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"I want salt to melt ice from my driveway, walkway, and sidewalks"

Which type of salt is best? Magnesium Chloride, Calcium Chloride, or Sodium Chloride (Rock salt)? Are there any other alternative de-icers (liquid ice melter)? Are ice melt salts safe for asphalt, cement, or grass, plants, and other vegatation?

wanted by: jheyun (49) in Needham, MA 02492 +
updated on: May 31, 2011, 10:25 a.m. (6 years, 4 months ago)
posted on: Feb. 4, 2011, 11:35 a.m. (6 years, 8 months ago)
tags: ice salt snow winter
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3 User Replies

Consider Environment and Pet Friendly Ice Melt

A couple things to consider when using salt to melt winter's plague of ice.

First, know that many types of ice melt are harmful to the vegetation around your home. If this matters to you, there are special environmentally friendly ice melt products (Keep It Green is one).

Second, most ice melt products are not entirely safe for you house pet to walk on. However, there are a few ice melting formulas which are designed to be safe for your pets to be around:
  • Safe Paw Ice Melter

  • Milazzo Safepet Ice Melter

  • Safe Step Pet Friendly Ice Melt

  • Pet Guard Ice Melt

  • Scotwood Pet Friendly Ice Melter

  • Ice Melt: Pet Friendly

  • Paw Thaw Ice Melter

  • Venus Pet Friendly Ice Melt

  • All pet safe ice melt products...


Next time you are at the home improvement store about to buy that 5 gallon pail of salt, take a moment to think about your lawn, plants and pets and make sure what your are getting won't do more harm than good.
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Types of Ice Melt: A Comparison of Chemicals

A comparison of popular chemicals used to melt ice.

NameTemp^  ProsCons
Ammonium Sulfate20 Ffertilizerharms concrete
Calcium Chloride-20 Flow temp, fastattracts moisture
Calcium Magnesium15 Fsafe for concrete & vegitationmarginal ice remover
Magnesium Chloride5 Ffast meltatracts moisture
Potassium Chloride20 Ffertilizerharms concrete
Sodium Chloride*15 Fkeeps surface dryharms concrete & vegitation
Urea20 Ffertilizercan be corrosive

^ Lowest effective temperature
* Also called rock salt or halite
See chart source info here
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Other wants like "I want salt to melt ice from my driveway, walkway, and sidewalks"

(from The Wantbox Matchbot 6 years, 4 months ago)
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Recommended Ice Melt Products & Tools

Safe Paw Ice Melt - Non-Toxic, Pet & Child Safe
Safe Paw Ice Melt - Non-Toxic, Pet & Child Safe
Keep It Green KIG40 Snow and Ice Melter
Keep It Green KIG40 Snow and Ice Melter
Suncast SS025 Hand Held Spreader For Ice Melt
Suncast SS025 Hand Held Spreader For Ice Melt
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What is Pet Friendly Ice Melt?

There are dozens of formulas of ice melt available online and in retail stores. If you have a house pet that will walk on your driveway and walkways after you distribute the ice melting salt, you need to be aware of two risks: 1) that your dog will ingest a large enough quantity of the salt to be poisoned, and 2) that the salt will get on your pet's paws and dry them out and damage them.

A common ingredient in "pet safe" ice melters is the fertilizer Urea (sometimes labeled as "Carbamide Resin" or "Carbonyl Diamide"). Urea is safe for use around pets and is bio-degradable, however it is more expensive and requires a slightly larger application to work. It has a lowest practical melting temperature of 15 degrees F. Since it is a fertilizer, a little use is beneficial for you surrounding plants, but over application will damage them.

Chemicals that draw moisture from the air like calcium chloride and magnesium chloride as well as an over-application of rock salt (sodium chloride) are most often the cause of dried and damaged paws in exposed pets. You should avoid any product with these if you have a pet you care about.

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