Although clearing ice with the help of salt is easy, other options have proved to be efficient and better in many ways. It’s the winter season, and everyone is only talking about how disturbing the ice can be and how difficult it can be to remove, but one does not have to worry about it anymore if they just follow these tricks.
Salt has always been an option to melt the ice, and this happens because it lowers the freezing point of the water, therefore, making it melt. Though this is an effective method and relatively inexpensive, there are some downsides to this method. Salt can cause harm to the environment, and it can also ruin the concrete on the sidewalk. Fortunately, one can look forward to other alternatives too.
Beet Juice/ Brine
This has been the most effective way apart from salt; this sweet juice has worked well as an ice melter. No household would consume enough beets to produce enough juice unless you make it in massive quantities only for this purpose. Beet juice can lower the freezing point of the water, and this also does not affect any plant or pet that would be around it. It can stain the concrete, but you can always wash it off. One can either buy any beet-based product that can make the application easy. Apart from this, the beetroot juice is harmless and odorless for more efficiency.
Homemade things are always better, and one always has the choice of using the home ingredients to make an ice melt. To make this, one would have to pick up these ingredients from their house, which would be:
- Half a gallon of hot water
- A bucket
- Dish soap (six drops)
- Rubbing alcohol (1/4 cup)
Once all these ingredients are collected, one can mix all of these in a bucket. This mixture has to be directly poured onto the driveway or sidewalk.
One might notice the ice and snow will bubble and melt eventually. Scrape the leftovers of the pieces of ice with the help of a shovel.
Alfalfa Meal Ice Melt
Another effective ice melter is an alfalfa meal, a fertilizer containing nitrogen. Still, one does not have to worry about affecting the plants or even the local water system. It has tiny particles which have a grainy texture and are a little dry. These particles have to be spread on the ice or snow. One can find these bags from any gardening store. Instead of sprinkling salt all around the sidewalk, it’s better to choose options like these to give it a go.
Safe Paw Ice Melt
One can find a safe paw ice melt in any store. This ice melt is specifically for the safety of loved ones. It is nontoxic, and the active ingredients present in it are carbonyl diamine and the glycol admixture.
- It is non-toxic and is guaranteed to be safe for pets.
- The concentrated pellets help cover twice the area of the rock salt
- Prevents re-icing for about three days after the spread, due to its timed-release formulation.
- It’s safe for the plants, children and also does not leave a stain on the stone and concrete bricks.
If one is looking for an eco-friendly and a commercial de-icer, this is one of the safest and the most effective choices.
Organic Salt-Free Deicer
One can find this organic melt anywhere in stores or online portals. It is an eco-friendly salt deicer made by using sugar beet extract. Because of the beet juice extract, this is safe and effective for clearing the sidewalk. It has a long-lasting effect and also removes the ice in no time.
Why Shouldn’t One Use Rock Salt
Sidewalks and driveways can be slippery and dangerous. So, it’s always better to melt the snow and ice before anything happens. But doing it with rock salt has its unique risks. First, it is non-biodegradable, which means that even if you get rid of the snow, the salt will resist for a long time. Not only would the soil get ruined, but it also affects the air.
Salt can be detrimental to concrete, and so if it is there for a long time, the concrete can get ruined. The salt breaks the chemical bonds, which keep the concrete strength. This will only make the driveway look bad, and one would have to invest more money into the damage.
Snow melts can destroy almost everything. When the snow melts, the water flows into the soil and your garden too. This only results in killing the grass and plants that one has. The runoff can also enter the local water system, thereby compromising the area’s water quality.
The salt melts can be dangerous for the kids and pets too. If it is ingested, it causes distress to the stomach. It can also cause cracking of the paws and feet.
The Bottom Line
With the numerous disadvantages of rock salt and melting ice, it’s pretty difficult to keep using this process. The best way is to find alternatives. Above are some ways that one can start to maintain the safety of their family and themselves.