on its own ( works without the sodium compound that is found in most) and is very fast-acting. Calcium chloride is the most popular non- sodium-based chloride ice melt. This is highlighted due to the fact that sodium can actually harm vegetation and animals if they are exposed to an excess amount. As a compound that produces heat with moisture, it attracts moisture from the atmosphere and creates a chemical reaction, this resulted in brine.

Calcium Chloride is a heat-producing agent that works more effectively with moisture. It Would draw moisture from both the ice pill and the cold atmosphere which then creates the chemical reaction used to melt the ice. This type of de-icer works is superb for colder temperatures working effectively at -25 degrees for - 32 degrees celsius. You can get calcium chloride ice melts at places such as Leamington.ON, and


Magnesium Chloride is a salt made of magnesium and chlorine as the name suggests. This type of de-icer is known to be less corrosive, create minimal damage, leave minimal residue, and operate at temperatures as low as -5 degrees F and is quickly activated.
One major disadvantage that you will need to consider is that this product may only perform at a 48 percent capacity due to the fact that it dilutes very quickly. Another disadvantage is that it is generally more expensive.


The term rock salt comes from the fact that the product normally contains bits and pieces of gravel and grits to create friction on the surface that you use it on. Rock salt is most likely the first thing that comes to mind when trying to figure out how you would remove frozen ice from your lawn, driveways, or walkways. The material that makes Halite ( rock salt) effective is sodium chloride.

Rock salt is known to chemists as Sodium Chloride. This is normally produced by evaporating seawater or digging in mines. 270 million tons of it was produced in 2020 alone. The main advantage of using this type of de-icer is it comes at a cheaper cost. You can find it at your local for as low as 25 cents per pound.
Some of the disadvantages are: it is not effective when temperatures drop below 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, it may cause damage to concrete surfaces, plants, and it may create salt stains around the house and on clothing.


Sodium Acetate ice melt is one of the safer options for de-icing. It is also a non-chloride-based ice melt, making it safer for your structures and steel. It is known to work better than urea and sodium chloride.
Sodium Acetate is also one of the de-icers that gives off heat and works in a similar fashion as Magnesium Chloride. This means that once applied properly, ice is melted away quickly and it also works longer and requires fewer applications. It is also easily applied and it does not leave a track like common de-icers. You can find this type at your local and S.T.E.M at a cost starting at $12.24 CA.
Calcium magnesium acetate is an environmentally friendly substitute for ice melts. For the environmentalist, this type of de-icer is biodegradable so it does not contaminate the environment. These types of de-icers normally leave a small residue after being applied, however, the residue normally increases the effectiveness of the product.
You can buy calcium magnesium acetate at your local Home Depot. ca, and These normally start at $23 ca.


Potassium chloride can be used at a high effective temperature of 25 degrees f. It performs at a slower rate than others and the potential for corrosion and environmental impact is moderate. This type of ice melt is closer to Urea. Neither of these options is suited for snow or ice control.
All these ice melts can be applied by yourself but due to the presence of a chemical mixture, we advise you to seek the assistance of a professional. Locating the right person for this does not have to be hard either, visit bridggez and become one of our patrons, list your needs and we will help you fulfill them.