We all want a clean, beautiful yard in the summertime. When it comes to picking out ice melt for your home use, you have plenty of options to consider. If you’re looking for an easy way to avoid melting on those hot days and keeping your driveway safe from puddles, we’ve got five top-notch options that are worth considering this coming year. Read up on these affordable and effective solutions so you can get ahead of the curve before you have icy sidewalks again!

The “best ice melt for asphalt” is a product that melts ice on the driveway and patio. It is made from magnesium chloride, which is an environmentally friendly material.

Winter brings many things to anticipate and enjoy, but it also brings with it some season-specific risks that may easily get us into trouble. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around one million Americans are wounded each year as a consequence of falling on ice and snow, with roughly 17,000 people dying as a result of these injuries.

Given the above, selecting the finest ice melt for your yard, driveway, or walks surrounding your house seems to be not just prudent but also essential. We want to assist you in your endeavor by presenting you to the greatest ice melt products available.

Overall Best: Safe Paw Non-Toxic Ice Melter

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Safe Paw, Dog/Child/Plant Pet Ice Melt with Traction Agent, 8lb, Salt-Free/Chloride-Free, Non-Toxic, Vet Approved, No Concrete Damage, Fast Acting, Lasts 3X Longer

  • PEOPLE & PET SAFE – Imagine an ice melt you can put down and never worry about. It won’t harm animals or children, and it won’t damage your property. That’s Safe Paw. Unlike anything else on the market, Safe Paw can change how winter affects our planet. Your grass, plants, and foliage are safe! Safe on eyes, skin and paws. It’s safe around and if ingested. Best of all: 100% salt & chloride free.
  • MELT AT LOW TEMPERATURES – It’s non-toxic and biodegradable, and it’s guaranteed to melt at low temperatures (-2°F).
  • VETERINARIAN APPROVED Recipe – Unlike other pet-safe ice melts, Safe Paw’s unique formula is proven to be safe for humans, dogs, and the environment.
  • NON-CORROSIVE & Long storage life – It’s non corrosive and non-conductive. No damage to delicate machinery or worry about short circuits. Get instant melting without worrying about property damage. Concentrated formula assures long-term, maximum effectiveness from season to season.
  • EXCELLENT SPREAD RATE – Treats a standard back yard to produce a safe winter play area for dogs and humans. Can be used on both tiny and big areas for a long period.

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Any product that we regard to be the finest ice melt on the market must meet a number of requirements. It should be effective, safe for dogs and children, non-corrosive, non-toxic, Eco-friendly, and affordable.

All of the aforementioned boxes are checked by the Safe Paw Non-Toxic Ice Melter, and it does so more strongly than the great majority of its ice-melt rivals.

This melt contains a non-toxic, ecologically friendly, and salt-free combination of carbonyl diamine and a glycol admixture. The last of these characteristics also makes it pet-friendly, since most ice melts hurt pets due to the usage of strong mineral salts. It can melt half an inch of ice in 10 minutes and operates at temperatures as low as -2°F. While it isn’t the ideal choice for individuals who will be exposed to very cold winters, it is a sturdy and safe option for everyone else.

Safe Paw isn’t the most effective melt on the market by any means, but given its low price and the fact that it’s one of the safest melts available, it seems like a reasonable trade-off and a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with knowing the product will be safe for your driveway, pets, and children.

What We Enjoy:

  • Children and dogs are both safe.
  • Non-conductive and non-corrosive
  • Environmentally responsible
  • Long storage life
  • Affordably priced

What We Don’t Care For:

  • Lowest melt temperature is bad (-2F)
  • It takes a little longer to melt than other brands.

2. Dando Strong Ice Melt – The Most Economical Option

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Chloride of calcium DANDO Powerful ICEMELT 25 LBS

  • 2 to 5 times quicker than rock salt at melting ice.
  • Sodium-free, with little environmental effect
  • Faster and more durable action
  • When in touch with ice and snow, generate heat.
  • Improves traction and makes walking safer.

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The Dando Powerful Ice Melt is a powerful ice melt that comes at an affordable price. While the price of this 25-pound bag is equal to that of many rivals, most users soon discover that just a little quantity of Dando’s Chloride of calcium pellets is required to blast through even thick ice, letting the 25-pound bag last much longer than those from competitors.

One of the most appealing aspects of this melt is its performance in harsh environments, with a -30F effective lowest melting temperature that sets it apart from the competition. This ice melt also works quickly, removing thicker ice in a fraction of the time it takes products with a sodium rather than Chloride of calcium basis.

The entire name of the company—Dando Chemicals LLC.—gives away the product’s toxicity and suitability for pets and children. In a nutshell, Chloride of calcium is hygroscopic, which means it collects liquid from ice and snow, as well as ambient air. It is, however, an irritant, and Dando’s packaging has detailed warnings about the product’s propensity to harm pavement, plants, and other surfaces. What’s the takeaway? Only purchase this item if you have a high-quality concrete driveway and do not plan to use it on vegetation or other surfaces such as wood decking.

What We Enjoy:

  • Works really fast
  • It’s possible to use it mildly.
  • Incredibly effective at extremely low temperatures (-30F)
  • Liquid ice may be melted by dissolving pellets in water.

What We Don’t Care For:

  • Pet paws may get irritated.
  • Not Environmentally responsible
  • Concrete corrosive

3. Liquid Ice Melt at Branch Creek

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Branch Creek Entry Liquid Snow and Ice Melt is Chloride-Free, Non-Toxic, and Safe for Pets, Plants, Floors, Concrete, Sidewalks, and Metal for Residential and Commercial Use (0.5 Gallon)

  • The bother and cost of cleaning up ice melt materials inside of homes and businesses is eliminated thanks to Entry’s exclusive residue-free composition. The abrasive effect of granular ice melts on flooring surfaces is eliminated with Entry’s clear liquid composition. The neutral pH of Entry helps to protect high-value flooring surfaces including hardwood, tile, granite, and marble.
  • A half gallon of Entry will cover the same area as 50 pounds of other ice melts.
  • Pets, plants, shoes, metals, concrete, and the environment are all safer with Entry’s chloride-free formulation.
  • When applied as prescribed, Entry melts snow and ice in within 30 seconds and prevents temperatures from falling below 0°F/-19°C.
  • The lifespan of an entry is indefinite.

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Only a few ice melts conform to the ideals of “Leave No Trace,” but we think we’ve discovered one in the Branch Creek Entry Liquid Ice Melt.

This liquid ice melt is a winner for those looking to reduce the mess and harm caused by their de-icing product, with a residue-free and neutral pH formulation that is safer for pets, reduces the risk of damage to high-value flooring surfaces like hardwood, tile, granite, and marble, is safer for concrete, turf, and vegetation, doesn’t stain leather and suede shoes, and is both biodegradable and Eco-friendly.

Branch Creek’s Entry earns points for melting ice quickly and preventing re-freezing in extreme sub-zero temperatures, but it loses a few points for its inability to shift larger accumulations of ice—the makers of Entry specifically state that their product is designed to deal with ice no thicker than an eighth of an inch thick.

Overall, this is a very safe, effective, and simple-to-use equipment that is an excellent choice for anybody who has to deal with minor amounts of ice fast and with minimum damage on the environment and their yard’s fixtures.

What We Enjoy:

  • It’s adaptable: it can be applied to any surface.
  • It doesn’t corrode.
  • Very simple to use
  • It works with any sprayer.
  • Fast-acting: in less than 30 seconds, go from slick to safe.
  • Eco-friendly

What We Don’t Care For:

  • Designed for usage on very thin ice (less than 1/8 inch thick).

4. Green Gobbler 96% Pure Chloride of calcium Snow & Ice Melt Pellets

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Green Gobbler 93% Pure Chloride of calcium Snow & Ice Melt Pellets | 35 lb Pail | Concrete Safe Ice Melt

  • MELTS SNOW & ICE 4X FASTER: Chloride of calcium works 4X faster than rock salt by generating exothermic heat that instantly melts even the thickest snow & ice with maximum safety and little effort.
  • FOR TEMPERATURES AS LOW AS – 40 DEGREES: Snow & ice melt pellets work in temperatures as low as – 40 degrees Fahrenheit, lowering the re-freezing temperature and preventing cracks & potholes in parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, walkways, porches, patios & more!
  • SAFER FOR PLANTS & PAVEMENT: Green Gobbler’s Chloride of calcium Ice Melt is safer for plants & pavement and less likely to harm grasses, bushes, trees, or decorative landscapes than rock salt when used as directed.
  • PERFECT FOR USE WITH ROTARY SPREADERS – Because of its round pellet shape, this product is great for covering bigger areas and spreading ice pellets even quicker and with less effort.
  • HASSLE-FREE RETURN POLICY FOR 30 DAYS – We care about our consumers, and we stand by ALL of our goods without reservation! If you are unhappy with your purchase, just email us with your order number and we will refund your money in full!

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If you happen to live in a part of the world where even the moose wear parka jackets come wintertime, Green Gobbler’s 96% Chloride of calcium Snow & Ice Melt Pellets may well be the product for you.

We chose this ice melt because of its greater potency and ability to move ice in temperatures that other melts can’t. As you would expect, the product’s efficacy stems from its 96 percent Chloride of calcium content, which is the purest and greatest concentration of this active component presently available. Green Gobbler further says that their ice melt may work at temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a significant improvement over other existing solutions and an excellent pick for people who want their winters to resemble a scene from Game of Thrones’ north of The Wall.

On the negative, this ice melt is unlikely to win over many environmentally conscious homeowners or those with dogs and children; it isn’t the most eco-friendly solution available, and its highly concentrated composition isn’t suitable for pets or children.

What We Enjoy:

  • In a sturdy, sealed pail.
  • Roofs are safe to use.
  • Fast-acting
  • Odorless
  • Incredibly effective at extremely low temperatures

What We Don’t Care For:

  • Not environmentally friendly
  • Pet-unfriendly

5. Pet-Friendly Ice Melt + Snow Joe Melt-2-Go Nature

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Melt-2-Go Nature + Pet Friendly CMA Blended Ice Melter by Snow Joe AZ-25-EB-BKT

  • If you have any questions, text 563563 to speak with a Snow Joe specialist.
  • PET FRIENDLY: EB Ice Melt is a greener deicing solution that is safer for dogs since it is made from natural materials. It’s unlikely to irritate or produce rashes on your paws.
  • ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE: Does not leave a slimy residue, making it safe to use on grass, turf, trees, and other plants. When applied as instructed, it protects the surrounding hardscapes and softscapes.
  • EB Ice Melt will not dry out or irritate the skin when used as prescribed, and it may be applied safely and quickly without the need for protective clothes. MELT EB has been treated with an anti-caking chemical to help it last longer and disperse better.
  • IN FREEZING TEMPERATURES, FAST-ACTING: When it comes into touch with snow or ice, it quickly gets to work deicing and melting it. Pre-treating surfaces will help avoid the accumulation of ice and snow.

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This product, like the Branch Creek Entry Ice Melt, is for individuals who desire similar eco-friendliness and the certainty that their product won’t hurt their children, dogs, flora, plants, or yard furniture, but is also serious about melting ice quickly.

Nature + Pet-Friendly Snow Joe Melt-2-Go Ice Melt is made up of a combination of sodium chloride, Chloride of Magnesium, and Magnesium Calcium Acetate, making it not only environmentally beneficial but also low-corrosion and safe to use around pets, plants, lawns, and on pavement, roofs, and other wood or metal surfaces. The pellets are not only quick-acting, but also long-lasting, which means they keep operating long after they’ve been dispersed, limiting the degree of overnight refreezing.

The two downsides to this product are its ineffectiveness un very cold temperatures (Snow Joe lists its lowest melt temp as -5F) and the rock salt content of the pellets, which, although minimal, is still enough to make it less paw-friendly for your dogs than some of the other items on our list.

What We Enjoy:

  • Eco-, pet-, and kid-friendly (to a degree, but not fully).
  • Affordably priced
  • Plants and vegetation are less harmed.
  • Use on concrete, roofs, decks, and other metallic and wooden surfaces with no worries.
  • Easy dispensing with a handy refilled bucket with a plastic scoop
  • Color-coated crystals aid in visual measuring and dispensing of the correct quantity.
  • CMA (Magnesium Calcium Acetate) is used for quick and effective outcomes.

What We Don’t Care For:

  • In severe cold, it’s not the greatest performer.

What to Look for When Purchasing Ice Melt

What Happens When Ice Melts?

It’s crucial to first understand how ice melt works before diving into the specifics of ice melt components and how they relate to efficacy and appropriateness for your purposes.

Most ice melts are exothermic, which means they create heat from inside to permeate through snow and ice to variable degrees. Ice melt compounds lower the freezing temperature of water during this process, causing snow and ice to melt.

The most common form of ice melt has traditionally been rock salt, but various brands are now using a variety of active ingredients to speed up and prolong the de-icing process, as well as make products more effective in colder temperatures, eco-friendly, and safer for pets, concrete surfaces, and plants. Below, we’ll go through the most prevalent of these elements in further depth.

Which Active Ingredients Work Best in Different Types of Ice Melt?

Sodium chloride, sometimes known as “rock salt,”

This old-school ice melt is still used in blended ice melts to bulk up more effective active ingredients. While cheap to buy and offering plenty of traction on slippery surfaces, this format of ice melt is slow to get to work, performs poorly in very cold temps, is Pet-unfriendly, can damage plants and concrete, and leaves a streaky, white residue. All told, cheap but not very cheerful…

Chloride of calcium

If you happen to live in a location where winter temps are particularly low, an ice melt with high Chloride of calcium content is most likely the way to go. This ingredient can melt ice and snow down to -25° F and, although pricey, is highly effective. The downsides to Chloride of calcium are that it tends to leave a slight whitish residue and can be Concrete corrosive and metallic surfaces.

Chloride of Magnesium

Chloride of Magnesium may only melt effectively in temps as low as 5°F and not be quite as powerful a melter as Chloride of calcium, but it is a fraction more Eco-friendly than both Chloride of calcium and sodium chloride and is also gentler on plants and much less corrosive.

Chloride of potassium

Chloride of potassium is a poor performer in very cold temperatures but has the benefit of being safe to use on lawns, plants, and any other vegetation around your yard.

Acetate of sodium

Acetate of sodium is usually sold in powder form and very small quantities can blitz large iced areas owing to its exothermic and hygroscopic properties. It can melt ice in temps as low as 0°F and is a popular choice for deicing runways at airports worldwide.

Magnesium Calcium Acetate

Granulated Magnesium Calcium Acetate (CMA) is a patented chemical formulation derived from dolomitic lime and acetic acid. In the late 1970s, it was identified as a low-corrosion, Environmentally responsible alternative to rock salt by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration and soon thereafter became available commercially. CMA is far less corrosive than most other ice melt ingredients and so is a good choice for those who plan on using their product on concrete, metals, and even wood surfaces.

Glycol ethylene

This chemical, which is also used in antifreeze, can reduce the freezing point of water to as low as -58° F, thereby making it one of the most effective ice melt ingredients available. Sadly, Glycol ethylene is also highly poisonous and potentially deadly to both humans and animals, so it is not a good option if you have pets or don’t want the extra hassle of having to wear protective gloves and a mask while spreading your ice melt.

Glycol propylene

While usually found in more expensive ice melts, Glycol propylene can lower the freezing point of water to lower than -70°F and is also non-toxic to plants, pets, and animals.

Blends of Ice Melt

Most ice melts combine active components to achieve a mix of desired characteristics such as de-icing ability, cold-weather performance, eco-friendliness, pet-friendliness, and graininess for underfoot traction, among others.

When shopping for a blended ice melt, look for one that doesn’t rely solely on rock salt and incorporates enough other active ingredients to increase the melting temperature while lowering the product’s environmental impact, corrosiveness, and potential to harden your driveway, lawn, or pets and children.

Which Ice Melts Are Pet-Friendly?

While many businesses advertise their ice melts as pet-friendly, in truth, only a small percentage of these products are really safe for your dogs. These products, for the most part, contain lesser levels of substances known to be toxic or dangerous to pets, or larger quantities of those known to be less toxic or detrimental—which is hardly the same as “safe.”

Unfortunately, rock salt, one of the most often used chemicals in ice melts, is one of the least pet-friendly products on the market, with extended contact causing burn-like sensations on your pet’s paws and ingestion causing serious gastrointestinal disorders.

The ingredient that you should really look to avoid if you are a pet owner or your neighbor’s pets venture over into your yard is Glycol ethylene, which can be—and usually is—deadly if ingested.

The safest ice melts out there typically use a Glycol propylene base. This active ingredient is not as effective as other options but it does not harm the skin of pets and is safe for dogs (though can harm a cat’s red blood cells if ingested).

While urea-based ice melts are often advertised as the safest for dogs, this component may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, weakness, tremors, and methemoglobinemia in your pet if consumed.

What Are the Dangerous Ice Melts?

The majority of ice melts include substances that might be dangerous to you, your children, or your pets. A list of the possible risks caused by various components is shown below.

Sodium Chloride (rock salt): Exposure to rock salt may dry out your pet’s paw pads, causing discomfort and even skin breakdown. If your pet is outdoors playing in an area where you’ve spread ice melt, be sure you spray them off or (more gently, given the time of year) bathe them to remove any residue from their coat or paws.

Chloride of calcium: This can cause irritation to the eyes and skin and also lead to respiratory problems if inhaled.

Chloride of potassium: It can cause respiratory problems and coughs if inhaled and irritation to the eyes and skin. If ingested, it can lead to nausea, weakness, and even convulsions.

Chloride of Magnesium: This can cause irritation to the lungs, eyes, and skin. If ingested, it can cause nausea and vomiting.

Acetates may irritate the lungs and eyes.

Glycol ethylene: Poisonous to both humans and animals. If ingested, seek immediate medical assistance.

The take-home? Using any kind of ice melt requires caution. With most products, the best policy is to wear gloves when spreading and wash your hands thoroughly afterward. If the product poses a health risk if inhaled, wear a simple safety mask when spreading the product and make sure it’s stored in a sealed container away from where your kids or pets can reach it. Some products—such as Glycol ethylene—are not recommended if you have pets or young children due to their high toxicity.

If you think you, your pet, or your kid have come into contact with a product, give the affected area a warm water rinse. Check your dogs’ paws for pellets or granules lodged between their toes, and take off your shoes before entering your house to prevent bringing product residue inside.

If your product’s safety is more important than its functionality, we suggest using an ice melt that is non-toxic and suitable for pets and children. These items may cost a bit more and have less melting power, but it’s a little amount to pay for piece of mind.

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MAKRITE 9500-N95 Pre-Formed Cone Particulate Respirator Mask, M/L Size, TITAN PROTECT NIOSH Certified (Pack of 20 Masks)

  • PERFECT PROTECTION—This Makrite Industries Inc. N95 disposable respirator mask is a testimony to the quality and dependability of personal protective equipment (NIOSH Approval Number: TC-84A-5411). It has a filtering effectiveness of at least 95% and offers dependable breathing protection against oil-free aerosols and/or non-volatile liquid particles.
  • EASY TO BREATHE—Our quality filter material has a minimal breathing resistance and offers complete protection for at least 8 hours.
  • EXCELLENT FIT—The nosepiece is composed of sturdy aluminum and can be easily moulded to your nose bridge to avoid leaks and fogging. The head-straps’ high elasticity ensures a snug and secure fit.
  • SOFT & COMFORTABLE—The softness of the surface material gives you a first class experience, and the inner urethane foam gives greater comfort to those who wear it throughout the day.
  • APPLICATIONS: Medical Settings, Home Improvement, Cleaning, Mowing, Gardening, and DIY Projects. Individual Makrite 9500-N95 Respirator Masks in M/L Size (20 Pack).

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Ice Melt Instructions

While the proper application of ice melt varies by product, most granular ice melts are distributed manually (that is, by hand). With any product, the ideal technique is to apply a small coating before a storm, then another layer during the storm, and then a final dusting after the storm has passed.

One of the easiest methods to distribute your granular ice melt while minimizing touch with your hands and skin is to use a garden spreader, as illustrated in the video below from Garden Granny.

Best Ice Melt Manufacturers

Snow Joe: Founded in 2004, this New Jersey-based company focuses on high-quality, long-lasting, and cheap outdoor equipment and machines.

Green Gobbler: This New York-based company is known for its industrial cleaning and gardening solutions, and they also offer a modest assortment of ice melts.

Safe Paw was created out of necessity in 1998 since nothing on the market fulfilled our safety standards. Safe Paw’s continual aim to produce items that are environmentally friendly. All products are designed and built in the United States.

FAQs about Ice Melt

Q: Which ice melt is best for a wooden deck?

A: For use on composite decks like Timbertech and Trex, sodium and Chloride of calcium are generally considered safe options. With wood, however, your best bet is to use either Chloride of Magnesium or Magnesium Calcium Acetate, both of which are very gentle on delicate or corrosion-prone surfaces.

Is ice melt harmful to concrete?

A: The chloride used in many ice melt products can be corrosive to the concrete after sustained exposure.   Sodium Chloride/rock salt and Chloride of potassium are usually the worst offenders, but you can ease any fears of cracked heavily corroded driveways by choosing an ice melt that uses a base of Chloride of Magnesium or Chloride of calcium, both of which are far less corrosive.

However, if your concrete was created with a high-quality mix and has been in place for more than a year, it should be able to withstand the chemicals contained in most ice melts.

Q: When should I start melting the ice?

A: If possible, lay or distribute your ice melt before a storm, since contact with the earth improves its efficacy. If this isn’t possible, apply a thin coating of ice melt as soon as possible, preferably before precipitation freezes, or remove snow from the area you want to de-ice. Check out our guide to electric snow blowers if you need to get the clearing done quickly.

Conclusion

The climate where you live, whether or not you have pets or children, whether or not you have a concrete driveway, how eco-friendly you want your product to be, and how much money you’re willing to part with in exchange for an ice-free driveway, yard, patio, and/or walkways around your home are all factors to consider when selecting the best ice melt for your needs.

As a result, picking the best product from the above list is a difficult task. We’d have to go with the Safe Paw Non-Toxic Ice Melt if we had to choose one that checks all the boxes and works admirably across the board. This product may be a touch weaker than its rivals in terms of strength, but it makes up for it with eco-friendly, pet-friendly, and non-corrosive components, reasonable price, and quick melt times.

The “green gobbler ice melt” is a product that is made from all-natural ingredients to help keep your yard safe and looking good. It’s easy to use, and can be spread on concrete, grass, or snow.

Related Tags

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