Date March 28, 2022 | Brooke Loeffler
What is the Best Value Ice Melt?
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:
- Calcium Chloride- works down to around -25° F
- Magnesium Chloride- works down to around 5° F
- Sodium Chloride- works down to around 15° F
- 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.
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!
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.
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 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!
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