The first sign of snow is heartening and springs pleasant thoughts of holidays, skiing and having fun building snowmen. However, the practical aspects of dealing with snow-covered walkways, driveways, and roads can be a bit frustrating.
While snow blowers, shovels, and plows come in handy, it is not as easy to get rid of ice. This is where a good ice melt for concrete can help. With plenty of ice melt varieties available in the market, you may find it difficult to choose the right one that suits your needs.
For instance, if you own a pet, you should consider buying an ice melt that is safe for your pet. This guide on the best ice melt for concrete will help you choose the appropriate concrete safe ice melt.
Table of Content
- 1 Top 5 Editor’s Choice
- 2 Types of Ice Melt
- 3 5 Best-Selling ice melt products
- 4 Best Ice Melt Buyer’s Guide
- 5 Conclusion
Top 5 Editor’s Choice
- Editor’s Choice
Dimensions:11.3 x 7.5 x 5 in
Item Weight :3 lbs
Shipping Weight:8.7 lbs
Dimensions:14.4 x 11.6 x 11.1 in
Item Weight :35.3 lbs
Shipping Weight:35.3 lbs
Dimensions:15 x 12.5 x 12.5 in
Item Weight :35.5 lbs
Shipping Weight:38 lbs
Dimensions:9.6 x 8.8 x 8.6 in
Item Weight :14.05 lbs
Shipping Weight:14.05 lbs
Dimensions:14 x 22 x 3 in
Item Weight :25 lbs
Shipping Weight:26.3 lbs
Types of Ice Melt
Ice melt products consist of chemicals that melt ice by reacting with water in the ice and creating heat. The chemical used helps lower water’s freezing point and creates heat for the ice to melt.
Ice melt products in the market are of different types based on the chemicals or active ingredients present in them. Let us see the ice melt types now:
Also known as rock salt, this is the oldest and commonest ice melt salt for driveway in use. The crystalline salt looks like rocks, hence the name rock salt. It is used for deicing of roads.
While it is inexpensive, it is a slow-acting ice melt salt and effective only up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Most often it is used in blends of ice melt to make up a massive base. It also leaves a whitish sodium residue which in excess can harm plants.
This ice melt chemical is more effective and acts up to -25 degrees Fahrenheit. It is in the form of powder, flakes, pellets and liquid too.
Although it is expensive, you need very little amounts of calcium chloride for melting ice and snow. However, it can cause plant yellowing, concrete pitting, and corrosion of metal, when used excessively.
Potassium Chloride –Urea blend
Potassium Chloride is effective up to 12 degrees Fahrenheit, while urea works up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. And it can be used safely around plants.
This ice melt works up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit and is eco-friendly. It does not cause corrosion as sodium or calcium chloride do.
Calcium Magnesium Acetate
This is commonly used to prevent ice formation on highways instead of melting ice. The chemical prevents ice molecules from sticking together and helps improve traction. It is an eco-safe product and safe on concrete.
This is used for runway deicing and acts up to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. It is in powder form and a small quantity can be spread over a large area.
Besides the above-mentioned types, there are blends of ice melts that have rock salt and one or more active ingredients. The blend helps in lowering temperature.
5 Best-Selling ice melt products
Here are the best pet-safe ice melts for concrete based on their performance, convenience, and safety.
Safe Paw Non-Toxic Ice Melter
As the name suggests Safe Paw is a non-toxic ice melt that is guaranteed by the makers to be completely pet safe. This salt-free ice melts a half-inch in less than ten minutes.
However, even if it is non-toxic, it is best to take necessary precautions while spreading the ice melts on ice as it can cause minor irritation to throat or nose. It can be used safely on concrete, stone, and brick.
The active ingredients used in this ice melting product include glycol and carbonyl di-amine. The admixture is formulated in such a way that once you apply the ice melt it prevents re-icing for nearly 3 days.
The product is in the form of concentrated pellets that help cover more area than when you use rock salt. Available as an 8-pound pack, the ice melt dimensions include 11-1/3-inch x 5-inch height x 7-1/2-inch width.
- It is effective in melting ice and prevents re-icing
- Safe for pets
- Does not damage steps, sidewalks, driveways, lawns and other areas around the house
- The shaker top provided with the package helps in easy spreading of the pellets without having to use gloves and sprinkle it by hand.
- A smaller quantity is sufficient to clear a large area of ice
- The product is expensive than ice melts having rock salt as an ingredient
- Is not effective for temperatures below -2 degrees Fahrenheit
- Is not very effective on compacted ice that is already present
- The green pellets get carried inside the house causing a big mess
- The color is attractive and can make children mistake it for candy and eat it
96% Pure Calcium Chloride Snow & Ice Melt Pellets
If you are in a hurry to get your driveway and sidewalks free of ice, Pure Calcium Chloride Ice melt is a good choice.
Four times fast-acting than rock salt, this best salt for ice melting melts ice and snow by exothermic heat reaction it causes. So if you apply this ice melting product when a snowstorm is just starting, it can give maximum effect. Application is easy.
You can apply with rotary spreaders or handheld spreaders. It works best in temperatures up to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. As far as the safety of the product is concerned, it does not cause irritation or damage to pets, trees, bushes, lawn grass, and other vegetation.
You can even apply it on roofs safely. Unlike other ice melts it is colorless and odorless making it fully safe for kids and pets.
- Melts ice effectively even at very cold temperatures
- Very fast acting
- A light coating before or when there is light snowfall will give good results
- There is no necessity to shovel as it melts snow and ice to the ground
- Does not leave behind an offending white residue
- The product is expensive
- The container it is packed in is difficult to open, the tab present in the pack rips off while attempting to remove the lid
- Does not work fast
- Did not have pellets but just tiny powder crystals
Safe Paw Ice Melter
If the safety of your pet is preventing you from using an ice melt salt, consider using Safe Paw ice melt. The product is completely non-toxic, so you need not have worries about your pet being harmed by the chemicals used in the ice melt.
As the Safe Paw 8-pound product we reviewed earlier, this snow and ice melt formulation is preferred firstly for its non-toxic feature and secondly for its prolonged ice melting action.
The effect of the ice melting product lingers for three days preventing ice from forming again during the time. The ingredients include glycol and carbonyl diamide admixture and dimensions of the product are 15-1/3-inch length x 12-1/2-inch height x 12-1/2-inch width.
- Completely safe for pets, animals, children, and plants
- Does not cause irritation or other damage when pets touch, eat or ingest it
- Ice melting effect lasts for three days preventing ice from forming again
- Is effective even with snow that is four feet deep or more.
- The huge container is difficult to open. Needs some sharp tool to rip the tab open.
- Works only when the temperature is around 20 degrees and not below that
Green Gobbler Pet Safe Ice Melt
If you are looking for the least toxic ice melt to buy, Green Gobbler pet safe is an ideal choice. Not only is it less toxic than potassium, calcium, and sodium chloride-based ice melts, it is also twice as powerful in action as rock salt at a temperature of 21 degrees Fahrenheit.
The heat-generating action of the tiny pellet-shaped product helps melt ice in a short span at temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit. You can be assured of your pet being safe from skin irritation and other harms as this best ice melt for sidewalks product is an eco-friendly and safe one.
Further, the 30-day money-back assurance adds value to the product and makes you assured of the safety and efficacy of the product.
- The nozzle attached to the cover of the container helps easy pouring without any mess
- Is very safe for use on concrete and does not harm pets and plants.
- Works in just 20 to 30 minutes and melts thick ice layers from driveways and sidewalks.
- The product leaves behind a melted oil or paraffin like residue
- Is not effective and does not last for long. The entire pack of 40 pounds was used up after a couple of storms
- The material clumps easily and has to be crumbled with a hammer before using it
Snow Joe Az-25-Eb Melt-2 -Go Nature + Pet Friendly CMA Blended Ice Melter
For eco-conscious homeowners, the CMA blended Snow Joe EB melt is a good choice to consider. The product is capable of shredding snow, deicing ice and acts on sleet too. Thus when you a faced with bad winter weather, having this Snow Joe ice melting product handy will help you bust the weather in a breeze.
While its ingredients are safe for pets, children, and plants, you should not use it on freshly added concrete as the chemical in the ice melt can interfere with the curing process and damage concrete. The calcium magnesium acetate is added to the ice melt to ensure quick and successful results.
The formulation helps in long-lasting effect and ensures good traction control. Being made by Snow Joe and Sun Joe, this innovative best ice melt for sidewalks is a must-have one during harsh winters. The product is in the form of colored crystals, which makes it easy to measure and dispense with a handheld spreader.
- The ingredients help clear ice and snow from driveway effectively
- Does not cause permanent stains on cement or brick
- Safe for pets
- Price is affordable
- Even though the package mentions it is pet-friendly, it can cause harm to your pet’s paws
- Damages wood and concrete
- Melts just 1/8th inch around each salt block
- Leaves behind unsightly white trails on the sidewalk and deck
Best Ice Melt Buyer’s Guide
Here are a few considerations you have to keep in mind while choosing an ice melt:
Ice melt products have different ingredients that include chemicals like glycol admixture, carbonyl amine, sodium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, and magnesium chloride. All these are considered eco and pet-friendly so can be used safely.
The temperature at which the ice melting product works effectively is an important consideration. Most ice melts are effective up to -15 degrees Fahrenheit. Solar heating can help further melting. The exothermic heat from ice melts help in faster melting while some ice melts use endothermic process too.
A non-toxic ice melt is the best ice melt product as it is safe for use without worrying about causing harm to the environment, pets, etc.
In general, ice melts are very affordable and the price is based on the weight of the snow and ice melt ingredient used
Ice melts should act fast, deep and the effect should last long.
While it is possible to remove ice and snow from walkways and pavements with shovels, concrete safe ice melt products are easier and effective. You can choose from the best ice melt product for the concrete list above to get rid of the stubborn ice and snow without harming your pet, plants, and concrete.
The Safe Paw product, for instance, is ideal for pet owners. If you are more particular about using environment-friendly products, the Green Gobbler seems like the best ice melt choice. When you make the right choice, you can be free of the thick ice sheets without any worries about harming your pets, garden or the environment.