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EnviroTech Journal

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What is the Best Value Ice Melt?

Posted by Guest Blogger Brooke Loeffler on 8.22.2022

This past winter, how many times did you have to run back to the store and buy more ice melt? If you found yourself burning through ice melt quickly and frequently needing to resupply, it's time to rethink your ice melt purchases. It is really easy to just pick the bag of ice melt with the lowest price...but how can you be sure you are getting the most value for your money? Let's look at 3 common ice melt products and see which gives you the most bang for your buck!

3 different ice melt products side by side


Ice Melt Application Rates

Looking at the back of the bag and finding the application rates will give you a better idea of how far that bag will go and save you a lot of money!


How much ice melt gets the job done?

Anyone concerned about their budget, the environment, and the life of their concrete should be looking at the application rates of their ice melt products. Dumping out a ton of unnecessary chlorides on your driveway and sidewalk is a fast way to hurt your plants, damage your concrete, and drain your wallet.

Responsible ice melt usage is a choice we can all get behind. If your product suggests heavy applications to get the job done...it's time to find a new ice melt!


Why Do Application Rates Differ from Product to Product?

Not all ice melt products are created equal. The amount of product you need to clear a certain area, will depend upon:
  • The product's ingredients- (which chloride salts are included and how are they incorporated? Are they coated or evenly mixed together?)
  • Precipitation rates- (How hard it is snowing? Will you need to reapply?)
  • Pavement and air temperature- (see the list below)

Most ice melt products use chloride salts to lower the freezing temperature of water. Here is each chloride salt ranked by its effectiveness at lower temperatures:

  1. Calcium Chloride- works down to around -25° F
  2. Magnesium Chloride- works down to around 5° F
  3. Sodium Chloride- works down to around 15° F
  4. Potassium Chloride- works down to around 11° F

Each of these chloride salts has different abilities when it comes to bonding to water molecules and how much heat they either pull from or put out into their surroundings. To learn more about each of these ice melt ingredients, click on the links above.


Comparing Ice Melts

Let's take 3 common ice melt products, and look at their application rates to see which product will give you the most value for money. Just like looking at cost per lb. or cost per each in the grocery store, judging an ice melt by how much it will cover is a practice that will save you time and money!


Ice Melt Brand 1:

  • Sodium chloride (white rock salt) coated with liquid magnesium chloride
  • Manufacturer's application rate: 13 lbs for 100 sq feet

Brand 1 may be the cheapest, but the chart below shows it won't get very far.

Envirotech Residential Cost vs. Value-01

So why does it cost so much to cover such a little area with Brand 1? Coating rock salt with a little bit of magnesium chloride may give your ice melt a little boost at first, but that liquid coating quickly melts off, dilutes, and loses its efficiency. You then need to continue to reapply and use even more product to prevent re-freezing and keep pavement clear. 


Ice Melt Brand 2:

  • Sodium chloride (white rock salt) coated with a more saturated liquid magnesium chloride
  • Manufacturer's application rate: 5 lbs for 100 sq feet

Brand 2 gets you a little more mileage out of your bag than Brand 1...but I think we can do better!

Envirotech Residential Cost vs. Value-02


Brand 3: Ice Slicer® Nature's Blend

  • Complex Chlorides deicing product (homogenous blend of all 4 chloride salts and over 60 naturally occurring trace minerals)
  • Manufacturer's application rate: ~1.4 lbs for 100 sq feet

This unique makeup of ingredients vastly outlasts and outshines other ice melt products.

Envirotech Residential Cost vs. Value-04


Nature's Blend covers 6x more area than Brand 1 and over 2x more area than Brand 2! Plus, Nature's Blend is safer on plants, your concrete, and safe to use around pets and children. Harvested from the same mineral deposit as our partner Redmond's Real Salt, Nature's Blend is mother nature's perfect recipe for safely and affordably melting ice and snow. Stock up today and make next winter a breeze

To get a free consultation and learn more about Ice Slicer Nature's Blend and more EnviroTech Services deicing products, click right here!

Topics: Deicing & Anti-Icing, Ice Slicer, Off Season