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How to Make Homemade De-Icers that Actually Work

How to Make Homemade De-Icers that Actually Work

Justin Rollin

Are you looking for effective and affordable alternatives to de-icers? In our blog post, we will guide you on how to make homemade de-icers that actually work. By using common household ingredients, you can create de-icers that will help you keep your pathways and driveways clear of ice and snow during the winter months. As a trusted deicer supplier we will provide simple recipes and expert tips to ensure proper formulation and maximum effectiveness. While homemade de-icers can be cost-effective, we recommend buying tried and tested deicers for reliable and professionally formulated solutions. Let's explore the world of homemade de-icers together!

What You May Need to Make Homemade De-Icer Spray

To make homemade de-icer spray, you'll need the following:

What You May Need to Make Homemade De-Icer Spray
  • Water: The base of the de-icer spray;
  • Salt: Common table salt or rock salt can be used to lower the melting point of ice;
  • Spray bottle: To conveniently apply the de-icer solution;
  • Vinegar: Optional ingredient that can enhance the de-icer's melting power;
  • Rubbing alcohol: Another optional ingredient that helps lower the freezing point of the de-icer solution;
  • Dish soap: This can be added to improve the spreadability of the de-icer spray.

With these ingredients on hand, you'll be on your way to making your own effective homemade de-icer spray.

How to Prevent Ice from Forming on Your Car Windshield and Locks

If need to learn how to make a homemade windshield de-icer, there are steps you can take.

Here's what to do before the frost:

  • Park facing east: The Sun rises in the east and sets in the west. If your windshield is facing the Sun as it rises, there's a chance that any ice formed in the night will melt before you wake up in the morning;  
  • Spray vinegar or rub an onion on your windows: People swear by these tricks. The idea behind spraying vinegar on your windshield and windows the night before is that it freezes at a lower temperature than water, so they aren't as likely to frost over while you're sleeping. And, the oil from a cut onion rubbed generously across the glass can keep Jack Frost from riming your windows; 
  • Cover your windshield: You can either purchase a cover designed for your windshield or use items from around your home to blanket the glass from the cold. Carpet remnants, blankets, tablecloths, and shower curtains will work nicely. Simply place a cover under your windshield wipers in the evening before you go to bed and remove it in the morning when you warm up your car. 

    Now that you know the preventative measures to take against freezing temperatures, let's look at some solutions to try today.

    7 Homemade De-Icing Sprays You Can Make Right Now

    These homemade windshield de-icers will require a spray bottle (or a large sprayer for walkways). If you have a previously unused or clean one lying around, great! If not, make sure to thoroughly rinse any chemicals from a reused bottle to avoid adverse reactions with the ingredients in your DIY deicer.

    Solution #1: Vinegar and Water

    Solution #1: Vinegar and Water

    Three parts white (cleaning) vinegar and one part water.

    Solution #2: Isopropyl Alcohol and Water

    Two parts rubbing alcohol and one part water.

    Solution #3: Salt and Water

    Three parts water and one part salt. 

    Note: Some people use plain, dry salt to de-ice driveways and windshields; while this can eventually help, salt should actually be activated with water to work quickly and effectively. Furthermore, salt runoff is corrosive and can damage your car's paint. 

    Solution #4: Vodka

    Hey, if vodka is all you got, go for it! There is enough alcohol in vodka for it to de-ice in below-freezing temperatures. 

    Solution #5: Pickle Brine

    Here's another possible answer, if you happen to have dill pickle juice on hand (after all, it's made mostly from vinegar and salt). 

    Solution #6: Dish Soap and Alcohol Spray

    Solution #6: Dish Soap and Alcohol Spray

    Mix 2 cups of isopropyl alcohol, 1 cup of warm water, and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. This solution swiftly melts ice and prevents refreezing.

    Solution #7: Beet Juice Spray

    Dilute beet juice with water (1:1 ratio) and spray onto icy surfaces. Beet juice is effective in melting ice and also helps prevent corrosion.

    Steps to Apply Your Homemade De-Icer

    • Shake the homemade de-icer solution well to ensure proper mixing of ingredients;
    • Use a spray bottle or watering can to apply the de-icer evenly onto the icy or snow-covered surface;
    • Start from the top and work your way down, applying the de-icer in a sweeping motion;
    • Make sure to target areas that are particularly icy or hazardous, such as pathways or steps;
    • Allow the de-icer some time to work its magic, melting the ice or snow.
    • Use a shovel, brush, or ice scraper to remove any remaining slush or debris;
    • Repeat the process if necessary, especially during heavy snowfall or prolonged icy conditions.

      Remember to exercise caution when applying homemade deicers and wear appropriate footwear to prevent slips or falls. Stay safe and enjoy the benefits of your homemade deicer!

      Bonus De-Icing Tips

      • Don't disregard your ice scraper: While we all know it's a slightly annoying chore, you can always use an ice scraper to remove the frost from windows when you don't have the ingredients needed to make a homemade de-icer;
      • Apply early: Start applying the de-icer before the snow or ice accumulates too heavily. This prevents ice from bonding to the surface;
      • Even application: Apply the de-icer evenly to ensure consistent melting. Avoid oversaturating the surface, as this can lead to runoff and refreezing;
      • NEVER use hot water on a frozen windshield: Hot water and icy glass don't mix. Especially when using pressure to scrape ice from a windshield, this can lead to cracks. So, use either lukewarm or cold water in your homemade de-icing sprays;
      • Do NOT try to lift or turn on your windshield wipers while the glass is still frozen: If you turn stuck wipers on or attempt to lift them from a frozen windshield, you can damage the rubber that gives them their squeegee-like effect. So, wait until the ice is melted if you don't want to replace them right away;
      • With prolonged use, salt and rubbing alcohol can destroy automotive paint: The first time salt or rubbing alcohol touches the paint on your car, you might not notice a problem. But, if you continue to use them, after a while, you will start to see the gloss fade and the color dissolve. So, when using these ingredients in your homemade de-icer, take care to only use them on the glass.

      Risks of Using Homemade De-Icers

      Risks of Using Homemade De-Icers

      Using homemade de-icers may seem like a cost-effective and convenient solution for clearing ice and snow, but it's important to understand the potential risks associated with their use:

      • Inconsistent formulations: Homemade de-icers often lack consistent formulations, which can lead to unpredictable results. The effectiveness of the de-icer may vary from batch to batch, making it difficult to achieve reliable and efficient ice melting;
      • Potential damage to property and vegetation: Homemade de-icers can contain ingredients that are corrosive and may cause damage to surfaces such as concrete, metal, or wood. Additionally, the residue left behind by these de-icers can stain or deteriorate surfaces over time. Moreover, their chemical composition might harm nearby vegetation, causing damage to plants and grass;
      • Lack of lasting effectiveness: Homemade de-icers often lack the necessary components to provide long-lasting effectiveness. This means that they may require frequent re-application, especially in severe weather conditions or when dealing with a thick layer of ice. Constant reapplication can be time-consuming and inefficient;
      • Safety risks: Homemade de-icers may not effectively melt ice, leading to unsafe and hazardous conditions. Insufficient ice melting can result in slippery surfaces, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries for pedestrians and vehicles alike. It's crucial to prioritize safety and choose a reliable and properly formulated de-icer to ensure the removal of ice and the reduction of potential risks.

      Opting for commercially available de-icers specifically formulated for ice melting can help ensure more predictable and efficient results, while also minimizing the risks associated with homemade alternatives.

      Featured De-Icing Products

      To keep your property safe in winter, using the right de-icing product is crucial. We highlight some top de-icers that get the job done safely and effectively:

      Fast-Acting Rock Salt Alternatives:

      Fast-Acting Rock Salt Alternatives:
      • Calcium chloride: Calcium chloride is an efficient ice-melting product. PeladowTM Calcium Chloride Pellets are specially formulated to work in temperatures down to -25°F. The compressed pellet form provides an extended-release of de-icing calcium, melting ice faster than rock salt;
      • Magnesium chloride: For a fast-acting and effective de-icer, consider magnesium chloride products like Lightning Premium Ice Melter. Magnesium chloride works at low temperatures down to -15°F to quickly break the ionic bonds in ice.

      Eco-Friendly and Concrete-Safe De-Icers:

      • Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA): It is an eco-friendly and concrete-safe de-icer that offers an alternative to homemade de-icing solutions. CMA works by preventing ice and snow from bonding to the surface, making it easier to remove;
      • Potassium acetate: For an eco-friendly de-icing product, potassium acetate solutions are a great option. Potassium acetate is biodegradable and non-corrosive, making it safe for concrete surfaces.

      Pet-Friendly De-Icing Products:

      Pet-Friendly De-Icing Products:
      • Proprietary blends: Proprietary Blends, such as the 12 Lb Lightning Fast Ice Melter, are eco-friendly and concrete-safe de-icers specifically formulated to provide quick and effective ice melting. These blends ensure minimal impact on vegetation, waterways, and concrete surfaces;
      • Organic salt-free de-icers: Non-toxic options ideal for households with pets. They provide a safe solution for maintaining ice-free surfaces while safeguarding the well-being of pets. These environmentally friendly alternatives are formulated without harmful chemicals, reducing the risk of paw irritation and chemical ingestion.

      Advanced Liquid De-Icers:

      • Brine solutions: Brines work by lowering the freezing point of water to quickly melt ice on contact. They can penetrate into snow and ice buildup and weaken the bonds. Salt brine is easy to apply and distribute evenly across surfaces;
      • Glycol-based de-icers: Effective for use in sensitive areas like around vehicles or equipment as they are less corrosive. Glycol blends offer excellent cold-weather performance to melt ice quickly and effectively on walkways and parking lots.
      Choose Ninja De-Icer for Effective Ice Melt Solutions

      Choose Ninja De-Icer for Effective Ice Melt Solutions

      Say goodbye to icy surfaces with Ninja De-Icer. Explore our range of high-quality de-icer solutions for a winter season free from slips and falls.

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      Save Time and Stay Prepared with Ninja De-Icer

      Learning how to make homemade de-icers can be a useful skill during the winter months. It provides an affordable solution and allows you to take control of your ice removal needs. However, it's important to keep in mind that homemade de-icers may not always provide consistent results and could require frequent re-application.

      For those looking to save time while still using an effective ice melt, consider Ninja De-Icer. We provide high-quality deicers from rock salt to liquid de-icers. Get a free quote today to order our ice melt products!