While salt does a great job of melting snow and ice, it can be bad for your driveway and walkways, garden, pets and the environment. Here are some alternatives you can use instead:
- Sand – Sand will absorb sunlight, which can help melt snow and ice. It will also provide traction, so you won’t slip and fall.
- Kitty Litter – While it won’t melt ice, it will provide more traction for a non-slip surface.
- Urea – Available in areas where fertilizer development is common, urea is a natural de-icer. While safe for pets and concrete, avoid using it near your garden.
- Vinegar – It may take a few applications to work, but vinegar contains citric acid, which will help melt snow and ice.
- Sugar beet juice – Completely safe for roads, pets, plants and grass, sugar beet juice lowers the melting point of ice and snow.
- Alfalfa meal – Commonly used as a fertilizer, alfalfa meal is completely natural. It’s also grainy, which will help provide traction.
- Coffee grinds – Like sand, coffee grinds absorb sunlight to help snow and ice melt faster. It will also help provide a non-slip surface.
- Calcium Chloride – Fast-acting calcium chloride’s snow melting-and de-icing properties continue to work for up to 24 hours after application. However, it is not as common and tends to be much more expensive.
- Stone grits – While stone grits don’t melt snow or ice, they have a similar composition to gravel or gritty sand which can provide traction. Many stores carry stone grits as a sand or salt alternative and tend to be the last option available when everything else has run out.