We're Comparing 5 Popular Ice Melting Methods

Winter is beautiful, but it can also be dangerous if you have to deal with ice.

Winter is beautiful, but it can also be dangerous if you have to deal with ice. We’re testing out ice melters to help you enjoy the winter wonderland safely.

Most of us have that one spot that we always slip on outside. Here are few options to prevent you from taking a nasty spill.

#1: Rock Salt 

Sometimes know as halite, rock salt is a tried and true method for clearing up ice. It’s widely available and very affordable. Before springing for this option, however, be aware that rock salt can be damaging to nearby plant life and can erode stone tiles, so if your garden is icy, this isn’t your best best. Rock salt also only works if the ice patch has a bit of melt already. The liquid water of melt is what activates the salt to melt ice further. If it’s too cold for any melt to take place, rock salt will be unfortunately uneffective.

#2: Eco Melter

A blend of calcium sulfite and magnesium, this method is an eco-friendly equivalent to rock salt. It’s sprinkled onto the ground in the same manner as rock salt, but instead of melting the ice, it creates a seperation between ice and surface. This makes it very easy to go in with a shovel and chip the ice off of your surface. It’s also very effective at low temperatures, unlike rock salt. The only con to this method is that an eco melter is the most expensive option for removing ice.

#3: Salt Water

This option is exactly what it sounds like! Warm up some water, add a bunch of salt, and pour it over your ice patch. This might seem like it could create more ice, but the salt in the water prevents freezing, meaning the water will just trickle away or dry up. This is a method you can do with components from home and is very effective for thin layers of ice. Unfortunately, thicker layers of ice may be more immune to this method, and pouring buckets of ice water onto your whole patio can be rather labour intensive.

#4: Kitty Litter

If you’ve got a feline friend, listen up! Kitty litter can be a great way of preventing ice by absorbing excess water before it has the chance to become ice. It can also provide traction on top of ice if the patch is already formed. Be aware though, this method does nothing to actually melt the ice, it just provides a slip-free surface to walk on. Be sure to wipe your feet before coming inside too, as litter is prone to be tracked through the house.

#5: Sand

Now here’s a surprise. Sand can actually do wonders to prevent slipping on your ice patch. Like kitty litter, this method provides traction for you to walk on, but doesn’t melt ice. This is a great option if you have pets, since it won’t harm their paws, and is cheap and easy to find!

While these are all great picks, we have to favour the eco melter. Not only does it get the job done, it doesn’t track into the house and is plant safe!