For a short time every year, we like enjoying or rather having a winter dreamland. However, ice and snow cause serious problems on our walkways or driveways. At least you can shovel snow from our paths with a snow shovel, but ice is quite difficult to remove. This brings us to the question; what is the best way to remove or clear the slippery ice during extreme winter?
The answer is right here. Ice melting compounds drop the freezing point of water, causing ice and snow to melt and preventing refreezing. Some ice melt will soak down through the thick snow or ice, causing a brine to form at ground level hence making the ice easier to move. Other types of ice melt cause the ice to turn into a soft slush that is easily swept away. The article digs deep about safe ice melts.
Different Types of Ice Melts
We will study defrosting compounds in detail by examining their active ingredients that cause snow and ice to melt.
This is one of the most potent ice melts you will find in the industry today. Calcium chloride can effectively melt snow and ice down to -25 degrees Fahrenheit. The compound is available in flaked, pelleted, powdered form or liquid ice melters. It is quite expensive compared to other ice melters, but it is worth the money. Although small amounts are found in fertilizers, if applied in large amounts, it can cause plant yellowing; thus, your border plants might be at risk. It is also slightly corrosive to various metals.
Sodium Chloride ( Rock Salt)
Again, this is also one of the most successful ice melts in the market. It is also the oldest ice melter but not the fastest to work. Sodium chloride is effective down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and beyond this, the melting properties decrease significantly. Rock salt is used as a bulky base for your ice melts since it is cheap and widely available. The compound is used for road deicing but often leaves behind a whitish powder sodium residue. Too much of this salt can kill your plants.
The compound melts ice in temperatures as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Magnesium chloride resembles a finely-flaked white material. The best part about it is that it is less corrosive than sodium chloride or calcium chloride. It is slightly more environmentally friendly on plants. It begins the thawing process as fast as calcium chloride, but it gets diluted less effectively as time goes.
Urea and Potassium Chloride
Urea melts ice in temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit while Potassium Chloride melts ice at temperatures as low as 12 degrees Fahrenheit. Both compounds are safe to use around plants and vegetation and are topped up to fertilizer blends. Too much of this in the runoff spilling can cause increased potassium levels in your soil, thus requiring balancing.
Best Safe Steps Ice Melts Product Review
The Safe Step Ice Melt is a product that helps to get rid of the ice and make surfaces safer for pedestrians. It doesn’t contain any dangerous chemicals, meaning that it’s safe for kids and pets. This ice melt will not damage asphalt, cement, or concrete and provides super-fast snow melting that can be used on any surface.
Safe Step 4300 Dual Blend
This is a quality blend of magnesium chloride and sodium chloride in Safe Step 4300 Dual Blend. The formulation features inhibitors that make it friendly or rather gentler to metal and concrete when used as directed. Safe Step 4300 Dual Blend melts ice down to -21 degrees Celsius. It is available in 50lb, 50lb, 20lb, and 12lb bags. The product is available in blue color to enhance visibility. It is safe for humans and pets if used as instructed.
- Safe for people and pets
- Blue color to enhance visibility
- Fast-acting formula
- Formulated with corrosion inhibitors
- Cannot melt ice on roof gutters
Safe Step 7300 Calcium Chloride
Immediately ice comes into contact with 7300 Safe Step Calcium Chloride. It starts thawing. The product gives one of the lowest melting temperatures. Typically it melts ice at temperature down to -32 degrees Celsius. This is a strong self-initiating chemical reaction that produces heat making it possible to melt ice even in freezing weather. The product is available in 50 lb bags and 8 lb jugs. The hardworking pellets penetrate even the thickest ice more deeply.
- Melts down ice instantly
- A self-initiating reaction that gives heat even in icy weather.
- Available in several packages.
- Penetrates even the thickest ice deeply.
- It does not have the best packaging
Safe Step 6300 Enviro-Blend
The Safe Step 6300 Enviro-Blend guarantees safety to pets, people, and vegetation when the instructions are followed precisely. Additionally, this product has a melting power far ahead of other ice melters’ blends. Its unique or rather patented formula features powerful melting catalyst MG 104, thus stopping refreezing up to 2.5 times longer than the average products. Safe Step 6300 Enviro-Blend melts down the ice as low as -23 degrees Celsius. It is available in 50lb bags, 25lb bags, and 11lb jugs. As well as 40lb pails.
- Melts ice down to -23 degrees celsius
- Available in a wide range of packagings
- Less harmful to animals, people and vegetation if used as directed
- Features a more powerful melting catalyst, the MG 104
- Its color does not enhance visibility
Safe Step Mag Chloride 8300
Again, this is one of the fastest-acting ice melters available on the market. The product is manufactured from 100% magnesium chloride hexahydrate, which works in frigid temperatures while friendly to vegetation and concrete. The product melts ice down to -26 degrees Celsius. It is faster than other products when melting snow and ice due to its hygroscopic nature that attracts moisture fast. The compound is ideal for concrete since it causes minimal scaling, less cracking, and spalling than calcium chloride.
- It is faster than the standard ice melters.
- Safer for concrete.
- Works effectively in freezing temperatures.
- Available in numerous packaging.
- It does not have the best packaging
Tips on using safe step ice melters
Safe ice melt products protect our homes and business, and we should be cautious when using them. For effective usage, follow the following tips:
- Do not wait until the last minute.
The ideal time to think about safe step ice melt is before you need it. This ensures the safety of your staff, facility, and guests. If you wait until the final minute, you might not get what you want. Make prior arrangements to get the best product.
- More does not equate to better.
This is a common mistake. We think that if a little ice melter does good, then using more would even be better. This is not true, and your salt provider will be benefiting since you will keep going for more. The truth is that less equals more when it comes to these products. Every product is different, and we should follow the guidelines to ensure proper usage.
- Clear first the deice later.
Whether you are blowing, sweeping, shoveling, or plowing, you should first remove fresh snow and ice before applying your ice melt. If you do not do this, you are, basically, wasting your product by using your ice melt on snow that you can easily clear.
- Choose the ideal ice melt.
You do not have to go looking for the most expensive safe step ice melt in the market. Find out which type is best for you and how fast it works, and at what temperatures. Is it exothermic or endothermic?
- Use your ice melt product safely and efficiently.
Ensure your eyes and skin are protected by wearing protective gear such as gloves and glasses, mostly when using calcium chloride and magnesium chloride ice melters. These salts are extremely hygroscopic and take moisture from our skin.
- Store your ice melt properly
As said above, Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride salts are hygroscopic and draw moisture from the surrounding. Ensure your jug is completely sealed since, if exposed, the ice melters will absorb moisture, causing them to harden, clump, and degrade.
What affects how quickly ice melts?
Different things, apart from temperature, affect how a liquid melts. Lowering the freezing point means the ice will melt even when the outdoor temperatures are below the freezing point.
How do I know ice melter is the best to use?
To determine the best product, consider ease of handling, speed, desired features, and the method of application.
Will my pet be harmed if it walks on an ice melter?
No. However, if your pet picks too much ice melt, it might experience some irritation. Follow the application instructions by removing the ice from your pavement once it has melted.
Can I use ice melters on my deck?
The best advice is to contact the manufacturer of your sidewalk materials or deck for its recommendation. Ice melts are not recommended on patios, brick sidewalks, or wood decks.
Safe ice melts are the solution to thick and persistent ice on your driveway. It would be best not to wait until the last minute to buy your ice melt since you might not get the preferred product. Reading this article lets you make a genuine conclusion on the best safe step ice melt to buy.