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Top 5 Rock Salt Alternatives to Consider

Top 5 Rock Salt Alternatives to Consider

Justin Rollin

When it comes to winter maintenance, using traditional rock salt has long been the go-to solution for combating ice and snow — and for good reason, it’s often the most budget-friendly and practical choice. However, there are alternative options available that can deliver equal, if not better, results while minimizing environmental impact. 

Ninja De-Icer, a trusted supplier of de-icers, offers a range of rock salt alternatives, including magnesium chloride and calcium chloride, in both granular form and as a liquid de-icer. In this blog post, we explore these alternatives, highlighting their benefits and effectiveness in creating safer and ice-free surfaces.

The Environmental Impact of Rock Salt

The use of rock salt for de-icing purposes has raised concerns about its environmental impact. Rock salt, when dissolved, can find its way into nearby water bodies, leading to increased salinity and potential harm to aquatic life. Additionally, rock salt can contribute to the corrosion of infrastructure and damage to vegetation. As a result, there is a growing interest in exploring rock salt alternatives that are more environmentally friendly. By considering and implementing these alternatives, we can minimize the environmental impact while still effectively combating ice and snow on surfaces.

What Can You Use Instead of Rock Salt

Discover effective rock salt substitutes for safer and more environmentally friendly ice and snow management below.

#1. Calcium Chloride

#1. Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is a highly effective alternative to rock salt. With its ability to melt ice at low temperatures and in various conditions, it tends to outperform traditional rock salt. Calcium chloride works quickly to break the bond between ice and the surface, providing efficient ice melting. It comes in both a liquid and granular form for easy application. Its effectiveness makes it a popular choice among alternatives to rock salt for safe and reliable winter maintenance.

#2. Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium chloride is a preferred rock salt alternative in de-icing products due to its environmentally friendly nature. It is known for being less harmful to metal, vegetation, and pets. Magnesium chloride's ability to effectively melt ice at lower temperatures and its lower toxicity compared to other de-icing agents make it a popular choice. With its eco-friendly properties and high performance, magnesium chloride offers a reliable solution for ice and snow removal, ensuring both safety and environmental sustainability.

#3. Urea

Urea is a non-chloride rock salt alternative that offers unique advantages in ice and snow removal. While commonly known for its agricultural use, urea's chemical properties can make it an effective alternative to sodium chloride. While it is not effective at lower temperatures at melting ice and snow, urea is considered safer for plants and concrete compared to traditional rock salt. However, it can still do damage when washed into the waterways in that it can affect the oxygen content in the water. Urea is a great de-icing product for the environmentally conscious looking to treat surfaces in milder winter weather.  

Are You Looking for Effective Alternatives to Traditional Rock Salt?

Are You Looking for Effective Alternatives to Traditional Rock Salt?

Explore Ninja De-Icer's range of rock salt alternatives and elevate your winter maintenance strategy with our premium ice melt blends and our liquid de-icer solutions.

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#4. Calcium Magnesium Acetate

Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA) is an environmentally safe rock salt alternative widely used for melting ice. It is non-corrosive and is considered one of the safest options for protecting vegetation and concrete surfaces. CMA small granules are effective in lowering the freezing point and preventing ice formation, but only to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to note that CMA can be more costly compared to other alternatives. Nevertheless, its environmentally friendly properties and efficient ice-melting capabilities make Calcium Magnesium Acetate a valuable option for those prioritizing eco-conscious ice and snow removal.

#5. Traction-Boosting Agents

Traction-boosting agents, such as sand or stone grits, are non-chemical de-icing alternatives that improve surface traction in icy areas. These agents help to add friction between footwear, tires, or equipment and the slippery surface, reducing the risk of accidents. While they do not melt ice, they provide additional grip for safer navigation. Traction-boosting agents are particularly useful in situations where complete ice and snow removal is not necessary or practical.

Choose Effective Rock Salt Alternatives

Discover reliable rock salt alternatives that offer effective and eco-friendly solutions for ice melt.

Headwaters® HOT Brine

Headwaters® HOT Brine

Headwaters® HOT Brine is a highly effective rock salt alternative for melting ice. This liquid de-icing product combines traditional salt brine with calcium chloride, and requires 30% less product for the same results. It enhances the performance of traditional de-icing salt, and its residual properties are long-lasting. Effective in temperatures below freezing, Headwaters HOT Brine is a reliable solution for combating ice and snow in even the coldest conditions.

Lightning Premium Ice Melter

Lightning Premium Ice Melter is a powerful and efficient choice for melting ice. This product contains sodium chloride, but is pre-treated with magnesium chloride, and is coated with a corrosion inhibitor for optimal performance. Designed to melt ice quickly and effectively, Lightning Premium Ice Melter is a reliable choice. With an impressive effective temperature as low as -20°F, it can tackle even the toughest ice and snow conditions. Its distinctive aqua color makes it easy to identify where it has been applied. This product can be purchased in bulk or in several different-sized bags.  

Dead Sea MAG

Dead Sea MAG

Keep walkways safe this winter with Dead Sea MAG, an industrial-strength rock salt alternative for ice melt. This product, made with magnesium chloride, is designed to effectively melt ice down to temperatures as low as -13°F. Dead Sea MAG is available in convenient 50 lb bags, allowing you to purchase by the pallet (48 bags/pallet) or even a full truckload (18 pallets). Choose Dead Sea MAG for a powerful and reliable solution to combat winter ice.

Thunder Melt Ice Melter

Thunder Melt Ice Melter is a high-performance de-icer that effectively melts snow and ice down to -16°F. This quick-burn, ice melt is designed to work fast and provide lasting results. Manufactured in a bright violet color, Thunder Melt offers improved visual spreading for accurate application. With a blend of sodium chloride and calcium chloride, it delivers powerful ice-melt capabilities. Choose Thunder Melt Ice Melter for a reliable solution that works quickly and effectively in even the harshest winter conditions. This product can be purchased in bulk or in 50 lb bags.  

Jiffy Melt® Ice Melt

Jiffy Melt® Ice Melt

Jiffy Melt® Ice Melt is another reliable alternative that’s ideal for commercial use. With a unique blend of sodium chloride and magnesium chloride, Jiffy Melt packs a punch in low temperatures, effectively melting ice down to -10°F. 

Best Practices of Ice Melt Application

Make your de-icer application more efficient and reduce environmental impact with these best practices for using less ice melt:

  • Pre-treat surfaces before a winter storm hits to create a barrier against ice formation;
  • Shovel or plow snow before applying de-icer to reduce the amount needed;
  • Focus de-icer application on high-traffic areas and critical spots prone to icing;
  • Use de-icer spreaders or calibrated equipment for precise and even distribution;
  • Avoid over-application by following recommended application rates;
  • Regularly monitor and adjust de-icer usage based on weather conditions.

By implementing these practices, you can minimize de-icer usage while effectively maintaining safe and ice-free surfaces.

Conclusion: Explore Rock Salt Alternatives with Ninja De-Icer

Finding effective rock salt alternatives is crucial for sustainable winter maintenance. Ninja De-Icer, a trusted supplier of de-icers, offers a wide range of options such as magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, and other non-chloride products. By exploring these alternatives, you can ensure safe and efficient ice and snow removal while reducing environmental impact. Contact Ninja De-Icer today for a fast quote