Grow with KARE: Which 'ice melters' work best?

MINNEAPOLIS - This has been a winter of icy mornings and making sure your areas are treated has been difficult to keep up with. There are many products on the market so Bobby and I thought we would look into these ice eaters and see how they match up.

The first measure of an "ice melters" effectiveness is the range of temperatures in which it can provide deicing action. Here is how they stack up when it comes to the temperature threshold that they still are effective.

1. Calcium Chloride works down to -25
2. Magnesium Chloride works down to 5
3. Sodium Acetate works down to 5
4. Calcium Magnesium Acetate works down to 5
5. Potassium Chloride works down to 12
6. Urea works down to 15
7. Sodium Chloride works down to 20

Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride are liquids in their natural states and have an affinity for returning to a liquid.

They immediately pick up water to form a strong brine from the snow and ice, emit heat to give added deicing effect, and create more water and form more brine.

This process is repeated over and over and that is why they are the most effective.

The environmental impact of these ice melters are concerning and they have to be used cautiously.

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency it only takesone teaspoon of road salt to permanently pollute five gallons of water.

Follow the directions and avoid plants and grassy areas when you are sweeping it up after the ice is melted.

Good luck and stay safe.

Belinda & Bobby


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