Winter is upon us and for many this means bitter cold and snow. And with the snow comes shoveling sidewalks and driveways and keeping these areas safe to walk and drive on.
If you are like me, you make multiple trips to the hardware store to stock up on rock salt to prevent freezing temps from turning your cleared pathways to a dangerous sheet of ice.
But rock salt is expensive and I found some frugal alternatives to rock salt to melt ice. They all work just as good as rocks salt and save you money!
At the top of the list is using water softener salt.
But water softener salt isn’t your only option. Below are 6 of the best alternatives to rock salt for melting ice and keeping more money in your pocket.
6 Cheaper Alternatives To Rock Salt
How To Melt Ice
Before we get started with looking at the alternatives to rock salt, we first have to understand why rock salt is used in the first place.
Why do most people use rock salt in the first place?
The main reason is its abundance in the environment. It is easy to get out of the Earth, break down, package and sell.
The other reason is because it works fairly well to melt ice. While water freezes at 32 degrees, salt water freezes at a temperature closer to zero.
During winter weather, icy surfaces typically receive a treatment of rock salt to help melt the ice and prevent melted snow and ice from refreezing.
In theory this is great. There are just 2 problems to this:
- First, everyone uses rock salt as the preferred way to melt ice. So, odds are in the winter it is hard to come by, especially before or after a storm. Just think of all the news reports at home centers showing the empty pallets where rock salt used to be.
- Second, rock salt is expensive!
The goal then is to find alternatives to rock salt for melting ice that aren’t as in demand or will at least be available to buy when a storm comes.