Finding an effective de-icer that’s also safe for plants and other landscape features can be difficult. Seacole can recommend several de-icers that are effective and safe for the environment.
Choosing Road Salt
Each de-icing product is very different. Salt is the most popular de-icing agent. Several different types of salt are available, each with a different ice-melting capacity, price point, and degree of safety.
Rock Salt, or sodium chloride, is the most common de-icing agent. It is widely available, affordable, and easy to spread. But it is only effective to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, making it inappropriate for deep-winter applications in northern states. Rock salt can be harmful to plants, so avoid using adjacent to grass or landscape beds.
Calcium chloride is another option. It works faster than rock salt and at colder temperatures, down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. It will not hurt concrete walkways, but it will damage or kill plants. Though more effective than rock salt in colder climates, it still harms landscaping.
Potash or potassium chloride, better known as a fertilizer, is also an effective de-icer and safe for plants when applied appropriately. Seacole recommends spreading no more than 5 pounds per 100 square feet. Potash works more slowly than rock salt or calcium chloride, but is ultimately more effective.
Magnesium chloride is the most plant-safe ice melt option. It works down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit and requires just 1–2 pounds per 100 square feet. Magnesium chloride is safe for plants and paved surfaces.
For the Best De-Icing Results, Spray, Don’t Spread
Solid salt ice melt is a conventional choice for de-icing, but Seacole has an innovative and plant-safe option. The PA Liquid De-icer works in -40 degrees Fahrenheit. A single application will last longer than solid rock salt. It is also safe for plants and paved surfaces. Apply liquid deicer with a standard lawn and garden sprayer.