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7 Fun Facts About Rock Salt

rock salt to melt ice

Rock Salt or sodium chloride or NaCl, is one of the most commonly used ice melting ingredients in cold and chilly regions. It is extracted from the core of the sea bed and underground rock formations by residential and commercial establishments alike. 

While we know it is not a concrete-safe ice melt, let us take a quick look at the seven fun facts about sodium chloride or rock salt. 

1. Another name for rock salt is ‘halite’ which is the Greek word for salt. The chemical name is sodium chloride. It is different from regular table salt because it is purified and contains the necessary iodine content. 

2. Evaporated sea beds and lake beds are the best places to extract rock salt. However, it is also mined from underground beds or salt mines in heavy quantities throughout the year. Interestingly, Utah has one of the oldest salt mines in the country dating back to the 1950s, holding salt dating back to 150 million years. 

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3. One of the largest salt mines in the world is the Sifto salt mines in Goderich, Ontario, Canada that produces nearly 26,000 tonnes of salt per day. It runs deep under Lake Huron and goes on for almost 7 to 8 kms. 

4. It can appear to have different colors depending on the isotropic differences. The most commonly found color is the Himalayan Salt that is pink in color.

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5. Besides being used in road safety, it is also consumed as edible salt after purification. 

6. It has anti-caking properties, making it suitable for long-term storage or use straight away, even in sub-zero temperatures. 

7. Rock salt with anti-caking properties is popularly used by retail stores, offices, and large commercial establishments with a heavy footfall. The area covered with this salt tends to be cleaner and does not become a brine or slush mess. However, while it is used in heavy quantities, it is not the best ice melt safe for concrete

You can use rock salt as a single product or as a blend. However, it provides temporary relief and is not a concrete-safe ice melt.

Does Rock Salt Melt Ice Faster?

Not necessarily. The speed at which rock salt or ice melt melts ice depends on various factors, including temperature, humidity, and the specific formulation of the product. In some cases, ice melt products can work faster due to their unique chemical compositions and lower effective temperature limits.

Difference Between Rock Salt and Ice Melt

The primary difference between rock salt and ice melt is their composition and performance. Rock salt is a basic form of sodium chloride, effective at melting ice but less so in very cold conditions. Ice melt products, on the other hand, are often engineered with a blend of different chemicals for faster and more effective ice removal, even in extremely cold temperatures.

De-icing properties, there are some significant differences between ice melt and rock salt:

  • Composition: Rock salt is primarily sodium chloride, whereas ice melt products can be a mix of various chemicals and additives.
  • Temperature: Ice melt products are designed to work effectively at lower temperatures compared to plain rock salt.
  • Speed: Ice melt can often work faster than rock salt, making it a quicker solution for removing ice.

Environmentally Friendly Ice Melt

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The Original and the #1 Child and Pet Safe Ice Melt for over 20 years. Guaranteed environmentally safe – will not harm waterways and sensitive wetlands.

Does Safe Paw Contain Any Rock Salt? 

Safe Paw is one of the safest ice melt for concrete today. Safe Paw comprises a unique balance of patented dual-effect compounds. It is chloride-free, salt-free, acetate-free, and 100% safe for the environment.

Safe Paw: A Safer Alternative for De-Icing

While rock salt and ice melt products are commonly used for de-icing, they can pose risks to pets, plants, and concrete surfaces. Safe Paw offers a safer and more effective alternative:

  • Non-Toxic: Safe Paw is free from harmful chemicals, making it safe for pets, plants, and the environment.
  • Effective: It excels at melting ice and snow, making it easier to clear driveways and walkways.
  • Concrete Safe: Unlike some ice melt products that can damage concrete, Safe Paw is formulated to be gentle on your concrete surfaces.

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Safe Paw, Dog/Child/Plant Pet Safe Ice Melt with Traction Agent,100% Salt-Free/Chloride-Free, Non-Toxic, Fast Acting, Lasts 3X Longer-160 Jugs

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Rock salt does more harm than good to the environment. However, like every change, shifting from rock salt is not easy. The fun facts give us a sneak-peek into the different ways to mine salt or extract salt from the deepest parts of the seabed or dried river beds. Since Safe Paw is non-corrosive and non-conductive, it does not harm your pets or concrete. It will melt ice almost without worrying about property damage and is an ice melt safe for concrete too. 

Gaia Enterprises Inc. delivers 100% pet-safe and environmentally friendly winter products. Safe Paw, our flagship product, is the #1 selling pet-safe ice melt that does not harm pets, safe if ingested, and safe on all types of concrete.


A. Yes, you can use rock salt on your driveway to melt ice and snow. However, be cautious as it may not be as effective in extremely cold temperatures.

A. Rock salt can be harmful to pets if ingested or if it gets stuck in their paws. It’s recommended to use a pet-safe alternative like Safe Paw.

A. Safe Paw works by breaking the bond between ice and the surface, allowing you to easily shovel or sweep away the ice.

A. Yes, Safe Paw is safe for concrete and won’t damage your driveway or walkways.

A. Yes, Safe Paw is safe to use around plants and won’t harm them.

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Other Ice Melt Products

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