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Calcium Chloride vs Calcium Magnesium Acetate: Which One Is Better?

Calcium Chloride vs Calcium Magnesium Acetate: Which One Is Better?

Justin Rollin

When it comes to effective ice melt solutions, there are quite a few to choose from. But not every product has the same strengths, and it’s important to pick the right one for your needs. As your trusted de-icer provider, Ninja De-Icer is here to guide you through the calcium chloride vs calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) decision. 

We'll explore the strengths and weaknesses of calcium chloride and calcium magnesium acetate, helping you make an informed decision to conquer winter's icy challenges. 

Calcium Chloride Ice Melt

Calcium Chloride Ice Melt

Calcium chloride ice melt serves to prevent hazardous ice accumulation by absorbing moisture and lowering the freezing point of water. Calcium chloride is effective in temperatures starting at -25ºF, making it the better choice in extremely cold climates. Calcium chloride can penetrate ice and tightly packed snow at 3x the rate of other products and has a lasting residual effectiveness.

Pros of Calcium Chloride for Ice Melting

  • Effective at low temperatures: Calcium chloride can melt snow and ice in cold weather conditions as low as -25ºF, significantly lower than other ice-melting products;
  • Fast-acting: Calcium chloride is fast-acting; within 20 minutes of application at about 20ºF, it will successfully melt twice as much ice or snow as traditional rock salt;
  • Long-lasting: Calcium chloride has a longer residual effect, which means it continues to melt ice and prevents refreezing for an extended period;
  • Reduced tracking: Calcium chloride ice melt leaves less residue, making it an excellent choice for use around buildings like commercial properties and municipal buildings; 
  • Less corrosive: It is generally less corrosive to concrete surfaces when used as directed;
  • High concentration available: High-concentration calcium chloride products are available, allowing for more precise application and cost-effectiveness.

Cons of Calcium Chloride Ice Melt

  • Environmental impact: Although it is considered less harmful than some alternatives, calcium chloride can still have environmental impacts, especially when overused or misapplied.
  • Limited pet-friendly options: Some calcium chloride products may not be pet-friendly, so caution is needed when using them around pets.

Choose Top Calcium Chloride Products for Ice Melting

Choose Top Calcium Chloride Products for Ice Melting

Explore the power of calcium chloride products for efficient and effective ice melting:

  • Thunder Melt Ice Melter: Stands out as one of the best ice melters with calcium chloride. Its quick burn and high-performance liquid salt melt formulation ensures effective snow and ice removal down to -16°F. With its vibrant violet color, Thunder Melt provides improved visual spreading, making it easier to evenly distribute the melt. The combination of sodium chloride and calcium chloride in its chemical composition makes Thunder Melt a powerful and long-lasting solution for combating icy conditions. When it comes to superior ice-melting performance, Thunder Melt Ice Melter is the go-to choice;
  • Sizzle Premium Ice Melter: With its unique pink blend of sodium chloride and calcium chloride, emerges as one of the best and most reliable de-icers for tackling even the harshest weather conditions. Designed for rapid snow melting, it remains effective down to an impressive -25°F. This versatile product is ideal for de-icing roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, and pathways. Not only does it deliver superior performance, but it also offers affordability and user-friendliness, making it a top choice for extreme cold weather ice management;
  • Peladow: Peladow Calcium Chloride Pellets are highly effective calcium chloride de-icers, especially suitable for sidewalks. These pellets have the remarkable ability to melt ice up to three times faster than competing products, making them a preferred choice for efficient ice removal. With a chemical composition of 90% calcium chloride, Peladow pellets are designed to bore through ice and snow rapidly due to only a small part of each pellet resting on the surface. Unlike other de-icers, Peladow generates its own heat, resulting in a fast-melting action that performs well across a wide range of temperatures.

Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA)

Calcium Magnesium Acetate, commonly known as CMA, is an environmentally friendly de-icing and anti-icing compound. CMA works by preventing snow and ice from bonding to surfaces, making it easier to remove them. It can be used to prevent ice from forming on roads in temperatures down to 20°F.

Pros of Calcium Magnesium Acetate for Ice Melting

Pros of Calcium Magnesium Acetate for Ice Melting

  • Environmentally friendly: CMA is chloride free and biodegradable, making it less harmful to the environment compared to chloride-based ice melters;
  • Low corrosion risk: It is non-corrosive to concrete, metals, and most surfaces, reducing the potential for damage to infrastructure;
  • Pet and wildlife friendly: CMA is considered safer for pets, plants, and wildlife, making it a good choice for areas frequented by animals;
  • Reduced residue: It leaves behind less residue than some other ice melt compounds, resulting in cleaner surfaces.

Cons of Calcium Magnesium Acetate

  • Limited effectiveness in extreme cold: CMA may not be as effective as chloride-based ice melters in colder temperatures, as its performance diminishes significantly below 20°F;
  • Higher cost: CMA can be more expensive than traditional chloride-based de-icers, which can be a drawback for budget-conscious users;
  • Slower melting action: It may work more slowly than other ice-melt compounds, requiring more time to achieve the desired ice-melting effect;
  • Not ideal for heavy snow: CMA is better suited for preventing ice bonding and for lighter snow conditions. It may not be as effective in quickly melting large accumulations of snow and ice;
  • Residual moisture: CMA can leave behind a residue of moisture that may refreeze if not cleared, potentially creating slippery conditions.

Calcium Chloride vs Calcium Magnesium Acetate: Contrast Overview

Calcium Chloride vs Calcium Magnesium Acetate: Contrast Overview

Let's delve into the differences between calcium chloride and calcium magnesium acetate as de-icing agents:

1. Penetrative Performance: Calcium Chloride vs. Calcium Magnesium Acetate in De-Icing

When evaluating the penetrative rate of de-icing agents, calcium chloride typically outperforms calcium magnesium acetate (CMA). Calcium chloride has a higher capacity to penetrate and melt ice at lower temperatures due to its hygroscopic nature, allowing it to effectively break through thick ice layers. In contrast, CMA's performance diminishes in extremely cold conditions, making it less effective at penetrating and melting ice. Therefore, for situations requiring rapid and deep penetration, calcium chloride is often the preferred choice.

More effective: Calcium Chloride

2. Cost-Effectiveness Comparison: Calcium Chloride vs CMA

Calcium chloride is a more cost-effective de-icing agent than calcium magnesium acetate. Its lower price point and wider availability make it more economical for large-scale applications. Additionally, calcium chloride's effectiveness in extremely cold temperatures reduces the need for frequent application, further lowering costs.

While calcium magnesium acetate is biodegradable and has a lower environmental impact, its higher price tag and limited effectiveness in colder temperatures offset these benefits, making calcium chloride a more cost-effective choice in many scenarios.

More cost-effective: Calcium Chloride

3. Comparing Longevity: Calcium Chloride vs Calcium Magnesium Acetate

3. Comparing Longevity: Calcium Chloride vs Calcium Magnesium Acetate

In terms of longevity as de-icers, calcium chloride generally outlasts calcium magnesium acetate (CMA). Calcium chloride's ability to form a brine solution at lower temperatures allows it to remain effective for an extended period, providing lasting ice-melting capabilities. On the other hand, CMA's effectiveness diminishes more rapidly. That's why calcium chloride tends to be the more long-lasting choice for sustained ice control, making it preferred for many applications.

Long-lasting effect: Calcium Chloride

4. Environmental Impact: Calcium Chloride vs Calcium Magnesium Acetate

Calcium chloride is known to have a higher environmental impact due to its chloride content, which can contribute to soil and water pollution. On the other hand, calcium magnesium acetate is more environmentally friendly, as it is biodegradable and poses minimal risk to plant and concrete surfaces.

When considering the environmental impact, using calcium magnesium acetate as a de-icer may be a more sustainable choice.

Less corrosive: Calcium Magnesium Acetate

Aspect Calcium Chloride Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA)
Effectiveness More effective in penetrating and melting ice, especially at lower temperatures. Preferred for rapid and deep penetration. Less effective in colder conditions, diminishing performance.
Cost More economical due to lower price, wider availability, and reduced need for frequent application. Higher price and limited effectiveness in colder temperatures make it less cost-effective.
Longevity Remains effective for an extended period due to its ability to form a brine solution at lower temperatures. Effectiveness diminishes more rapidly, making it less long-lasting.
Environmental Effects Higher environmental impact, contributing to soil and water pollution. More environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and less corrosive to plant and concrete surfaces.


Looking for Top-Notch Ice-Melt Solutions?

Looking for Top-Notch Ice-Melt Solutions?

Experience the power of Ninja De-Icer's premium calcium chloride de-icers. Conquer ice and ensure safety this winter!

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Choosing the Right Ice Melt with Ninja De-Icer

Calcium chloride vs calcium magnesium acetate are both incredibly effective tools for melting snow and ice, but each has its pros and cons. Calcium chloride offers excellent ice-melting capabilities at extremely low temperatures, making it a reliable choice for severe winter conditions. On the other hand, CMA is more environmentally friendly and performs well in milder climates. As a leading de-icer provider, Ninja De-Icer offers a range of calcium chloride products to meet your ice-melting needs. To learn more about our products, request a quote today!