Karl Peterson blog

What are the Different Kinds Of Ice Melt? Main Photo

What are the Different Kinds Of Ice Melt?

Posted: January 01, 2021 by Karl Peterson

This isn’t the sexiest of topics but it’s Winter and love it or hate it that means ice and snow. Do you know the different kinds of ice melt and which one is best for you?


  • Pea-sized and pea-shaped
  • Easily penetrate beneath the ice surface
  • Tend to roll on sloped surfaces

Granules (Salt)

  • Irregularly shaped particles
  • Don't roll as easily as pellets
  • Provide traction for driving and walking
  • Often turn to dust for easy cleanup


  • Begins melting snow and ice quickly on contact
  • Used to melt and prevent ice and snow from sticking
  • Usually comes in a bucket with a sprayer applicator
  • Often a concrete-safe and pet-safe ice melt option


Active Ingredients in Ice Melt


The type of ice melt you choose should be based on several factors, including average outdoor temperature and if it'll come in contact with plants, animals or children. Here are the most common ice melt active ingredients:

Sodium Chloride (NaCl)

  • Also known as ice melt salt/rock salt
  • Melts ice and snow by lowering the freezing point of water
  • Helps keep surfaces dry
  • Affordable
  • Provides traction
  • Corrosive and may damage concrete, wood and plants

Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)

  • Absorbs moisture from surroundings
  • Creates heat as it turns to liquid
  • Melts snow faster than sodium chloride (rock salt)
  • Concrete-safe
  • Works well in extreme cold
  • Can burn skin and harm pets

Magnesium Chloride (MgCl2)

  • Needs to be applied in larger amounts compared to calcium chloride
  • Less corrosive (compared to rock salt)
  • Considered by many to be a pet-safe ice melt option
  • Easy cleanup

Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA)

  • Less corrosive (compared to rock salt)
  • Usually sold in liquid form
  • Biodegradable
  • Concrete-safe ice melt






Loading Comments