We all know that salt is a great way to melt ice and snow on the roads during winter, so this might make you wonder, can we use water softener salt to melt ice? It turns out, Yes you can, it does melt ice. We’ll go through everything there is to know about water softener salt and how it melts ice in this post.

Water softener salt can be used for melting ice, but first, let us look at why water softener salt or even regular salt can melt ice. By salt, we generally mean sodium chloride, but chemically referring, this could be any substance made using an acid and an alkali such as calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, etc.

Such substances have the unique ability to reduce the freezing point turning the solid ice into liquid water. This explains why seawater takes a lot to freeze; because it contains salt, and salt prevents it from freezing up. 

Commonly Used Methods and Salts to Melt ice

Before looking at water softener salt, let’s look at a few commonly used methods and non-water softener salts that people use to melt ice.

Spraying hot or room temperature water

This method is the fastest to melt ice, but it sure would get slippery and watery with so much water around. And it would also require removing the water before it re-freezes. 

Using sugar or dry syrup

One most common way of melting ice or snow is by sprinkling sugar or dry syrup on it. This will melt the ice and prevent slipping, but there is one major drawback; the floor will be sugary once everything dries up. 

Sprinkling rock salt

Rock salt, also known as solar salt, can also melt ice and is relatively better than the other methods, except for one tiny problem; rock salt is expensive and hard to find, especially not before a snowstorm.

Sprinkling table salt

The regular table salt we use daily can also be used to melt ice or snow. But these salts are not that very environmentally friendly, and this could also lead to the salts getting drained into rivers later.

Adding Sand

Sand can also be used, but not to melt ice but to prevent slipping, but it too has disadvantages; sand can be challenging to get rid of.

Using Epsom salt

Using Epsom salt can also melt ice, but the biggest problem with this method is very time-consuming. It would take hours for the ice to completely melt off.

Homemade Ice melt mix

Mixing hot water with dish soap and rubbing alcohol can also do the trick. This homemade ice melt mix will react with ice making it bubble up and disappear. Make sure to have a shovel by your side to remove any excess ice left. 

Substances like baking soda, coffee grounds, vinegar, beet juice, calcium chloride pellets, or pool salt can also melt ice but have different reaction speeds. 

Can You Use Water Softener Salt Pellets as Ice Melts?

Water softener salt can melt ice and can be used to melt ice. The features of water softener salt have the same features as ice melt. It can do better since water softener salt is much purer than the other and contains mainly sodium chloride and resin beads which aids in melting ice faster.

The sodium ions can melt the ice faster, and its high consistency in water softener salt is the main advantage.

Best Water Softening Salt to melt ice: Diamond Crystal: Solar Naturals Salt Crystals.

Diamond Crystal 804017 Solar Naturals Water Softener Salt, 50 Lbs
  • Cargill Salt Extra Coarse Solar Salt 50Lb 7390M
  • CARGILL SALT

So if you have a bag of this laying around or just want to know if it’s safe to use to melt ice on your driveway or sidewalk without doing any damage, then you should feel safe now to do so or to buy a bag.

This fantastic product from Diamond Crystal: Solar natural water salt, is a water softener salt made using sunlight, wind, and time. The crystals have a natural white opaque color and contain 99.6% pure salt.

Since its purity is very high, it contains a lot of sodium ions, so it can be considered the best option for softening hard water and melting ice and snow. 

This salt is also very eco-friendly and safe for use. And even consumption, in case your pet decided to lick off and eat the shiny-looking crystals on the grounds. 

Water Softener Salt vs. Ice Melt Salt vs. Rock Salt?

Now, let us compare water softener salt, rock salt, and ice melt salt with each other.

When comparing water softener salt with ice melt salt and rock salt, water softener salt seems to be better. It is cheaper than the other two and can also melt ice faster. Plus, it is safe, which is very important if you have pets that might eat the applied salt on the floor.

Between rock salt and ice melt salt, the cheaper would be rock salt, but the safer is ice melt salt. Rock salt is used to melt ice, whereas ice melt salt prevents ice from forming. Ice melt salt is less corrosive than rock melt salt as long as you use it properly. If not, it could be equally sarcastic. Some ice melt salts are even eco-friendly, making them safer than rock salt. Rock salt is the better choice when considering the price and safety; it goes with ice melt salt. 

But in general, water softener salt is the best choice among all three as it covers every available point.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, water softener salt can melt ice much better than other methods and be considered the best available option. There are a lot many different methods for melting ice as well.

So if you want to melt the ice on your walkway or driveway and decide to use salt for the process, you can go ahead and choose the best option; water softener salt. Since water softener salt is typically used in many houses, it wouldn’t be a hassle to find it around too. 

Frequently asked Questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions when the topic ‘Can water softener salt melt ice?’ is brought up. 

Can water softener salt melt snow?

If water softener salt can melt ice, then why can’t it melt the snow? Water softener salt has no difficulty in melting snow since they have similar properties as ice.

Can you use water softener salt on the driveway?

Since water softener salt can melt both ice and snow, it can be used in driveways and is much safer and cleaner than other melting methods.

What is the best way to melt ice?

By considering all the available methods, I assume that it’s safe to say that water softener salt is the best way to melt ice. It is both cheap and fast. Not to mention that it has fewer disadvantages compared to other methods.

Can you use water softener salt to melt ice on the roof?

Yes, you can use water softener salt to melt ice that is formed on your roof. It would be a lot safer, too, in the case of animals like birds landing on the top and eating the salt by mistake. It is also eco-friendly to use water softener salt other than the other kinds.

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