Instructables

Looking for salt free ice / snow melt

Hi all, I am looking for an ice/ snow melter that won't harm concrete or other surfaces, is safe for pets and can be easily made from household products or at home. I would like to be able to apply it before or after ice forms. Thank you

Bardouv5 years ago
Try some sugar.
Bulgaria5 years ago
I produce such ice melt liquids but Im so faraway
I just read my post and I think I need to clarify. Use liquid on concrete that's new, meaning concrete that's a year old or less. Concrete older than one year you can use the granulated material. I recommend to my clients that they never use rock salt or fertilizer. Again, if you do your research you'll come up with a good product.
There are several companies that sell a liquid ice melt that is safe for concrete that is less than one year old. Do NOT use rock salt. CaCl is calcium chloride and yes it's a type of salt. There is a lot of information out there on which is the best, meaning least corrosive and most effective at melting. I'll post more when I have more time. For the liquid product just do a web search on ice melt and start looking. There are several ways to heat sidewalks but it uses a lot of energy and you have to slope it for runoff. You can use heated water that runs in pipes under your surface or there is electric cable or heat mat, which unrolls and you hook the ends up to electricity. All in all, better to shovel as soon as the snow falls, apply ice melt, and keep shoveling when it slushes up.
LasVegas7 years ago
Other than salt? Heat! Just about anything that burns will melt snow in this manner. Heat can also be produced with a hair dryer, hot air gun or area heater. Keep the pets out of the way while you apply "heat," but the hazard shouldn't linger for long.
well you could use urea nitrate or most other nitrate based fertilizers, they remove snow / ice fairly well... They may ham the concrete over time but it doesn't kill the grass, in fact it makes mowing it in the summer time a real chore..... But if you want an environmentally friendly choice you could always use a shovel / ice breaker / chipper / sledgehammer and remove it your self and so long as you don't get to crazy the concrete should survive.....
iman7 years ago
mje7 years ago
Calcium chloride. It's cheap. You can't melt it with heat- takes way too much energy to be practical. Some people have run pipes through their driveway to melt snow as it falls. The result? A pool of ice at the bottom of the drive. There's a patio in front of a museum next door to my office where they installed underground heating pipes. Looks like they turned it off after one winter, as it simply created a mass of dangrous ice all around it.
trebuchet03 mje7 years ago
CaCl is a salt :/
mje trebuchet037 years ago
It's a salt, but it's not "salt" ;-)
trebuchet03 mje7 years ago
Neither is purposed road salt :P

But, I did come across this earlier: Michigan Tech came up with a surface coating to make road treatments last a lot longer
It's also not terribly healthy to the animal population.
tofood7 years ago
Kitty litter and sand work.
LasVegas tofood7 years ago
Niether Kitty litter nor sand will melt ice. They add traction to the slippery surface.
tofood LasVegas7 years ago
oh......sorry about that, but you can still use them!