Preventing snow and ice from causing a threat to your property can be a full-time job during the winter season, especially in climates like the Midwest. If you're looking for an alternative to rock salt, you might have read that pickle brine can help melt ice and snow. Pickle brine can be applied to road surfaces to prevent ice buildup in temperatures as low as -6 degrees Fahrenheit. There are both pros and cons to using pickle brine for ice melt, all of which we will outline below.
How Does Pickle Brine Work?
You might have questions about using pickle brine as a de-icer as it isn't as commonly used as products such as calcium chloride or magnesium chloride to treat road surfaces. In reality, pickle brine naturally has salt (sodium chloride) already in it. So using it as the base to make salt brine for deicing is pretty easy. Depending on how much salt is already in the pickle brine, you might have to add some additional rock salt to get the brine concentration to the ideal 23.3%. However, if you are adding less rock salt to get it to the ideal salt concentration then you could be saving money.
Once the pickle brine has been combined with any additional rock salt that may be needed, it is used just like any regular salt brine and is just as effective. You can still add calcium or magnesium additives to the salt brine to make them more effective at lower temperatures if you desire.
What Are the Benefits of Using Pickle Brine as a Deicer?
Using pickle brine as a de-icer comes with many benefits compared to its alternatives. Even though rock salt is used to remove ice and snow during the winter, it isn't great for the environment. In reality, even though it is effective on parking lots, sidewalks, and roads it is also impacting our waterways, plants, and animals. It can even cause damage to the water that we drink.
Rock salt is also potentially dangerous to the surface of the concrete as it is corrosive and harmful. It erodes our infrastructure including the vehicles we drive.
Here are some benefits of using pickle brine:
- More environmentally friendly
- Inexpensive when compared with other liquid deicer products
- Safe to use on concrete
- Has a low freezing temperature
Cons of Using Pickle Brine for Ice Melt
Similar to beet juice and other liquid de-icers that you use to lower the freezing point of ice and snow, there are cons to using pickle brine for snow removal. Even though the result of using this alternative is ideal for many people, the sheer volume of juice required is significant. For example, if you're working to remove ice from your car, you'll likely need to fill spray bottle after spray bottle for the process to be effective. If there's a large storm coming, you might not have enough of it on hand in order for it to be effective in the cold temperatures. Another issue may be the smell, which is quite strong due to the vinegar and not always pleasant. Finally, pickle brine contains a high concentration of salt, which can potentially damage vehicles.
To recap, here are the downsides of taking this approach:
- The large volume of brine that you'll need to use
- The smell can be a drawback to some people
- The salt in it can cause damage to your car
- Other ingredients can be damaging to the environment
Pickle Brine vs Rock Salt
Can pickle brine melt snow? Now that we know the answer to this, let's compare it to rock salt. Although there are only a handful of downsides to using this alternative, it can be difficult to find a suitable storage solution for the brine. It's also significantly easier to use spreaders to distribute rock salt throughout the property than to find a way to evenly distribute the brine.
On the other hand, the brine releases anywhere from 14%-29% less chloride into the environment, appealing to roles such as a public works director or to those who simply want to be more eco-friendly when keeping their property safe.
How to Use Pickle Brine to Melt Snow and Ice
There are certain tips to keep in mind during the application process.
- Before water has a chance to freeze on the ground, you can be proactive in your approach and put down a layer of natural deicer beforehand.
- Pre-wetting surfaces with it helps to prevent the bond from forming in the first place and can make it easier for ice and snow removal.
For example, if you have stairs on your property you can spray a bit of the brine solution on them if bad weather is forecasted to hit your area soon.
Opt for the Best Snow & Ice Removal Products at Ninja De-Icer Today!
Not only can you use pickle brine on the surface of the roads, parking lots, and sidewalks but you can combine it with other de-icing agents to keep your property safe during the cold winter months. As research continues to be conducted on this product, there may even be more benefits to using pickle brine yet to be tested. At Ninja De-Icer, we have countless de-icing products that can be used for different purposes, including additives to your brine. We pride ourselves on working with businesses to assist them in meeting their needs and keeping their properties safe. If you're interested in learning more about our approach or how we can help, we encourage you to get a quote from us today.