Top Notch Ice Melts for Slip-Free Hardscaping Review Guide For 2022-2023
Top Notch Ice Melts for Slip-Free Hardscaping Review Guide For 2022-2023 – Every year as the weather turns chilly, most people pull out the heavy coats, rugged boots, and of course, ice melt—the first defense against slick, dangerous conditions on driveways, sidewalks, and other surfaces.
Ice melt is a chemical product that is sprinkled on surfaces to melt ice and snow.
There are several different types; some are suited to specific surfaces, while some are more environmentally friendly, and therefore, safer for plants and pets than others.
Learn what features to look for and why the following products are considered among the best ice melts in their respective categories.
To find out even more keep reading my Top Notch Ice Melts for Slip-Free Hardscaping Review Guide For 2022-2023.
Green Gobbler Pet Safe Ice Melt Fast Acting Treatment – BEST OVERALL
Driveways and other properly cured concrete surfaces won’t be corroded by Green Gobbler, which comes in small, round, easy-to-spread pellets that can work with many ice melt spreaders.
The product performs in temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit and generates exothermic heat to help melt ice and snow quickly.
Harvested from the dead sea, the ingredients in this ice melt are less toxic than many others on the market. The deicer won’t harm plants, and it’s unlikely for pets’ paws to be irritated by it.
The Green Gobbler ice melt comes in a pail with the choice between four sizes up to 35 pounds.
- MELTS SNOW AND ICE IN FRIGID TEMPERATURES (as low as -10°F): Pet Safe will generate exothermic heat over a short period of time. In a test, our product melted twice as much ice as rock salt in 21°F!
- MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE FORMULA HARVESTED FROM THE DEAD SEA. Magnesium chloride ice melt has a notoriously low toxicity level making it less toxic than calcium, potassium or sodium chloride.
- SAFER FOR PETS AND THE ENVIRONMENT. Pet Safe is highly unlikely to burn or irritate the skin or pets paws. Pet Safe won’t harm plants or cause spalling on driveways and concrete that’s been properly set and cured.
- PERFECT FOR SPREADERS. Because of its small, round pellet shape, Pet Safe can be used in various ice melt spreaders.
- 30 DAY HASSLE FREE MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. We value our customers and we stand behind ALL of our products 100% with no questions asked! If you are not pleased simply call or email us with your order number and we will reimburse you in FULL!
Snow Joe AZ-25-CCP Melt-2-Go Pellet Ice Melter – BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK
This professional-strength ice melt comes in a convenient pellet shape that allows for quick and easy application with a spreader.
Composed of 94 percent calcium chloride, it heats up quickly to melt snow and ice on contact, in temperatures down to -25 degrees Fahrenheit.
This Snow Joe ice melt is formulated to last up to 24 hours to protect against refreezing.
Snow Joe comes in four different sizes (a jug, bucket, or bags), with 50 pounds being the largest—at a price that matches other products for half the amount.
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- PET FRIENDLY: Formulated from nature’s own ingredients, EB Ice Melt provides a greener solution to deicing that is safer for pets. Unlikely to irritate paws or cause rashes.
- ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE: Leaves no slimy residue behind, making it safe to use on grass, turf, around trees and other vegetation. Protects surrounding hardscapes and softscapes when used as directed.
- SAFE TO HANDLE: When used as directed, EB Ice Melt will not dry out or irritate the skin and can be safely and easily dispensed without requiring the use of protective clothing. MELT EB is specially treated with an anti-caking agent to extend shelf-life and improve dispersion.
- FAST-ACTING IN FREEZING TEMPERATURES: Goes to work immediately upon contact with snow and ice to accelerate the deicing and melting process. Pre-treating surfaces will also prevent ice and snow from accumulating.
- ANTI-CORROSION FORMULA: Enhanced with CMA (calcium magnesium acetate), an environmentally benign deicing agent, EB Ice Melt delivers fast and effective results without damaging surfaces such as concrete or metals.
HARRIS Safe Melt Pet Friendly Ice and Snow Melter – BEST FOR ASPHALT
Folks who want a smooth asphalt driveway to come through the cold months unscathed may want to check out this HARRIS product.
It effectively melts ice and snow at temperatures reaching -13 degrees via a 100 percent magnesium chloride formula that gets to work immediately upon contact. It’s also safe for pet paws and vegetation.
Packaged in durable buckets (10 or 15 pounds), this ice melt can be saved for next year without the risk of clumping.
The pellet shape of this de-icer makes it well suited to use with a spreader, and it comes with a handy scoop for quick application if needed.
- Pet Safe – 100% Magnesium Chloride formula won’t burn or irritate pets’ paws and comes in a round pellet form with no jagged crystals
- Works Immediately – Deicer instantly melts ice on driveways, sidewalks, steps, balconies, patios, walkways, roadways and more
- Effective at Low Temps – Works at temperatures down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit
- Less Corrosive – Kinder to the environment than traditional rock salt ice melters and less corrosive to concrete than sodium chloride and calcium chloride
- OMRI Listed – Listed with the Organic Minerals Research Institute for organic use
Snow Joe AZ-50-EB Melt-2-Go Ice Melter – BEST WITH COLOR
Color-coated crystals are this ice melt’s secret weapon. This makes it easy to see where the product has already been spread, a visual cue that helps reduce wasteful reapplication.
Although the color is helpful outdoors, the calcium magnesium acetate won’t stain or otherwise damage carpeting and other flooring.
This Snow Joe formula is safe to use on metal and concrete, as well as being pet- and plant-friendly.
It boasts a long-lasting, time-released formula that works in temperatures down to -7.6 degrees Fahrenheit. This nature-friendly deicer is available in four sizes up to 50 pounds in a jug, bucket, or bags.
- Anti-corrosion formula: enhanced with cma (calcium magnesium acetate), an Environmentally benign deicing agent, EB Ice melter delivers fast and effective results without damaging metal surfaces
- Fast acting: goes to work immediately upon contact with snow and Ice to accelerate the deicing and melting process. Pre-treating surfaces will also prevent ice and snow from accumulating
- Long lasting: time-relax formula stays on the surface area longer for added protection and better control of the freeze/thaw cycle
- Safer to handle: when used as directed, EB will not dry out or irritate the skin and can be safely and easily dispensed without requiring the use of protective clothing
- Eco-, pet-, and kid-friendly: formulated from nature own ingredients, provides a greener solution to deicing that is safer for pets, safer for children and safer for the environment. Eb leaves no slimy residue behind, making it safer to use on grass, turf, around trees and other vegetation
Branch Creek Chloride-Free Liquid Ice Melt – BEST LIQUID
When you hear about an approaching snowstorm, you may want to reach for this liquid ice melt.
Apply to pathways and driveways with a garden sprayer prior to the weather event and ice and snow won’t build up.
You can even use it the night before a storm for ice-free surfaces in the morning. With a working temperature of -19 degrees Fahrenheit, this de-icer works hard even in frigid temperatures.
A chloride-free formula makes this de-icer gentle on surfaces, virtually non-corrosive, and safe for use around pets and plants.
With no expiration date and resealable, this liquid ice melt can be used against snow and ice from one year to the next. It’s available in 0.5- and 2.5-gallon jugs.
- Entry’s proprietary residue-free formulation eliminates the mess and expense of cleaning up ice melt materials inside of homes and buildings. Entry’s clear liquid formulation eliminates the abrasive affect that granular ice melts have on flooring surfaces. Entry’s neutral pH reduces the risk of damage to high value flooring surfaces such as hardwood, tile, granite and marble.
- 1/2 gallon of entry will provide comparable coverage to 50 pounds of other ice melts.
- Entry’s chloride-free formulation is safer for pets, plants, shoes, metals, concrete and the planet.
- When used as directed Entry will melt snow and ice in less than 30 seconds and prevent refreeze to temperatures below O°F/-19°C.
- Entry has an unlimited shelf life.
- Power Source Type: Natural Gas
Top Notch Ice Melts for Slip-Free Hardscaping Buying Guide For 2022-2023.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Ice Melt:
Ice melt can be applied to a surface before or after snow or ice has fallen to lower the freezing point for water and allow the snow or ice to melt into a slush that’s easier to clear.
Each type of ice melt product will perform differently depending on its form and the chemicals used. Conditions such as temperature, ground type, melting time, and environmental impact are essential to consider before purchasing an ice melt product.
Ice melt is available in both solid and liquid formulations, each with pros and cons. Solid ice melt comes in pellets and granules.
It works well for many applications and is typically the go-to solution for road crews dealing with icy and snowy weather.
Less expensive and easier to store than liquid formulas, pellets and granules also make for a “crunchy” texture on surfaces that adds traction for walking and driving on, if slush is not removed.
On the downside, solid ice melt can scatter more easily and could be displaced from the desired location with car or foot traffic.
It tends to be slower acting and can get clumped together and therefore be less effective.
Liquid ice melt is a wise choice for lower temperature situations and when faster results are desired.
When applied, liquid is less likely to scatter and miss its mark; it stays in place for longer-lasting results.
Liquid de-icers, which tend to cost more, can be more challenging to transport and store because of their weight. Plus, if heavy rain ensues, the product can get washed away.
Self-heating ice melt, which comes in pellet and granular form, generates its own heat when in contact with ice and snow—a process known as an exothermic reaction.
Unlike other products that must absorb moisture to create a brine to melt the ice, self-heating ice melt can get right to work.
An ice melt works by absorbing the moisture on the top of the ice, creating what’s called brine, and working its way down to break the bond between the ice and the surface.
This creates cracks and flakes that are safer to walk on and easier to remove. All of these products have a temperature limit:
If temperatures plummet beyond that limit, the chemicals will no longer melt ice. Here’s what to expect from the various types available:
- Less expensive than sodium acetate, but pricier than most other forms
- Available as pellets, flakes, powder, and liquid
- Forms a brine to lower freezing point and produces heat to melt ice
- Good choice for concrete
- Melting temperature of -25 degrees
- Can kill plant life if applied too heavy
- If it leaks into waterways it reduces oxygen levels and can kill aquatic life
- Slow melting
- Available in pellets or granules
- More expensive than other ice melt
- Releases its heat to melt ice
- Less corrosive than calcium chloride or sodium chloride
- Somewhat safer for plant life
- Has a melting temperature of 0 degrees
Calcium Magnesium Acetate:
- Less corrosive than rock salt (sodium chloride)
- Available in pellets or granules
- Requires larger applications to be effective
- Pet-friendly option
- Easier to clean up than others
- Melting temperature of 20 degrees
- Comes in pellets or granules
- Pricier and less effective as other forms so not used much anymore
- Safe for plants
- Melting temperature of 25 degrees
Rock Salt (Sodium Chloride):
- One of the least expensive
- Comes in granules
- Less effective in colder temps
- Corrosive to metals
- Leaves white residue on surfaces
- May kill plants if overused
- Melting temperature of 20 degrees
- Typically used as a fertilizer
- Comes in pellets or granules
- Contains nitrogen that can burn plants when used in excess
- Rarely used anymore
- Not effective in lower temps
- Melting temperature of 25 degrees
Many of the chemicals in ice melts can potentially damage surfaces, so it’s important to think about where you’ll be using a product. The most common areas are driveways, sidewalks, decks, and porches—all composed of a few different materials, such as concrete, asphalt, wood, and metal.
Packaging and product descriptions of the best ice melts will reveal what materials they can be used on safely, so be sure to read this information prior to purchase.
It would be unwise to apply a product that could corrode concrete, rust metal, or damage wood on those surfaces around your home.
The quest for comfort and convenience in frigid weather has led to the invention of such products as heated jackets, heated gloves, and electric snow shovels. Similarly, certain ice melts have been developed to work in colder climates.
Some products won’t work in temperatures lower than 20 degrees. This is acceptable if the temperature in your area seldom gets that low, but if you’re in a colder spot, these products won’t get the job done.
If your location can reach less than 20 degrees, purchase a product made for lower temperatures.
The time it takes a product to melt ice and snow depends on several factors. Liquid ice melters and self-heating ice melters act fairly quickly.
Unlike solid melters that take time to absorb moisture and create the brine, liquid products are already a brine. Self-heating ice melters have a similar advantage: Instead of absorbing moisture, the pellets will heat up quicker and melt the ice and snow faster than other ice melters.
Tip: No matter what form you choose, you’ll still have some down time—put it to good use with one of the best ice scrapers to clean the windows of your car.
Longevity in regard to ice melters refers to the products’ ability to keep working beyond the initial application period.
A long-lasting ice melter is especially helpful when snowstorms or icy rain continues throughout the day—and you don’t want to come home to a skating rink in your carport.
Although long-lasting ice melt tends to be more expensive, the cost can even out since you may be able to use less.
Safety and Environmental Impact:
The chemicals in some ice melters can be hazardous to pets and plants.
Plus, certain elements in ice melters can do environmental damage, such as killing wildlife that may ingest the pellets and aquatic life if it reaches waterways.
Many people are concerned about the impact of using large amounts of these products outdoors, so it’s important to read product information carefully to understand the risks.
Tips for Using Ice Melt :
To ensure you get the best performance out of your purchase, employ these de-icing tips and tricks.
- Adding sand to your ice melt can reduce the amount of product you use. This will also reduce potential damage to surfaces and improve traction.
- Applying ice melts in layers will allow the product to work at its best. Adding a thin layer before, during (if possible), and after a weather event will yield the best results.
- Even when products are safe for specific surfaces and considered better for plants, it’s still a good practice to scoop and remove any remaining product after it’s done its job. This will decrease the risk of damage to surfaces, pets, and plants.
- Remove boots and wipe pets’ paws to avoid bringing chemicals into your home that could damage indoor surfaces.
- All ice melters are most effective on surfaces already cleared of snow. This way, the product can immediately tackle the dangerous slippery layer rather than working through all the snow on top.
FAQs About Your New Ice Melt
If you want further information about ice melts, consider the answers to these commonly asked questions.
Q. How does ice melt work?
A: Ice melters absorb moisture and create a brine that then melts snow and ice. This eventually breaks the bond between the ice and the surface creating a slush.
Q. Should you put ice melt down before or after it snows?
A: Both. Applying ice melt before—and after—it snows allows the product to work at its best.
Q. Does ice melt ruin concrete?
A: A solid, non-corrosive choice for concrete is Green Gobbler 96% Pure Calcium Chloride.
Q. Can you put ice melt on wood?
A: It depends. Some but not all ice melt products are formulated to avoid damaging wood, so read product descriptions carefully.
While they may not be quite as diverse as snowflakes, ice melters do have a variety of forms and features.
This list of quality products will help you choose the best ice melt for your situation.
Thanks for taking the time to read my Top Notch Ice Melts for Slip-Free Hardscaping Review Guide For 2022-2023.
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