January 9, 2024 Snow Removal

Salt, Sand, Ice Melt, or Kitty Litter: What Works Best for Winter Woes?

Skiing, sledding, snowmobiling – all of our favorite ways to get around in the winter. Unfortunately, we don’t get to hit the hills and trails everyday. We have work, school, practices and recitals to get to – all as we trudge through the snow. The need to stay on the move begs the question – what is the best way to get traction during the winter? 

Folks have their favorite among salt, sand, ice melt and even kitty litter! Let’s take a moment to see which one will truly help you in a pinch if you get stuck.

The Salty Solution: Pros and Cons

Salt is the traditional go-to for melting ice. It’s effective and inexpensive, but it has its downsides. Salt can be corrosive to metal and harmful to plants. It also poses risks to pets’ paws and can contaminate groundwater. As effective as it can be at melting ice, it is best to use discretion when using it.

Gritty Sand: Traction without the Reaction

Sand is an ineffective tool when melting ice, but it can certainly provide traction when called upon. Sand is also safer for the environment than salt. However, you will still want to be careful in the winter so that you don’t add too much sand to your topsoil as you melt ice on your driveway.

Ice Melt: A Chemical Conundrum

Specially formulated ice melts are designed to work faster and at colder temperatures than salt. While some varieties –  such as magnesium chloride –  are  safer for pets, vegetation and concrete – ice melt still poses environmental concerns. If you are using a snow removal service, be sure that they are using professional ice melt. This ice melt is mostly a blend of sodium, magnesium and potassium – protecting your plants, pets and pavement. 

Kitty Litter: The Unexpected Alternative

Kitty litter – who would’ve thought, right? No, kitty litter doesn’t melt ice, but it is a handy way to gain traction when called upon. It’s non-corrosive and safe for pets. The downside? Given its intended purpose, kitty litter can become clumpy and may not be as effective as other options.

Weighing Your Options

Choosing the right tool for melting ice on your driveway depends on your priorities. Are you looking for the most cost-effective solution, the safest option for pets and plants, or the most environmentally friendly choice? Each product has its benefits and drawbacks.

Does the thought of having to choose your favorite ice melt make you feel a little down? Call Scott’s Lawn Care, and we can take care of the snow removal for you! 

No matter if you have a commercial or residential space, we’ve got you covered. Not to worry, our SIMA and CSP certified snow removal team only use professional ice melt on all the properties we service to ensure the health of plant and pet life alike. Reach out today to schedule your service.

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