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How Do Deicers Work - Canada Salt


How Do Deicers Work?

When the winter hits, all the pathways, sidewalks, and driveways become dangerously slick, and the situation can get even worse if your ice shovelling is not completed. At this point, deicers come into play and combat the situation. Deicers are chemical substances used to make shovelling ice or snow easier by preventing the bond formation between ice and ground surface. If you are one of the homeowners looking to create a clean driveway in your landscape, then you need to know how deicers work and how they will be used. It is to be noted that deicers cannot be used for large quantities of ice or snow, and as the deicers have harmful chemicals which can be toxic to nature, it is always recommended to use them in small quantities given on the packets.

What Are Deicers?

Deicers are chemical products made of mineral salts and work on the simple principle that salt water has a lower freezing point when compared to ice and snow. The salts available in deicers form a quick brine solution to allow the ice or snow to be removed easily.

What Is Deicing?

Deicing refers to using liquid or solid materials to prevent the slow bonding between ice and surfaces like pavement or pathways. As the deicers are applied over a while can boost the effectiveness of the product. Depending on the precipitation type, the products are most effective when applied before the actual ice or snow is formed.

How Do Deicers Work?

Deicers work on the simple concept that salt has low freezing point than ice, which means even if ice or snow is melting, the salt solution remains in liquid form. When deicer is applied on ice, they form liquid brine, which flows below ice or snow and remains in a liquid state. The brine liquids steep their way between ice and pavements and thus breaking the bond of ice with the ground. When the bond between salt and surface is broken, it becomes easy to shovel the ice and snow that is formed on the pavements and driveways. The most commonly used deicer is rock salt or sodium chloride. Rock salt works even at -21° C but is effective between -9 °C and -12°C, and as everyone knows, it is inexpensive and readily available. The large particle sizes of rock salt make it a perfect choice for removing snow on pathways and roadways.

Some Of The Common Deicing Chemicals Used

Most of the deicing chemicals are the combination of various ingredients, here are some of the most used deicers

  • Sodium Chloride or Rock Salt: The cheapest deicing chemical available but damages concrete and plants and is also unhealthy for pets
  • Potassium Chloride: Is equally effective as Rock salt and also less toxic in nature
  • Calcium Chloride: Works at a very low temperature (-20°C) and is less toxic. One of the advantages of this product is that it generates heat from the water and actively dissolves ice.
  • Magnesium Chloride: Has Similar qualities to Calcium chloride and also works at low temperature
  • Urea: Deicers containing urea are best for lawns but can have corrosive effects on concrete and are the least recommended for deicing.


Rock salt is one of the best deicers readily available at a very reasonable price. To make the deicing process more effective, it is recommended to use pure rock salt. If you are looking for deicing chemical salt, then you need to talk to an expert salt supplier. Canada Salt Group Ltd is one of the reliable and trusted suppliers of rock salt all over North America. Contact us for a free estimate.

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