With colder weather approaching, it’s important to know your options when it comes to
picking the best deicer for your family and home. There’s a wide variety of products on
the market and one size does not fit all. Here’s a list of products to consider before you
go to the store:
- Calcium Chloride: the most effective in lower temperatures (lowest melting point
-25°F). While less expensive than sodium acetate, it is more expensive than
other compounds. When it comes in contact with snow or ice, it attracts moisture
to create a liquid solution that lowers the freezing point of water and produces
heat, which causes the ice to melt. It is one of the fastest acting ice melts and
tolerates the colder temperatures. If you need to use deicer on a large area of
concrete (i.e. driveway, patio, or stairs) this is a good choice.
- Sodium Chloride – Liquid: is a salt and water mixture that can be easily applied
and won’t blow away like rock salt. Because it has significantly less salt than rock
salt, it is better for the environment. It works best when applied before snowfall or
storms. But remember, the more diluted the solution, the higher the freezing
- Sodium Chloride – Rock Salt: it’s inexpensive and the most widely used. It is
corrosive to metals and can leave behind a powdery white residue. If too much
accumulates, it will kill plants and vegetation.
- Magnesium Chloride: this product is more expensive than other deicer, but less
corrosive and better for the environment than calcium chloride or sodium
chloride. It is a naturally occurring salt that lowers the freezing point of water.
- Sodium Acetate: one of the most environmentally and biodegradable options on
the market. While it is the most expensive, it has a longer residual effect, which
keeps you from having to reapply as often.
It’s always important to do your research before applying any chemicals to your
property. You may see some products contain more than one chemical compound and
knowing what they are and how they work is ideal for choosing the right product for your