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Best Homemade Ice Melt

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homemade ice melting solutions

Snow is accumulating on your driveway, sidewalk, and the steps to the front door and you are out of rock salt or ice melter. It is imperative that you get something down to stop the snow from turning into ice.But what can one use in a pinch? Listed below are the best homemade ice melt quick fixes when store-bought brands are unavailable.

Each remedy will be listed from best to worse for their deicing abilities, with pros and cons; ending with a closing comment. So here is the list of homemade ice melting solutions.

List Of Homemade Ice Melt Solutions

1. Table Salt, Kosher Salt, and Sea Salt

Will table salt melt ice? Yes, it will. Heat is released because of the exothermic reaction that occurs between the salt and water, which lowers the freezing point of the water in the snow. In other words, this chemical reaction hinders the advancement of the water’s freezing process. The table salt does melt ice, and this is why road crews use it for deicing.

Pros:

  • An effective homemade de-icer.
  • Grained salt, like kosher salt, is useful for traction.

Cons:

  • Salt in a substantial amount is considered caustic and toxic.
  • Environmentally harmful, in moderate and large quantities, to plants, animals, water wells, drinking water, aquatic ecosystems, and humans.
  • Excessive usage of deicing salts can corrode metals and ruin concrete, asphalt, and natural stone.

Non-Toxic De-Icer

Safe Paw Snow Melter

Safe Paw

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

2. Rubbing Alcohol

Perhaps not as effective as salt where ice melt is concerned, but certainly not as toxic or harmful either. Rubbing alcohol or Isopropyl ALCOHOL has a freezing temperature at about -20 degrees Fahrenheit. It slows the freezing process of water in ice and snow. Isopropyl alcohol can be found in most commercial ice melt and windshield deicing products. If you mix a little dish soap into your alcohol ice melt, the melted ice will be less likely to freeze again. The hot water aids in the melting process, which is especially vital in below-freezing temperatures. Increase the amount of isopropyl alcohol to as much as 4 tbsp in extremely cold temperatures or for thick ice

Rubbing alcohol is bad for dogs and other pets. It can cause vomiting, confusion, incoordination, collapse, respiratory depression, and seizures in pets if consumed.

Pros:

  • Suitable as an ice melt
  • Less harmful than salt

Cons:

  • More than moderate quantities can cause skin, eye, and lung irritation.
  • The rubbing alcohol de-icer can damage your delicate surfaces if you use too little alcohol at frigid temperatures. It can result in even more ice accumulating.
  • Not safe for pets

3. Fertilizer

Fertilizer can be spread atop the ice or snow. The warming effects of the fertilizer will very slowly begin to melt the ice, but not as quickly as salt or rubbing alcohol. Compost can comprise ammonium sulfate, potassium chloride or urea.

Pros

  • Somewhat effective as an ice melt

Cons 

  • Harmful when ice liquefies and fertilizer run-off enters municipal sewers and waterways which negatively affects nearby ecosystems. 

4. Baking Soda

All you have to do is liberally sprinkle baking soda on the ice-covered path and wait for it to thaw. It contains salt, which helps to keep ice from freezing. You must, however, avoid using the soda-sprinkled path right away.

Baking soda works, though not quite as well as salt. It is better than nothing and will provide some traction on icy terrain. This homemade ice melt will take a lot of time while doing little.

Pros

  • Less alkaline than salt

Cons

  • Not very effective as an ice melt

5.  Beet Juice

It is a homemade pet-safe ice melt. Dogs, cats, and any other pets you have are safe to swallow small amounts of beet juice. It is not only natural ice melt but is also safe for furry friends.

There is also no need to be concerned about beet juice hurting your plants or corroding your sidewalk and driveway. But it will leave a purple tint on your walkways and driveways.

To melt the ice with beet juice, combine 20 percent beet juice with 80 percent salt brine in a spray container. Spray it on slick surfaces and wait for it to take effect. Beet juice will aid the salt brine in further lowering the freezing temperature of the water.

Pros

  • A homemade pet safe ice melt solution

Cons

  • It will leave your walkways and driveways with a purple hue.
  • After every application, you need to clean and wash the surface to avoid staining.

6.  Soda

Beverages with a lot of sugar can double as an ice melt. You can spray Kool-Aid, soda, fruit juice, or any other sugary drink on ice and snow to help it melt more quickly. You can use this alternative if your house is out of both regular salt and plain sugar, and you need to deice your sidewalk and driveway quickly. 

It shouldn’t be used too often because it’s not as effective as some of the other options, and the artificial dyes can make a mess if they get on the bottoms of your shoes and track into your home. It can also wreak havoc on your car’s paint.

Pros

  • Can be an alternative to salt and sugar for melting ice

Cons

  • Not very effective as an ice melt
  • Artificial dyes are not good for your outdoors and indoors
  • Can even damage your car paint

7.  White Vinegar, Wood Ash, and Water Ice Melt

This ice melt recipe using white vinegar, wood ash, and water is not only great at melting ice and it’s also gentle on plants.

Collect 2 cups of wood ash from your fireplace to melt this ice. Fill a gallon bucket halfway with water, then add the wood ash. Allow the mixture to settle for at least one night. Clear out all of the wood ash that is still floating in the morning. 

Pour the contents of the old bucket into a new one, discarding the clumps of wood ash at the bottom. Stir in 2 cups white vinegar until thoroughly combined. Pour it into a spray bottle once it’s thoroughly combined.

Pros

  • Can be used as an ice melt for old and new ice

Cons

  • You need to burn enough wood first to make this natural ice melt
  • Do not provide traction

After reading the details above, you could conclude that the best homemade ice melt may not be best for the environment. There is a growing concern that man-made chemicals and pollutants could destroy the environment to a point of no return. Thus, the movement of Going Green revolutionaries has emerged in the 21st century promoting clean energy solutions and alternatives to harsh chemicals being used today.

Technological advancements for producing greener products have increased over the past years. Products that are safe for families, pets, and the environment. Is there an environmentally safe ice melt?

The answer is yes. And the name of the product is Safe Paw Ice Melt. Utilizing natural ingredients found in nature this break-through eco-friendly ice melt product is safe for families, pets, and the surrounding ecosystems.

Pros:

  • An excellent ice melt.
  • Will not harm humans, pets, or the environment

Cons:

  • That only a few of the Earth’s populace will recognize the value of this product.

Comparing Safe Paw with Other Ice Melts

Safe Paw Ice Melt Safe For Dogs

The comparison of ice melt will help you understand the various compositions and capabilities of different products, allowing you to make the best decision for your home.

When comparing ice melters, one of the most important aspects to consider is the surface of the substance being treated.

If you are treating your home’s wooden deck, you should avoid using ice melt that contains chlorides. As chloride can damage the wood’s fastening system, and the brine solution can attract moisture to the wood’s pores, causing it to freeze and produce black ice.

The next element to consider is the appropriate amount of melter to employ, as excessive usage of a melter can result in run-off difficulties, with chemicals seeping into the environment and contaminating the environment.

Better Than Homemade Ice Melt

Unlike homemade ice melt, it is effective in temperatures. It leaves no messy residual on surfaces like beet juice and soda. It gives you traction while melting snow and ice from all terrains.

It will not harm your pets, plants and has no caustic effect on metals and concrete. However, salt can corrode metals, yard furniture, and concrete.

Better Than Other Chemical-Based Ice Melt in Market

Sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium chlorides, and acetates are the five main types of ice melters used in homes. Ammonium Sulphates, Urea, and Glycols are other types of ice melters to consider when comparing ice melters but, SafePaw is the most secure option.

Sodium Chloride

It is the most widely used ice melt since it is inexpensive and readily available. You may notice discoloration around the house or on your shoes as a result of using rock salt. Rock salt is not safe for the environment or pets because its chemical composition is roughly 67 percent chlorides and 30 percent sodium.

Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium chloride is quite powerful in melting ice. It is found all around the planet, just like sodium chloride. It costs a little more than rock salt but less than calcium and potassium chlorides. It has 34% chlorides and 18% magnesium as an ice melt. It is often less harmful and has a low toxicity level. But homeowners with children or pets should use caution as it still has chloride as the main constituent.

Calcium Chloride

It has been in use for almost a century. It costs more than the other options, but it has a lower temperature range and can melt ice down to -25°F. Pellets, liquids, and flakes are all available. It has the highest toxicity, is harsher on surfaces, and causes salt stains, despite its superior ice melting ability.

Potassium Chloride

The use of this to melt ice has the advantage of being environmentally benign. It is ineffective at melting ice because it does not melt below 25°F. It is 60% potassium and 37% chlorides. It is also quite pricey in comparison to other ice melts.

Acetates

Sodium acetate, magnesium acetate, and potassium acetate are all acetate ice melt. Acetate does not produce chloride damage like others. These come both in liquid and dry versions. Acetate ice melts are used in areas like airports and parking garages where chlorides are prohibited due to the risk of corrosion. These products are more expensive due to the high cost of the ingredients used to produce them. Moreover, not all acetates are equally effective and safe.

Amide-Glycol mixture

Safe Paw consists of this salt, chlorine, and acetate-free mix. It is non-corrosive and non-conductive, making it safe to use on hardened concrete. Even if swallowed, pets and children are safe. Use half as much as you would with salt on any surface at any temperature and its effect will last for 72 hours.

It is environmentally friendly and does not affect nearby water bodies. It has a long shelf life and can be stored in airtight containers for the next season.

When the liquid component breaks the surface tension of the ice, it begins to melt rapidly. The crystal core can then swiftly penetrate and destabilize the ice, speeding up the melting process. All of this happens as a special traction agent from Safe Paw keeps you from slipping. Safe Paw draws heat to increase its effectiveness.

Reasons to Choose Safe Paw

The following are some of the reasons why you should use Safe Paw Ice Melt:

  • Safe Paw Ice Melt is effective in sub-zero weather.
  • Safe Paw is a better option for your pet’s paws.
  • You can purchase it from a nearby store or online.
  • Safe Paw Ice Melts are more environmentally friendly than rock salt and other salt melts.
  • Safe Paw Ice Melt will not harm the pavement or concrete in any way.
  • It does not cause rusting of your vehicles, railings, door frames, and yard furniture.

Other Ice Melt Products

Traction Magic

Use Traction Magic on sidewalks, steps, or as instant traction for your car. 100% Natural & pet safe. Made in the USA.

Traction Magic Road Salt Alternative

Safe Thaw

Imagine an ice melt you can put down and never worry about. It won’t harm animals or children, and it won’t damage your property.

Safe Thaw Ice And Snow Melter