How to Make Your Own Salt Brine
What is brine made of? Mainly sodium chloride or magnesium chloride and water, which makes it an effective snow and ice management solution for parking lots and roads. Its freezing point is lower than pure water, which reduces the adhesion of snow and ice to road surfaces and pavement. Most businesses purchase brine in bulk, but if reducing costs is needed, it’s possible to produce your own. Here’s how to make salt brine for commercial snow removal.
Things to Consider While Making Salt Brine for Melting Snow
Before learning how to make salt brine, you need to consider your business needs, capabilities, and health hazards that DIY production may bring. The scale of your deicing requirements will ultimately affect logistics and narrow down options.
Choose the Right Brine Maker
Contrary to what people think, making de-icing brine involves more than mixing salt with water. During winter months, heavy snow removal can be a continuous process, requiring a significant amount of liquid brine, which is why most municipalities and businesses going the DIY route invest in an automated brine maker.
Always research products and obtain a thorough understanding of your company’s water production capability before purchasing a brine maker. It’s pointless buying high-output equipment if you can’t supply the maker with sufficient gallons per minute.
Brine makers with remote capabilities are conveniently operable from mobile devices, laptops, and tablets. Those made from fiberglass tend to offer the best longevity against salt’s corrosive effects. If you have the capability, opt for a powerful pump that can produce thousands of gallons per hour, decreasing manual labor.
Consider Facility Capabilities
Even with the right water system capabilities, making salt brine for melting snow requires storage and loading space. To give you an idea, some commercial tanks can be as big as 30 ft³. In addition to storage space, you'll also need to consider that all automated brine makers require pumps, so where and how these will be placed requires some planning.
Moreover, brine makers also have to be periodically cleaned. This may be as simple as opening a valve and pressing a button, or entailing disconnecting components and tipping the tank over, or even getting into the tank and shoveling the build-up out. Each system is different, so be certain you know exactly what the cleaning requirements are.
If you don’t have the right infrastructure, it might not be worthwhile investing in a maker. Commercial salt brine manufacturing requires careful logistics planning to make a good ROI. Not having enough space for storage or traffic can compromise your efforts.
Avoid Contact With Skin
To avoid salt burn, you should always wear protective gear such as goggles, rubber gloves, rubber boots, and a hard hat when handling salt brine. It sounds extreme, but direct skin contact is hazardous and may lead to dermatitis, rashes, inflammation, bacterial infection, and blistering.
Salt brine can also irritate eyes, while accidental ingestion may lead to vomiting or diarrhea, causing stomach problems and kidney damage that require immediate medical attention. Any pets that walk on sidewalks may experience salt burn on their pads, and if they ingest snow or ice with salt brine, it can be fatal.
For this reason, it’s always advisable to put up warning signs if your business is near a public area and encourage employees to adhere to standard safety protocols. Salt brine can also damage building structures and materials, including concrete, pavements, and tarmacs, so it’s important to follow the correct salt brine recipe for roads and parking lots.
How to Make Salt Brine for Deicing
Perhaps your business doesn’t require the mass production of salt brine, in which case you can produce your own. There are many recipe variations, depending on your needs. Most homemade solutions can be stored in bottles and sprayed on ice as needed. Typically, salt brine should be applied before it snows.
Follow these simple steps to make a salt brine solution for deicing:
Regardless of the quantity, you’ll need water and rock salt in an approximate ratio of 4-to-1. It’s always advisable to use water because it increases the solubility of the salt, causing it to dissolve at a quicker rate.
Mix the salt and water in a brine maker to ensure all the salt dissolves. Once your mixture is dissolved, test the solidity using a hydrometer to ensure it is at the consistency of 23.3% (salt to water ratio). In addition, to increase deicing potency, you can add calcium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, and calcium magnesium acetate.
Pre-wet the pavement to prevent ice from bonding to the surface, then spread the solution on the ice, which will slowly break into fragments and dissolve. Salt brine is most effective before or after snow removal, so you may need to get rid of loose snow first.
Opt for Ready-to-Use Salt Brine from Ninja Deicer
Learning how to make liquid salt brine is easy. For some, the effort required to make their salt brine isn’t worth the money saved. At Ninja De-Icer, we have loads of reasonably priced products designed to tackle any snowstorm and keep businesses open. Why not take a look at our ready-to-use salt brine that’s suitable for roads and pavements? Contact us today!