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De-Icing Your Driveway

Updated on February 8, 2015

Wanted: Icemelt

Every year millions of people break their legs from slipping on ice or snow. You don't want this to happen to anyone in your family, so keep that driveway and garden path free from ice. Few people like shoveling wet snow, especially if the winter is long. How can you get rid of the snow and ice in an easy way? What machines and products are available to help you? Are there any really good alternatives?Let's have a look.

First of all- remove that snow!

The most important step in keeping your driveway free from ice is to make sure there is no snow to trample down into ice. It doesn't take long for the snow to get compact and start turning into ice. Quickly removing any snow that falls will make it easier to maintain a free path. Putting cables in the driveway, to heat it, will make the snow melt away quickly- but this could be quite a big work.

Another option (if you don't like shoveling) is to use a snow-blower. There are snow-blowers that run on electricity, with a long cable (you can buy an extension cord), and there are those that run on gas. In general, the electrical snow-blowers are not as strong, but quite enough for a normal climate.

A little tip: Whether shoveling or blowing the snow away, put it far away from your driveway or path. As winter procedes, more snow will be added to that pile, and it is easier if you start out well.

Deicing Salt

Salt is great to use as a complement to removing the snow. Some salt can be used to prime the surface of the drive-way, already before the snow falls. Others are best used once the ice has formed. It is always a good idea to paint all metal surfaces before winter starts, minimizing the corrosion caused by the salt.

  • Rock Salt / Sodium Chloride

    Very common salt for de-icing the ground, often used on roads. Most damaging to environment and concrete/metal surfaces. In addition to melting the ice, it breaks it up. This makes it easier to hack away the ice while it is melting. Works best above 16 F.

  • Calcium Chloride

    Pellets which work well all the way down to temperatures of -25F.

  • Potassium Chloride

    Not so common, more environmental friendly. Works best in temperature above 15 F.

  • Magnesium Chloride

    Least corrosive and toxic of all the salts. Does not leave white residue on floors if some come inside. Less toxic to plants and grass. Works at temperatures as low as -13 F.

Do you use salts to de-ice your drive-way?

See results

Any suggestions for deicing? - Any good tips?

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    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 3 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      This is good advice, especially when we are expecting a lot of snow in the U.S. Midwest this year, which I am NOT looking forward to.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      We don't have this problem!

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 4 years ago

      After shoveling the ice off we usually sprinkle rock salt on the driveway and front walk if there's still ice.

    • Tennyhawk profile image

      Tennyhawk 4 years ago

      I try to catch the snow when it's fresh and sweep a path through to my driveway, and then scatter salt to keep it clear. These are some great tips, though. I especially like the tip to be wary of where you decide to put the shoveled snow. Imagine that it's only going to pile higher and make sure it's not someplace you'll need to access later.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 4 years ago from United States

      The people in our area usually use salt, but I absolutely love that HeatTrak Residential Snow-Melting Walkway Mat you have featured! I really need one for both myself and my parents. Last weather I slipped on the ice on my steps and hurt my shoulder and ankle. I hurt for weeks! On fall like that or worse and you realize something like that mat would be well worth the money.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You've got good practical advice here...remove snow before deicing is the way to go and keeping walks and drives shoveled or blown definitely keeps ice down. I've lived in snow and ice country all my life and am just learning about magnesium chloride as a safer choice for us and the environment and that you won't be tracking in the white or having it on your boots and shoes. A heated mat or walk would be nice but you still have to get that snow up for sure.

    • profile image

      johnsja 5 years ago

      Thankfully it doesn't get that cold where I live.

    • profile image

      ernad18 6 years ago

      verry simple and interest lens.....can u teach me, please....

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 6 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Here in Pittsburgh we do get a lot of snow and de-icing is a part of our everyday routine. Great product reviews. Angel Blessings**

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      great lens, the tips and info will be useful this winter!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I am happy I need not do this anymore.

    • krakensquid profile image

      krakensquid 6 years ago

      Great lens!

    • Craftymarie profile image

      Marie 6 years ago

      Congrats on being one of the 35 favorite product review lenses :)

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 6 years ago

      When I lived in Colorado, we had a snowblower. Best thing we bought out there next to the skis. Our driveway was too long to put a de-icer on it. Sometimes used one on the steps. Now we live in the Sunny South were it seldom snows. When it does, we just don't leave our home.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 6 years ago

      The heated mat looks like a wonderful product to use. And congratulations on having one of the 35 favorite product review lenses!

    • annleecakes profile image

      Trulee Ann 6 years ago from Arkansas City, Kansas


      Good direct information on your neat lens sharing.


    • profile image

      TravelingRae 6 years ago

      Don't use kitty litter...

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 6 years ago from Sweden

      That mat is a fantasic idea. You can put it on the stairs for a start =)