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Ice Melt Alternatives

Ice Melt Alternatives

Removing ice from the driveway, steps, and walkways and having a product that will help get your car going in slippery conditions are winter essentials. 

There are multiple ice melt alternatives available in the market. However, many people still use rock salt or other compounds to speed up the melting process. It may help you in the short term, but it will damage your surroundings, pavements, sidewalks, and foliage in the long run. 

Ice Melting Alternatives:

However, some of the best-known ice melt products are not safe to use. The “cure” is almost worse than the problem. For example, most traditional ice melt uses some form of rock salt in the mix – magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, or potassium chloride. What do these chloride products have in common? They cause some or all the following problems in people and pets:

  • Skin irritation and blistering
  • Eye, nose, mouth, throat, and lung burning from contact or inhaling rock salt dust
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea if ingested
  • Metal fume fever when inhaled that produces fever, chills, muscle and chest pain, and increased white blood cell counts

Homeowners and pet owners are shouting a collective, “No Thanks!” to these common ice melt products including Driveway Heat, Excel 50, Safe Step 4300 and 6300, and Halite.

Several natural ingredients help you during cumbersome winters and not cause as much damage to your pets, waterways, or local wildlife either. Here are a few environment-friendly pet safe ice melt alternatives to salt that can help you create a better environment. 

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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.

Common Ice Melt Alternatives

Here are the most popular ice melt alternatives with pros and cons for each:

  • Sand – Many municipalities are using sand instead of or mixed with road salt, and it does provide a decent grip on ice. However, when used for residential purposes, it is hard on pet paws. Tracked inside, sand will mar any flooring surface quickly. Sand, after all, is the main ingredient in sandpaper.
  • Heated mats – These pricey devices plug into a 110-volt outlet or a car’s 12-volt socket. They’re great for small areas like the front stoop or in front of car tires, but if you try to clear an entire driveway with one, the job will be done about the time the next storm comes through or the spring thaw arrives.
  • Kitty litter – This product does a fantastic job of absorbing moisture, but it’s too soft to grip the ice, and it becomes very slick when wet.
  • Coffee grounds and ashes – Both provide minimal gripping power on ice, and most of us have neither material in abundance unless we’re drinking way too much coffee or polluting the air with wood smoke.
  • Potassium acetate, urea fertilizer, and softener salt – In short, they are all poisonous to you, your pets, and the planet in the concentrated amounts needed to melt ice.

Dump the salt, and pick up Safe Paw alternative ice melt instead. And for instant traction for walking and driving, grab a bag of the gripper, Traction Magic.

Get ready for winter with the ONLY Pet Safe Ice Melt you can trust

Organic Deicers

These are relatively more expensive, and they may or may not prove to be a boon in the long run. But, on the other hand, these deicers do not pollute the environment as much. Nor do these deicers cause any damage to our flora and fauna.  

  • Pickle Brine – You can prepare the pickle brine anytime you want. All you need is 2lbs of salt mixed with a gallon of water and a glass of sugar beet juice. It not only serves as the ultimate ice melt, but it also makes it super easy to clear the roads of ice. 

As per an article published in Nat Geo, pickle brine was ranked as a viable solution to any other form of ice melt. It can melt temperatures as low as -6 degrees Fahrenheit (-21 degrees Fahrenheit) and reduces chloride release into the environment by nearly 28%.

  • Cheese Brine – Another interesting ice melt alternative we have noticed is cheese brine. IT is a salty water mixture in which soft cheeses like mozzarella float. Although it has a slightly foul odor, it is somehow a far better option than regular salt. In addition, it is a greener option than any other salt-based ice melt.

Some counties do this alternative to help melt the ice around the driveways or sidewalks. However, while regular brine salt freezes at -6 degrees Fahrenheit, cheese brine does not freeze even up to -21 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 degrees Celsius). 

  • Solar Surfaces – Another less-experimented method of melting ice off the driveways or sidewalks is the installation of solar panels. A relatively newer method could allow storing the sun’s heat in the solar panels and later releasing it or using it to melt the snow around.  

The biggest drawback is the heavy initial investment and set-up cost. In addition, the use of an innovative method such as this will need a lot of information circulated amongst the general public. It is one of the most environment-friendly methods; however, it is yet to get tested thoroughly.  

  • Alfalfa Meal – An organic supplement for gardens,  it is a dry fertilizer and has a long shelf life. It is a slow-release fertilizer that has helped boost the longevity of plants and soil. Since it is a naturally occurring ingredient,  it does not harm your plants once the ice melts. 

Spread the alfalfa meal on the driveway and sidewalk or on your steps to melt ice. It might not melt the ice entirely, but it will help increasing traction and provide good friction while walking on these surfaces. 

  • Hot Water with rubbing alcohol – Another interesting ice melt substitute is using hot water and rubbing alcohol. All you need is a gallon of hot water, two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol, and one tablespoon of liquid dish soap. It slowly melts ice without damaging the driveway or steps and controls slipping and falling. 

Now it may or may not work; however, a couple of people have tried using it. But, unfortunately, it does not last a very long time.

  • Plastic tarps – We recently found another innovative ice melt substitute and a way to remove stubborn ice formation from the front of your garage door if the water from the roof melts and comes down. It is not a very popular method; however, we would like to apprise you of a solution such as this. 

Get ready for winter with the ONLY Pet Safe Ice Melt you can trust

Spread large tarps in front of your door and place wooden planks or metal rings to hold the tarp down. Then, whenever you want to move out, all you need to do is take a shovel and break the ice at the side of the tarp, and it will become loose almost immediately. These plastic tarps help hold the ice down and do not create a mess. 

You can then slide the tarps away from the driveway onto your garden.  

Besides these, many households use ash or coffee grinds, white vinegar with lukewarm water, and many such DIY tricks that act as alternatives to salt for ice melting. However, there is a high chance that you might not be able to sustain these tricks every day for the rest of winter or even the following year.  

Even if they do seem environment-friendly, today, you need an ice melt substitute that can help you solve the problem quickly and ease your application woes. Unfortunately, the spring melt will cause a bottleneck with many different types of ice melt substitutes coming onto the roads or even flowing through the driveways.

Things You Need To Keep In Mind

These are a few things you need to pay attention to while investing in any ice melt for your driveway, sidewalk, or your home, in general. 

We know the number of ice melt alternatives in the market can overwhelm any buyer and may unknowingly push you to make an uninformed decision. You might fear that the ice melt will run out of stores, or maybe you will end up purchasing a costly alternate.

We are here to give you the correct insight.

  • Almost all chloride-based and salt-based ice melt products are considered unsafe for plants and pets. They leave a whitish residue on the concrete and around the garden edge when the ice begins to melt and the substance starts to dry.

Your pets may end up having cracked paws because of stepping out on salt-based ice melts that will prove harmful to their health in the long run. So it is essential to pay attention to pet friendly sidewalk salt to avoid such situations.

  • Many people still believe that shoveling is ideal for removing snow, and using a garden shovel is the best to crack the ice. However, over time this might get slightly tedious, and you will end up leaving some bits here and there. While we know most compound ice melt mixtures quickly turn ice to brine and remove it; however, it is not always helpful. 

Sometimes you may need to take the help of different blends to help you in removing ice. You will also need to mix it in the right proportion not overdo it or underdo it. Products such as Safe Paw are the right type of pet friendly road salt that does not cause you any trouble, is hassle-free, 100% environment-friendly, and very easy to apply. 

The most crucial aspect that plays a pivotal role while buying ice melt is safety. It would help if you kept your family, yourself, home, pets, and surroundings safe. Your decision to purchase an ice melt will revolve around safety first. You need to make sure that the product you are purchasing is safe for you and your pets. It should not harm you or cause you any problem in the long run. Hence, it is advisable to study the alternatives first.

Effective and Safe Ice Melt Alternatives

That’s the combination to look for – an ice melt that is both safe and effective. Safe Paw covers both angles remarkably well. First, it is the only leading ice melt alternative that is safe because it’s the only one that has no salt in its blend.

How safe is Safe Paw ice melt? It meets the strict guidelines required to receive the United States governmental agencies’ awards for environmentally safe products. Safe Paw is the right choice for you, your pets, and the world we all share.

Safe Paw road salt alternative uses a proprietary blend of safe ingredients that break down the structure of ice, so ice melt products quickly and can be scraped away more easily. There’s no salt at all, only ingredients guaranteed (and recognized by the EPA) to be safe.

Safe Paw is an excellent choice for use around your home where it won’t harm you, your pets, the lawn, or your indoor flooring. Putting a bag in the car makes sense too, or choose Safe Paw’s sister product, Traction Magic, for help on slick roads. Traction Magic doesn’t use an ice melter, so there’s no waiting for it to work. It’s an ice gripper that delivers instant traction on ice and packed snow. An absorbing agent in Traction Magic soaks up surface water, the element scientifically shown to make ice slippery. Then, crystalline spikes grip the ice to provide a safe, effective surface for car tires, shoes, and paws. Like Safe Paw, Traction Magic has been tested for safety, and it is ISO 9001 certified and meets the tough OSHA safety standards.

Get ready for winter with the ONLY Pet Safe Ice Melt you can trust

To Conclude 

Buying ice melt substitutes is always going to play on your mind. However, it would help if you considered the time, energy, and workload before trying any DIY tricks or even small-scale tips and suggestions. So, it is time to make an informed decision and not rely on any other type of deicer in the market.


A. Products like Safe Paw Ice Melt are free of traditional salts and are marketed as pet-safe. There are also products using calcium magnesium acetate, which is less corrosive and safer for concrete.

A. If you’re looking for natural alternatives, you can use sand, kitty litter, or sawdust to create traction. Beet juice can also be used to lower the freezing point of ice.

A. Eco-friendly alternatives include those that use calcium magnesium acetate or beet juice. Some products, like Safe Paw Ice Melt, are marketed as eco-friendly and pet-safe.

A. Sand, kitty litter, or wood ash can provide traction without the dangers of traditional ice melts. You can also use pet-safe products, such as Safe Paw Ice Melt.

A. Safe Paw Ice Melt is free of traditional salts, making it safer for pets and less corrosive on concrete. It is an effective ice melter that’s also marketed as eco-friendly.

A. Natural alternatives like sand or kitty litter don’t melt ice but provide traction, making walking safer. They are not as effective as traditional ice melts in terms of actually melting the ice.

A. While every pet is different, natural alternatives are generally safer. However, ingestion of large amounts of some materials like sand or kitty litter may still cause digestive issues. Always monitor your pet on treated surfaces.

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This innovative, 100% natural product offers instant traction on any icy surface. Whether you’re navigating your sidewalk, steps, or driveway, Traction Magic helps you stay upright and prevents falls.

Try Our Other Winter Safety Products

Walk On Ice

Prevent slips at home, work or on the go, The handy disposable canister can be taken everywhere, with the same 100% naturally occurring minerals that provide instant traction on ice or snow.

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