What’s the Best Way to Melt Ice: 4 Different Types of Deicers

Ice Melt in Storage

If you are looking to protect your roadways and pavement this winter season, but are not sure what types of deicers will effectively minimize your ice build-up, SISCU offers a wide variety of ice melts for any type of condition. Some of the most popular products include Calcium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Rock Salt, and Calcium Magnesium Acetate, and you can read more to learn about the differences and which types of deicers are right for you.

4 Types of Deicers at SISCU

Calcium Chloride

Calcium Chloride is one of the most popular ice melt products, in addition to Magnesium Chloride. Calcium Chloride is a hygroscopic salt that absorbs moisture from the air and lowers the freezing point of water to prevent ice build-up. Calcium Chloride products have the highest concentration of chlorides, making them the most effective products to maximize the effectiveness of your ice melt solution. There are many different forms of Calcium Chloride products available, with the most popular being pellets and flakes. One highly effective brand of pellets is PELADOW Calcium Chloride Pellets. These pellets have about a 90% chloride concentration, which allows this product to penetrate ice 3x faster compared to other competing ice melts. PELADOW is effective in temperatures as low as -25°F, making it a good choice for climates with extreme cold. Calcium Chloride pellets have a round shape, allowing them to move slightly on pavement upon application. This is beneficial for large surface areas such as parking lots or parking garages that have tight corners that require ice melt. A popular brand of Calcium Chloride flakes is DOWFLAKE. DOWFLAKE products contain 83-87% calcium chloride, and they are 10% more concentrated than any other leading flake, allowing this product to melt more ice faster. The hard, flat shape of DOWFLAKE products allows the calcium chloride solution to adhere to pavement upon application, allowing for a more precise treatment that requires less product per application. Calcium Chloride flakes are also effective in temperatures as low as -25°F, and the highly concentrated nature of both Calcium Chloride flakes and pellets makes it a strong choice for your winter deicer. Calcium Chloride is the right deicer for you if you are looking for a product with the highest level of effectiveness at melting even the thickest of ice that requires fewer applications throughout the winter season.

Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium Chloride is the other most popular ice melt product and is very similar to Calcium Chloride. Magnesium Chloride also utilizes its hygroscopic properties to absorb moisture from the air and lower the freezing temperature of water to minimize ice. Magnesium Chloride products are not as concentrated as Calcium Chloride, meaning slightly more product is needed upon application. With this being said, Magnesium Chloride is the more environmentally friendly of the two products and does not irritate the paws of animals that come into contact with a treated surface. Additionally, Magnesium Chloride is less harmful to surrounding vegetation and plant life. Magnesium Chloride products are also available in both pellet and flake form, with similar distinctions. Magnesium pellets are 26x less concrete spalling compared to other products, which will leave you knowing your pavement is safe from damage upon application. Due to the slightly lower chloride concentrations, this product is less corrosive and less toxic during application as well. Magnesium Chloride pellets are effective in temperatures as low as -13°F. The pellet shape allows for movement upon application, allowing for a more precise application in hard-to-reach corners. Magnesium Chloride flakes have a hard, flat shape, allowing for a more detailed application. The product adheres to the pavement, ensuring an even application without product waste. Similarly to pellets, flakes are less corrosive and toxic and don’t leave any residue or stains behind. Flakes are also effective in temperatures as low as -13°F. If you are deciding between Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride is the better choice if you are looking for a more eco-friendly product in a climate that does not experience the most extreme cold temperatures.

Rock Salt

Rock Salt is the most widely known and utilized product due to its convenience and affordability. Rock Salt is readily available and most often found in bulk. This deicer is so affordable because it contains almost 100% sodium chloride. While it is affordable, it can be very damaging to concrete and pavement upon application. Rock Salt is only recommended for road surfaces that are already damaged or can withstand corrosion and damage. Rock Salt loses its effectiveness in temperatures colder than 15°F, meaning it is not the best choice for climates that experience colder weather consistently. Rock Salt is most often white in color and can be a good low-cost alternative for an ice melt that comes in large quantities and can be applied quickly.

Calcium Magnesium Acetate

Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA) deicer is granulated calcium magnesium acetate, formulated from dolomitic lime and acetic acid. This product is approved by the Federal Highway Administration to melt ice effectively. Calcium Magnesium Acetate is safer on pavement and concrete and does not leave any damage after melting ice. Additionally, this product is less corrosive and toxic towards the environment, making it more eco-friendly compared to competitors such as Rock Salt. Calcium Magnesium Acetate should be applied to the pavement once a storm starts for maximum effectiveness. It only functions in temperatures above 15°F. If you are deciding between Rock Salt and Calcium Magnesium Acetate as your winter weather ice melt solution, CMA is less corrosive and damaging to the environment while also effectively melting ice.

Get Your Different Types of Deicers at SISCU Today!

With such a wide variety of product options, SISCU has the right types of deicers for any winter storm. Ice can cause dangerous accidents and lead to injuries, making ice management a crucial step in your snow removal plan. Make sure your road surfaces are protected this winter and find the best ice melt product for your climate and surface type at SISCU! Contact us with questions!