How different ice melts and rock salts work around your home

"Pet friendly" ice melt is the most popular ice melting product, second to sand

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – 22News went to Rocky’s Ace Hardware in South Hadley to find out what different types of ice melts are available and what kind you should use around your home. Ice built up quickly from the weekend’s “rain and freeze” cycle, and Hampshire county residents are using different techniques to melt it quickly.

“For me it’s basically whatever I can find that can take care of it, keep the traction,” says John Sinnette of South Hadley, “and make sure my wife can get out in the morning and go to school.”

The way rock salts and ice melts works is that salt lowers the freezing point of water, so when you spread it all around the ground, it prevents the ice from forming. When you put it on the ice, it breaks it up and makes it melt.

Rock salt works the fastest, but it can damage concrete, driveways, and grass. Concrete absorbs water and the salt rock, causing the concrete to pit and crack. Ice melt is a mixture of rock salt and other chemicals that is less harsh on concrete and grass. “Pet friendly” ice melt protects your pet’s paws. Rocky’s Ace Hardware in South Hadley told 22News, next to sand, their most popular item is pet friendly ice melt.

Rocky’s Ace Hardware employee Samantha Brown told 22News “Make sure that it’s spread pretty evenly. You can either use a scooper or a spreader even, and spread it on your driveway or sidewalks.”

22News spoke with one resident who puts salt around his mailbox for the postal workers. “You know it’s a big problem for them in the winter, not having access to your mailbox,” says Russell Boubreau of South Hadley. “If you’re on road delivery like we are. Think of them and think of all the delivery people who come and go.”

Alternatives to any ice melting product is sand or cat litter, which help create traction.

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