Alternatives to Harsh Salts When Melting Ice

By Acme Homes 11-18-2019

Snow, ice, and everything nice. We wish! Those of us in Washington state, or other areas with a similar climate, know all too well the unpleasant gifts Winter comes home with. Icy doorsteps and driveways being one of them. Ice is not only bothersome, but it can also be quite dangerous to walk or drive on. That is why many cities and homeowners use a variety of ice melts to resolve this problem faster.

One ice melt most are familiar with is sodium chloride. The dish on this salt, however, is that it can be quite damaging to cars, driveways, vegetation, and water supplies. Good thing sodium chloride is not the only effective solution for melting ice! The team here at Acme Homes wants to help keep you and your home safe this Winter with these ice melt alternatives.


Kicking things off simply with this one. Any sort of gritty household material you may have can work. Sand, ash, coffee grinds. Sprinkling them over the ice will work to provide traction as well as create pockets in the ice that will attract more heat due to its darker color, thus helping it melt faster. You can use this eco-friendly trick in conjunction with some of the other suggestions in this list to really show that ice who’s boss.

Pickle Brine

Working similarly to saltwater, pickle brine is effective at melting ice at temperatures as low as -6 °F. When you hear news of snow and ice coming in, you can preemptively coat your driveway with the brine which will hinder ice from bonding with your masonry. This way, it will be much easier to remove in the morning.

NatGeo cites another powerful brine being used by residents of Wisconsin. That being a cheese brine. In other words, the water in which soft cheeses like mozzarella live. This brine can withstand freezing up to -21°F! So, it can be effective at melting ice on even the harshest of Winter days. The people of Wisconsin are on to something.

*Make your own ice blasting brine by combining 2 lbs. of salt for every gallon of water needed.

Sugar Beet Juice

No, this beet juice isn’t going to stain your driveway bright red. Generally, this is a mixture of beet juice and salt, and it is actually a brown color. The mixture creates a sort of goo that holds onto the salt, curtailing its traveling into nearby water supplies.

Of course, your relationship with your shovel has not come to an end, but why not try making some of these DIY deicers yourself and take matters into your own hands this Winter. Because the only ice you should allow in your life should be followed by the word cream.

If this is your first time stopping by, Acme Homes LLC is a dynamic home builder in the Washington state area. Feel free to browse our photo gallery for examples of the work we do or take an interest in some of our other blogs that are geared towards homeowners.