There’s nothing more dangerous than stepping out onto your front porch, patio, or driveway after a winter storm and slipping on the ice left behind. These types of slips are dangerous for all ages and need to be avoided especially if you live in an area that frequently gets winter storms. So, how does one take care of this problem? Ice Melt.
What is ice melt? Are they all the same? Why not rock salt? Keep reading to answer these questions and more to keep you and your family safe this winter season.
Top 5 Best Ice Melts For Concrete
Best For Children And Pets
Safe Paw, Dog/Child/Plant Pet Safe Ice Melt With Traction Agent
Best For The Environment
ECOS Ice Melt Magnesium Chloride Pellets Pet, Plant, and Concrete Safe
Best For Fast Acting
National Blue Ice Melt – Fast-Acting Ice Melter
Best For Snow And Ice
HARRIS Kind Melt Pet-Friendly Ice And Snow Melter
If you’re thinking rock salt is the only way to go, you are sadly mistaken. The Green Gobbler tackles even the toughest snow and ice areas easily, even working in -40-degree temperatures.
It works 4 times faster than the leading rock salt without any harmful corrosion side effects. It’s safe to use near plants and outdoor landscaping and can easily be used with any spreader.
This ice melt for concrete generates heat within to quickly and efficiently melt through all snow and ice. Once it does its job, you won’t be left with any extra pellets or residue lying about. It completely disappears.
- Best ice melt for concrete during extremely cold temperatures
- Works better than traditional rock salt
Best For Children And Pets
If you have a home with children and pets, you want to be extra cautious when purchasing any type of ice melt. With the Safe Paw ice melt, you know your family is protected from ice and any chemicals that could threaten them.
It will melt down to -2 degrees and is non-corrosive, salt, and chloride-free. It’s the number one ice melt recommended by veterinarians and is completely non-toxic. This ice melt for concrete is extra concentrated, so you’ll only need to use about half of what you would with other ice melts on the market.
In 10 minutes from spreading, you’ll be left with a clean surface that has a protective barrier to prevent more ice and snow from settling.
Unlike other ice melts, Safe Paw doesn’t heat up when in contact with the ice and snow. Your dog’s paws are safe from irritation when stepping on these tiny crystals, so you can spread them on back patios where you let your pet in and out.
- Worry-free ice melt for concrete for those with pets and children
- Chloride free
- It only works down to -2 degrees
Best For The Environment
We are all a bit green-conscious lately, which is great! So, when looking for an eco-safe ice melt, pick the ECOS Ice melt. It’s safe for pets and vegetation and made with 100 percent naturally occurring materials.
Made in the USA and never tested on animals. You can feel good about using this ice melt around pets and kids without worry of it being ingested or stuck in your pet’s paws. Because it is all mineral-based, it won’t corrode surfaces or kill your nearby plants.
To use, clear the snow and sprinkle ¼ to ½ of a cup per square foot, and the ice will disappear before your eyes. Not only is this one of the best ice melts for concrete, but you can also feel good about your purchase as this company is one of the most eco-friendly companies producing plant-based and natural products.
- The best eco-friendly ice melt for concrete
- Made with natural minerals
- Pet safe
- You need to apply a generous amount
Best Fast Acting
When you need ice and snow to melt fast, you’ll want this National Blue Ice Melt handy. This ice melt is made with two accelerator agents that speed up the melting process. Whether you’re running late for work or cannot keep up with the snowstorm, this ice melt makes life much easier.
It melts down to -15 degrees and has an anti-caking compound that makes this optimal for spreader machines. It is non-corroding and pet friendly so that it can be used anywhere outside your home.
USA-made, this company is focused on giving you quality ingredients for a fast-acting ice melt that is safe for concrete, won’t stick to your shoes, and keeps your walkways and stairs ice-free.
- It contains multiple accelerator agents, making this a very fast ice melt for concrete
- Pet-friendly formula
Best For Snow And Ice
Made of 100 percent magnesium chloride, this ice melt will not harm pets or irritate their paws because of the rounded edges. So, it not only works immediately, but it will get rid of ice and snow on your concrete walkways and driveways.
It works down to -13 degrees and is much less corrosive than your typical rock salt. This ice and snow melt is safe to use around your home, and if it gets tracked inside, it is made with all organic minerals that won’t harm you or your family.
- Best ice melts for concrete that collects snow and ice frequently
- Works immediately once placed
- Doesn’t leave behind residue or residual pellets
- Leaves residue
- Pricepoint for amount
Buyers Guide: The Best Ice Melt For Concrete?
There may not be one size fits all when it comes to picking the right ice melt for your home or business, but let’s break it down into the most popular and highly used chemical compounds that make up ice melt.
Calcium chloride is a chemical compound ice melt that works much faster than the other versions and works down to -40 degrees. So, it is a pretty strong ice melt for concrete. It’s less corrosive than regular rock salt but much safer because it won’t harm underlying plants or grass.
Magnesium chloride is best to keep heavily landscaped walkways or driveways cleared of snow and ice down to – 13 degrees. This is non-corrosive and won’t kill or burn any grass or plant life if accidentally spread on top.
Potassium chloride is the safest option for areas where pets and children will be traveling. It does take longer to melt ice, but it’s safe for pet paws and plant life.
If you need to clear a large area of ice, this melt may not be chosen as it loses its effectiveness. But pathways around your home or business will benefit greatly as they won’t corrode and can work down to -12 degrees.
Rock salt is very dangerous to pets. Not only is it dangerous for them to digest, but it’s very harsh on their paws. If ingested, rock salt can lead to dehydration and severe stomach upset.
Ice melt for concrete is less harsh on our pets. Some are entirely pet-safe. Pet-safe ice melts have natural minerals versus harsh salt, making them a bit more expensive but definitely worth it.
What’s The Difference Between Rock Salt And Ice Melt?
So, what really is the difference between ice melt for concrete and regular rock salt? In short, its chemical makeup is what is the difference. Rock salt uses only sodium chloride, which is cheap but is highly corrosive and harsh on all concrete surfaces.
I’m sure if you live in an area that gets frequent winter storms, you’ll notice how awful the main roads can be come spring. That is not only because of extreme weather but also because of rock salt and its incredibly corrosive properties.
Why is Rock Salt on Roads an Effective Option But Not Our Driveways?
There are two main reasons for this: the first is that it’s much cheaper, and the second is that what is thrown on roadways is typically a mixture of rock salt with sand. This is so vehicles driving on ice and snow have something for their tires to grip.
Rock salt is only effective down to 25 degrees, whereas some ice melts can melt ice down to -40. Ice melts for concrete are more effective at maintaining a cleared surface, whereas rock salt melts the ice above 25 degrees but is safer for traffic to drive on.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will I know that the ice melt for concrete I purchase is safe for my dog?
The ASPCA states that magnesium chloride ice melts are safest for your pets. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should allow your dog to ingest ice melt freely, but it won’t harm their paws if they ingest it in small doses.
Is there anything I shouldn’t use for melting ice and snow around my home?
Ice melt that is designed for concrete is chemically different from that for roadways or large parking lots. Do not use conventional rock salt around your home, as this is highly corrosive and damaging vegetation.
It’s also good to steer clear of potassium chloride, ammonium sulfate, and ammonium nitrate.
Wrapping Up The Best Ice Melts For Concrete
When you live where winter weather can be extreme, you’ll need to keep your pathways safe for you, your family, pets, and guests. If you have pets or little ones, look for the pet-safe ice melt much safer than traditional rock salt.
Ice melt won’t pit or corrode your concrete surfaces and will clear away ice and snow quicker than harsh rock salt without residue. Here, you can check out everything winter-related, from sports and clothes to tools and activities. You’ll be fully prepared for this snowy season.
- About the Author
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Born in Madelia, MN, to a now 5-generation Minnesota family, Ryan’s MN roots go deep.
A painter by day, Ryan founded Life in Minnesota in 2013 with his wife Kelly to chronicle their musings on everything Minnesota. Ryan and Kelly are raising their 7 kiddos in Maple Grove, MN.
When he’s not shuttling his kids around to hockey practice, you might find him in the shop working on his leatherwork. Undoubtedly, there will be a family trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area every summer, and of course weekends at Grandpa’s cabin up north in the summer.