Got Ice? Environmentally-Friendly and Pet-Safe Alternatives to Salt-based Melters

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As I sit here looking out at freezing rain falling from the gloomy, gray sky, I am reminded about how to keep my walkway safe and ice-free.  Salt may be seem like the natural choice to melt snow and ice on your slippery sidewalks, but it can be harmful to your lawn, plants, walkway surfaces, children, pets, and can also contaminate well and drinking water supplies. Just read the warning label on the bag of rock salt and salt-based ice-melt products!

There are a number of brands of non-toxic, salt-free alternatives on the market today, available online and at hardware, pet supply, and grocery/drug stores.

“Salt-based ice melters contain sodium chloride or potassium chloride which can heat up to 175 degrees when exposed to water, ice and low temperatures. Often these white pellets (crystals) sit on ice and snow surfaces for a long period before penetrating into the ice. Exposure to skin, or digestion of, these salt compounds can cause health problems for pets and children. Moreover, the salt and salt residue left over from these products cause permanent damage to pavers, asphalt, concrete, wood decks, floors, and rugs.”

Source:  Gaia Enterprises

Tag(s): Greening the Home, Hazardous Products / Health Issues, The Great Green Outdoors


3 Responses to “Got Ice? Environmentally-Friendly and Pet-Safe Alternatives to Salt-based Melters”

  1. Terry Thompson on December 19th, 2008 5:02 pm

    Before you condemn all salt-based ice melters, you need to check out MAGIC SALT. It is very environemntally-friednly and pet safe. It has a NYS DEC BUD # as well as an EPA “Designed for the Environment” designation. More info @

  2. Vern M. on January 9th, 2009 12:15 pm

    Living in Arizona, I never even considered that ice melting products that are primarily salt based could have an effect on pets. I wouldn’t think they’d even go for it, since it probably doesn’t smell like food, but I suppose animals are really good at getting in trouble, so it really does make a lot of sense. I wonder if the Magic Salt stuff mentioned above is also safe for animals.

  3. Joyce Benson on January 11th, 2009 2:05 pm

    I’m a little jealous of the weather in Arizona at this time of year where it’s only 28 degrees here! The concern with pets is typically that it can burn their paws when they come in contact with rock salt. Anti-freeze is a bigger problem with pets and children b/c of it’s sweetness. Of course, now there are safer varieties on the market b/c of this.

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