How to Effectively Use Ice Melters

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There are a lot of ice melt products out there that can make your driveway and walkways safer in the winter. But did you know that some products aren't safe for your pet's delicate paws? Additionally, some types of ice melt can damage concrete. To make sure you use the safest and most effective kind of ice melt product on your property, review this brief overview of the various types of products you can buy and how to use ice melters effectively. 


How to Effectively Use Ice Melters


Types of Ice Melters  

Though many people think an ice melter is an ice melter, there are several different types: 
  • Calcium chloride 

  • Magnesium chloride 

  • Sodium chloride 

  • Liquid 

  • Pet-safe 

  • Concrete-safe 


Calcium chloride ice melters are made from a hygroscopic salt; this means they can lower water's freezing point and thus reduce ice production. Calcium chloride ice melt comes in both flake and pellet forms. Both forms are effective for preventing ice on your property. 


Magnesium chloride ice melt is often considered a better choice than rock salt because it's safer and more efficient. Magnesium chloride ice melters are made from chlorine and magnesium. They are available in different forms, including hexahydrate, anhydrous, and brine. 


Sodium chloride ice melters are made from the same mineral you use as table salt. Sodium chloride ice melt is considered one of the "rougher" types of ice melt because it can potentially damage concrete. It is also only effective down to approximately 15⁰ F. This means it may not be ideal for colder temperatures. 


Liquid ice melt is a liquid brine that leaves a dry salt coating behind. This coating can help prevent ice from bonding to your sidewalk or parking garage surfaces. 


Types of Ice Melters


Pet-Safe Ice Melters  

Some types of ice melt can damage your pet's paws. That's why it's essential to get the pet-safe type if you have any little furry friends running around. Pet-safe ice melters are non-toxic to your pets and non-toxic to you as well. In addition, the non-corrosive pet safe ice melt formulas don't leave a powdery residue behind and will prevent ice from forming on your sidewalk, steps, and driveway. 


Pet-Safe Ice Melters


Concrete-Safe Ice Melters  

If you're looking for a concrete-safe ice melt product, you're in luck. There are many such products out there. Generally, any Safe Step ice melt product safe for pets will also be non-corrosive and safe for concrete. There are also ice melters that can work in temperatures as low as -25⁰ F! These products can help you avoid some of the concrete damage that can occur when ice forms at such low temperatures. 


Concrete-Safe Ice Melters


How To Safely Use Ice Melt  

Now that you know about the different types of ice melters you can buy, it's time to find out how to use these products safely and effectively alongside your other snow essentials. Follow these application tips the next time you need to apply ice melt to your garage, stairs, or sidewalk. 


  1. Don't wait until it's too late. The best time to apply ice melt is when you know ice-cold temperatures will occur; this means you'll want to apply your ice melt before the coming winter storm arrives. You'll also want to use it during and after the storm as needed.

  2. Use the best ice melt for your needs. While it may be tempting to purchase the cheapest product you can buy, doing so could spell disaster for your concrete, plants, and pet's paws. So instead, make the appropriate ice melt investment, even if it means spending a few dollars more than you'd spend if you bought the lowest-quality product available.

  3. Apply in layers: When using ice melt, apply a thin layer before the storm, then add another light layer during the storm. The thinner the layers, the better.

  4. Throw the used ice melt away once the ice melts. You don't want to indefinitely keep any ice melters on your walkways or driveways. Even the concrete-safe types should be carefully scooped up and removed when there is no more threat of ice. Don't dispose of your used ice melt products on your lawn since this could kill your lawn. Instead, dispose of it in your trash can. 

  5. Clear away snow before applying ice melt. You never want to use ice melt on top of the snow; this is just a waste of money and product. Instead, clear away snow before applying the ice melt. 

  6. Wear gloves when applying ice melters. Common ice melting products can cause skin irritation, so it's always a good idea to wear gloves when applying these products. 


How To Safely Use Ice Melt


Now that you know how to keep ice from forming on your property, it's time to consider whether you have all the other winter safety and snow essentials you need. Max Warehouse has a huge variety of winter items, from fire pits to snow shovels, to keep you safe and comfortable this season. Browse through our winter collection today!  



Shop Your Ice Melters Today



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