Environmentally Safe Ice Melt suggestions


Old 01-10-09, 08:00 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Middleton, MA
Posts: 2
Environmentally Safe Ice Melt suggestions

Looking for a less corrosive ice melt because I have a private well as a water supply. I'm assuming the typical ice melts are way too harsh and would effect my well water. Unfortunetly I live on a hill and it resembles a bobsled course (I live MA.). Anyone have a reccomendation for a "safer" ice melt?

I have seen some "pet safe" ice melts which are $20+ for a small amount, of course I have a large area to cover so something like that would break the bank.

Thanks All
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Old 01-10-09, 08:05 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 386
What is out there are what is readily available might be different things to you. I would suggest just going to your local hardware store or wherever you get your salt from now, and see what they have.

I recently got a bag of pet-safe and environmentally safe ice melt, but it was like $7 for about 10 Lb, which is not much. I use it in one location where the runoff goes into some delicate landscape plants.

As long as you are going with alternatives, try something that will not damage your driveway. Concrete is harmed by salt, but not most of the synthetics out there.

I cannot recall the name of the stuff I used, so sorry about that, but its a place to start at least.
Old 01-10-09, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,128

Definitely do not use normal salt, common salt, rock salt, Halite, or sodium chloride, no matter what other names are hung on it.

The key is to plan and use as little deicer as possible. Impatience does more harm than the chemicals in many cases.

Because it does not work well at below 25 degrees, there is a real harard and tendancy to apply too much to force it to work. When it finally gets warmer, it melts and you end up with a lot of salt runoff.

If you are concerned about traction and sliding, a coarse sand is the best to provide traction in any weather. If you want a perfectly clean sidewalk or driveway you will need some sort of chemical deicer (calcium chloride, magnesium chloride) in moderation with patience and a lot of shoveling. the organics do not do as good a job and there is a tendancy to be impatient and use too much.

I do not know about your climate, but the best thing here (Minneapolis/St.Paul), with a lot of clear weather immediately following a snow fall, is to let mother nature do most of it.

The highway department does not apply salt during or right after a snow - they use sand. Before a snow, the roads are sprayed by a brine solution to stop the snow from sticking too well. Few trucks are used for removal during a snow, until near the end. Sand is used at critical areas and occarionally one of the better chlorides. After the snow, the roads are plowed hard to remove the snow that usually does not stick. After that, Mother Nature and the sun will either melt or sublimate the ice quickly if it is above -5 F. Follow with a little of the ggod deicers in selected areas.

You weather may not permit this tactic is you don't have the sun when cold or if the area is shaded.
Old 01-19-09, 03:43 PM
badeyeben's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Southern ILLINOIS
Posts: 944
I read somewhere that baking soda is a good non toxic ice melter. I have not tried it but I do know they sell some really large boxes of it at our Dollar General store for about $4. We keep some in the fridge to control smells and I thought next snow we get I am going to try it to see how it works. I suppose I could try it on some ice cubes???!!!
Old 01-19-09, 11:50 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
I did a google with the term:
baking soda + melt ice
and it seems that it will work to melt ice.


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