5 Ways to Melt Ice Without Salt

Rock salt is a great way to melt ice, but it's not the only way. Check out these five homemade ice melts made from items you probably already have at home.

Woman shovels snow 

If you’re looking for the fastest ice melt, salt is usually a clear winner. Why does salt melt ice? It works by lowering the freezing point of water molecules, or the freezing point depression. Rock salt is a great way to melt ice, but it can be pricey and bad for the environment

Luckily, there are alternative ways to melt ice without salt. Here are five homemade ice melts made from items you probably already have.

1. Sand.

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Unlike salt, sand doesn’t dissolve in ice; instead, it creates traction, so you’ll be less likely to slip. Just like salt, there are pros and cons of using sand on your driveway or roads, but if you’re out of rock salt and have sand on hand, you can use it as a homemade deicer for concrete driveways and sidewalks. Just make sure you sweep it up when you can—sand can negatively affect your sewer system. 

Before sprinkling your sidewalk or driveway with sand, make sure you shovel thoroughly to remove as much snow as possible. Do you hate shoveling? We get it. Here are some helpful snow shoveling tips and general tips for snow removal.

2. Sugar

Sugar is a great homemade de-icer. It de-ices the same way as salt by lowering the freezing point of the water. However, sugar may be more costly than a rock salt ice melt, so you may only want to use it on smaller areas, like your front porch or your back step. 

3. Homemade deicer spray for your vehicle’s windshield 

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If you live in a snowy climate, it can be a pain to scrape your windows, especially when it’s freezing outside. To make the task easier, create a DIY ice melt: All you need is one part water and two parts rubbing alcohol or vinegar. Just mix, spritz on your icy windows, and see how easy it is to scrape away. 

Read more tips on how to defrost your car quickly

4. Coffee grounds

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If you’re a coffee drinker and want a method to melt ice without salt that doesn’t cost much, coffee grounds are your answer. They work a little like sand by providing traction so you won’t slip and slide on the ice. The natural acidity of coffee grounds can also help to melt the ice. 

5. Beet juice

Beet juice can be used as an ice melt alternative when mixed with a water-based salt brine. Create a mixture of 20 percent beet juice and 80 percent salt brine and pour it over slippery areas. Beet juice will help the salt brine lower the water's freezing temperature even more. To prevent staining, make sure you rinse it off with soap and water as soon as the temperature is above the freezing point. 

Enjoying a snow day can be fun, but ice dams, frozen pipes, and other winter home issues can put a damper on the season. You can remove snow and ice from your home in no time with these ideas for an ice melt without salt. 

To prepare for inclement weather in the winter and early spring, learn how to protect your home from snow damage. Additionally, it’s a good idea to get a home warranty from American Home Shield®. Your home systems, like heating and electrical, work overtime in the colder months, which results in extra wear and tear. A home warranty can help your budget stay on track when it comes time to repair or replace parts of your home systems or appliances. Check out our pricing and plans today.

AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

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