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Top 10 Best Ice Melts Of 2017 – Reviews and Buying Guide

When winter starts showing we’re tied between joy and worry:

Joy because, this is the season that transforms our homes and cities into magical wonderlands with crispy white snow that adorns the nearby tree branches, delicate icicles that glitter like jewels and landscapes completely covered under the thick white blankets.

Worry because, all this adorable beauty can turn our homes and cities into potentially dangerous and life-endangering places when the thick ice and snow settle on and create slippery sidewalks, blocked entrances and driveways, and so on.

Luckily, you can avoid such life-threatening incidences the next winter season by using the best ice melt on the market today.

In this post, I’ll give you a list of 10 high-quality ice melts that vanishes ice and snow quickly and efficiently, while being 100% to your pets, kids, vegetation, and other installations around your home.

But before we get any deeper:

What to Look For Before Buying Snow and Ice Melt

In this section, I will give you a blow by blow breakdown of factors you should keep in mind before deciding on an ice melt product.

1. The Chemical Contents of the Ice Melt

Ice melts contain chemicals which interact with the ice and snow in a chemical reaction, causing it to dissolve. All the factors I will list in this article flow from this point. For instance, sodium chloride (rock salt) is highly corrosive, and not at all safe for concrete.

Let’s list some of these chemicals and their qualities:

i) Sodium chloride – Ice melts are rather pricey, which is why you might choose rock salt, the cheapest option. Note, however, that it does not melt ice at temperatures below 200F.

Sodium chloride is not safe for your pets, plants, or your concrete floors and sidewalks. But it is highly effective and works fast.

ii) Calcium chloride – If you are dealing with below zero temperatures, calcium chloride is your best option. It can operate at temperatures as low as a record -250F.

Calcium chloride attracts moisture from its surroundings, a process which speeds brine creation and enables it to melt ice faster. Plus, it produces an exothermic reaction, dissolving as it interacts with the moisture. The process releases heat and speeds up ice melting.

On the con side, calcium chloride has a higher level of toxicity than other chloride ice melts and can cause damage to your lawn and your concrete sidewalk.

iii) Potassium chloride – This is the deicer environmentally conscious buyers often choose because it has a light effect on your plants. It is also safer for pets, as well as your concrete surfaces.

However, it is unhelpful at temperatures below 250F and works slower than sodium chloride, calcium chloride, and magnesium chloride.

Potassium chloride has a low melt volume capacity, meaning that you need larger quantities to melt a certain amount of ice than if you, for instance, use rock salt.

iv) Magnesium chloride – This is the ice melt you choose if you want to strike a balance between performance and environmental impact. Though not as effective as calcium chloride or sodium chloride, it is relatively safer for vegetation and less toxic.

Magnesium chloride’s corrosion capacity is also moderate. However, over-application will cause harm to your plants. It is effective at temperatures as low as -150F.

v) Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) – It is gentler on the environment than the chlorides. On the downside, it cannot melt ice effectively at temperatures below 200F.

Calcium magnesium acetate can cause oxygen in rivers and lakes to deplete.

vi) Other acetates – They include sodium acetate and potassium acetate. Like CMA, they are organic compounds, and break down naturally in the environment, causing minimal harm. Acetates are, however, quite pricey.

2. Toxicity

Remember that you are applying the deicer on your front yard or pavement, where your children and your pets will be walking or playing. Some of the chemicals contained in ice melts have high levels of toxicity. The effects of toxic chemicals include:

  • Their dust particles can cause irritation to the respiratory tract
  • Can cause burns, especially when the chemical comes into contact with water
  • Can give you rashes or other skin irritation
  • May be poisonous to dogs.

Note, however, that containing a certain chemical does not automatically make a product harmful. The harm is in the quantity. It is always wise to do some research before you purchase any ice melt product. To be on the safe side, go with trusted brands.

3. Environmentally friendly

Most of the time, the concept of “green” tends to be abstract and far-removed from one’s life. In this case, however, the harmful effects will be visible and immediate. The negative environmental effects of ice melts include:

  • The ice melt may cause damage to root growth
  • Can cause leaves to fall from the trees
  • Some ice melts, for instance, rock salt, cause dehydration and foliage damage
  • Some ice melts interfere with nutrient uptake and may disrupt germination of seeds
  • When your pet walks where you have applied the ice melt, it could cause their paws to dry and crack
  • When the ice thaws out, the accumulated chemicals will eventually find their way to the local rivers or lakes

Knowing the chemical composition of an ice melt product before purchase will help you determine whether it is eco-friendly.

3. Effects on surfaces

Some deicers, for instance, rock salt, hurt surfaces. They seep into the concrete surface and cause it to crack, scale, or spall.

Keep in mind that the effects of deicers will extend to indoor surfaces as well, since you will probably walk into the house in the same shoes that stepped on the deiced surface. Other damages of strong ice melts include:

  • The dulling of linoleum
  • The premature wear and tear of carpet fibers
  • The cracking and lifting of wood
  • The corrosion of metal surfaces

Since they don’t contain any chlorides, acetates are easier on surfaces. Potassium chloride and magnesium chloride are also relatively gentle.

4. Temperature range

This may be the most important point. Unlike other factors, you cannot choose the temperature. You should, therefore, ensure the deicer you decide on can operate at the lowest temperatures of your environment.

For instance, if you are experiencing below zero temperatures, the best choice is calcium chloride which can melt ice at -250F.

5. Performance

How effective is the product at melting ice and snow? The most effective ice melts are calcium chloride and sodium chloride. However, in choosing a powerful product, you are more often than not doing so at the expense of eco-friendliness. And they are usually harder on surfaces.

Performance can be broken down into three:

i) The strength of the product

A weak product will not be useful at melting thick blocks of hard ice.

ii) The speed of the product.

How long does it take for the product to melt ice? Potassium chloride has the fastest melting rate.

iii) Melting volume capacity

How much area can it cover? For instance, potassium chloride has a low melting volume capacity. This means you will need more quantities of it to melt a particular amount of ice than if you used sodium chloride or calcium chloride.

6. Lasting capacity

How long will the ice melt continue to be effective without requiring reapplication? The greatest determinant of lasting capacity is the natural state of the chemical. Chemicals which are naturally liquid last longer. For instance, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride resist evaporation and continue as brines longer.

It will also help if you seek testimonies from friends, or people in internet forums, about their experiences with different ice melt products. That, coupled with the above information, will help you make the right decision.

And now to the best ice melt on the market today…

Top 10 Best Ice Melt Picks:

1. Safe Paw Non-Toxic Ice Melter Review:

If you own a fur baby- that loveable pet that lifts your mood every day- you know how the regular ice melts tend to affect them. But the Safe Paw Non-Toxic Ice Melter has been designed with your pet in mind.

The eight pounder, high-quality substance comes packed in an extremely handy, translucent plastic jug. It comes with the same potency as that of other top-rated products from Safe Paw; it has a similar potency as ice and employs the effective timed-release formulation to ensure a longer lasting power on the surface you apply it in.

This product also comes with all non-toxic features, which makes it 100% safe for your children and pets that might be playing on the ice surface. Moreover, the product is completely safe to use on brick or concrete, given the pellets won’t react with these surfaces or cause any damages to them. So, you’ll enjoy some peace of mind when using this products.

The major components in this Melter include the glycol admixture and carbonyldiamine. These make up the patented dual-effect compound- a non-toxic and non-corrosive that reached deeper into the ice, destabilizes it, and makes it melt quickly.

The Melter is not only effective at dissolving ice quickly, but it also works great on crusted snow on an extensive range of surfaces- like asphalt, concrete, and the paving at your home. Unlike its competitors, this Melter is capable of working even at low temperatures!

The 8 pounds durable, translucent plastic jar that contains these ice-combating pellets has drawn lots of attention from buyers all over for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it comes with a lightweight design. It’s also easier to carry compared to the pail when you’re moving around spreading stuff. Its firm handle gives you a secure, comfortable grip. Since it leaves a bluish color, you can easily track the areas where you’ve already applied.

Again, Safe Paw Non-Toxic Ice Melter does not cause dryness or burns to your pet paws, irritation to its mouth, or any respiratory and gastrointestinal issues.

Highlighted Features:​

  • Non-toxic Ice Melter; completely safe for pets
  • Concentrated pellets; covers twice the area of the rock salt
  • Timed-Release formulation for preventing re-icing for about three days
  • Safe for kids, animals, vegetation, and concrete bricks and stones
  • Available in the 8 lbs size

2. Snow Joe MELT25CCP-BKT Professional Strength Calcium Chloride Pellet Ice Melt Review:

The Snow Joe MELT25CCP-BKT also gives you safe, quick and efficient results when used to get rid of ice. This particular product enjoys massive popularity across the globe, citing its professional strength and remarkable results. It not only absorbs the surrounding moisture to create brine, but it also generates heats instantly when it comes into contact with ice and snow, which helps accelerate the melting process.

The secret to Snow Joe MELT25CCP-BKT’s professional strength lies in the 94% pure calcium chloride pellets it uses. These are capable of tackling the thickest of the ice you can imagine for temperatures as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit.

And its power will last for up to 24, equivalent to a full day! The instant heat generation aspect, attribute to the high purity of the CaCl2 pellets, enables the melt to easily and quickly penetrate ice and snow 3x faster than the regular ice melt.

Its long-lasting de-icing power makes it even more efficient. That is, the calcium chloride formulation stays on the surface you’ve applied it for an extended period of time- 24 hours- to ensure added protection and better control of the thaw/freeze cycle.

What’s more, penetrating your surfaces with this melt will help prevent snow and ice from accumulating. The Melt comes conveniently packed in a resealable bag which not only keeps the pellets safe from moisture for long but also enables you to store them easily.

The pellets are safe for dispensing on most driveways, sidewalks, steps, entryways, patios, etc. Its advanced formula is capable of melting snow and ice up to -25 degrees F, without affecting the integrity of the grass, concrete, wood, metals, vegetation, and other accessories around your home. A handy measuring scoop accompanies the package for easy application on any surface.

Highlighted Features:​

  • Professional strength; contains up to 94% pure ice calcium chloride pellets
  • Melts down to -25 degrees F-convenient, easy to reseal 25-pound bucket with handy measuring scoop for easy application
  • Produces heat the instant it comes into contact with snow, ice
  • Superior traction control- lasts for up to 24 hours

3. Natural Rapport Ice Melt Review:

The Natural Rapport Ice Melt is also unforgiving to ice and snow while remaining gentle on humans, pets, vegetation, cement, etc- unlike the standard ice melts that show safety hazards after use. The melt’s efficiently at wiping out ice in any almost any surface comes from its principal component, the magnesium calcium acetate.

Besides, it features an organic ingredient that makes it a corrosive-free ice melt. Packed in a10-pound, easy-shake plastic jar, the de-icing pellets are completely convenient to apply.

The pellets formulation can melt ice and snow as low as 0 degrees! This means that the moment you use it around your home, it will wipe all the ice. And when applying it, you don’t need to worry about potential damages to your vehicle, concrete or metal, as its formulation comes with an organic ingredient that reduces corrosion by up to 75%.

Another interesting thing about these pellets is that you can pre-apply them to prevent ice and snow from bonding to your surface area. On top of all this, its formulation features the time-released ingredients that will stay on your surface for longer, which helps reduce the freeze-thaw cycle.

Made in the USA, this product is satisfaction guaranteed. In fact, many users come back with a satisfaction tone on how the product has helped them survived through winter with some peace of mind. In other words, the Natural Rapport Ice Melt is the secret weapon that will keep your sidewalks and patios free of the heavy ice buildups while making them completely safe for pets and humans to tread on.

  • Pet safe formula- designed with your pet’s sensitive paws in mind
  • Lawn and earth friendly-formulated to act safely on grass and vegetation
  • Less corrosive- safe on automobiles and concretes than other melts
  • Comes with easy shake container for easier application
  • Incredibly effective at melting ice and snow and works down to 0 degrees
  • Made in the USA

4. Pellets of Fire CPP50 Snow & Ice Melter Calcium Chloride Pellets Review:

pellets of fire ice melt

The Pellets of Fire CPP50 Snow & Ice Melter is packed with calcium chloride (hence the name calcium chloride pellets) is recognized as one of the industry’s most efficient Ice Melter.

The powerful substance melts ice and snow upon instant constant, particular when used at night. And unlike the standard melts that become ineffective when the temperature reaches below +20 degrees, Pellets of Fire will continue wiping out ice even at the lowest temperature attainable- up to 25 degrees below the zero mark!

The pellets formulation utilizes calcium chloride, sodium chloride, and potassium chloride, making it one of the strongest and the most efficient ice melt on the market right now. And while it acts so hard on snow it ice, it does not impose any harmful chemical effects on plants, pets, humans, and even concrete. The pellets work great on nearly any surface and give good coverage, even when used on the roof. Just applying a little amount will go a long way in eliminating ice for more extended periods (so, you don’t have to worry about overnight freezing).

The melt comes packed in a 50lbs pail, which makes it more cost effective compared to the highly priced de-icing pellets that come in smaller containers. Besides, the bucket is heavy duty and resealable, which allows you to easily store it and prevent moisture from catching up with the pellets during the storage period.

Overall, the Pellets of Fire CPP50 Snow & Ice Melter is affordable, easy to use, and comes packed in a durable, resealable pale so that it maintains its efficiency and freshness for longer periods. It’s a highly active substance and does not affect the quality of your door installation in any way. It contains no harmful chemicals that might harm your kid/ or pets.

Highlighted Features:​

  • Melts ice and snow down to -25 degrees F
  • Comes in a heavy-duty pail with resealable cover
  • One of the fastest working ice melt available
  • Utilizes sodium chloride, potassium chloride, and calcium chloride

5. Blue Heat BHP40 Snow & Ice Melter Review:

blue heat ice melt

Halfway our list of the best ice melt reviews, we have the Blue Heat BHP40 Snow & Ice Melter. This is also a great melt that comes in a 40-pound bucket. It can melt down snow and ice to extremely low temperatures - 25 degrees below the zero mark. The superior strength de-icing is deal for dispensing on the driveways, pavement, and other roads to wipe out ice in mere minutes.

One of the most notable things about the Blue Heat deicing pellets is the patented light-blue tint which allows you to easily keep track of the eras you’ve applied the pellets and those that are yet to be applied on. This makes the pellets completely comfortable to use. Besides, the tint is non-staining, so you don’t have to worry about the substance getting stuck on the surfaces you apply in on. The pellets generate heat on contact with snow, which gives them the superior power to diminish all the snow and ice in your homestead. Despite its harsh action against ice, the product remains harmless to humans, animals, plants, and the environment in general.

The Melter comes in a 40 pounds bucket, which are more than enough pellets for the price tag. The heavy duty is resealable to allow you to easily store the pellets after use, without them getting into contact with the moisture which might damage them. Above all, the pail features an easy grip handle which makes it easy and comfortable when moving it from one place to the other.

The melt does an excellent job on all the surfaces and installations- like road surfaces, pavements, driveways, etc. The visible light blue tint allows you to distinguish between treated and non-treated areas.

Highlighted Features:​

  • Easy grip, resealable bucket
  • Works even at the lowest temperatures of 25 degrees below 0
  • Superior melting power
  • Light blue tinted pellets help keep track the applied and unapplied areas
  • Intended for quickly de-icing driveways, pavements, among other surfaces

6. 96% Pure CALCIUM CHLORIDE Snow & Ice Melt Pellets Review:

Other than being friendly to the environment, pet and humans, the96% Pure CALCIUM CHLORIDE Snow & Ice Melt Pellets from FDC are so powerful that they can melt ice, snow and frost 36 times faster than the rock salt and up to 46 times their weight. As if that is not enough, they work for temperatures as low as -40 degrees F, making it a highly favored produce for quickly and efficiently dissolving ice.

These pellets owe their de-icing prowess to the 96% pure calcium chloride (plus 4% calcium silicate as the anti-caking agent) pellets. These two top compounds team up to generate extra powerful exothermic heat that quickly and easily melts even the thickest ice and snow buildups. Since they can work at extremely low temperatures (up to -40 degrees F), you’ll not witness re-freezing incidences after applying them. Their superior de-icing means that you’ll only need to use a small amount of these pellets, which will melt much more snow and ice than the standard melts.

Using these pellets is the easiest part; you can opt to use them over the ice directly or dissolve them in water and then spread as a liquid. In both cases, the pellets remain as active as you’d expect. Apart from de-icing, you can also use these pellets to control dust on the dirt roads around your home, which helps improve safety and comfort for the travelers.

The 96% Pure CALCIUM CHLORIDE Snow & Ice Melt Pellets will melt ice 3x faster than its rivals. It will outdo most similar products over a broad range of temperatures. Given the pellets’ round shape, they can easily penetrate and break the bond between ice and your surfaces, ensuring easy removal of snow and ice. The melt is ideal for parking lots, sidewalks, walkways, patios, porches, roofs, driveways, etc.

Beware: when mixing the calcium chloride pellets, the mixture might become incredibly hot; so you’ll need to handle it with great care. Allow the solution to cool before transferring it to your sprayer.

Highlighted Features:​

  • Works instantly to melt snow, ice, and frost
  • Non-corrosive to concrete when applied as per manufacturer directions
  • Active in extremely low temperatures- up to -40 degrees F
  • Produces exothermic heat that easily powers through the thickest ice and snow deposits
  • Safe for roofs
  • Melts ice 36x faster than rock salt and melts 46x their weight

7. Safe Paw Ice Melter Review:

The Safe Paw Ice Melter bears concentrated pellets covers twice the area covered by rock salt (plus they give you greater results). The melt is made up of non-toxic compounds, which makes it perfectly safe for pets as well as humans. It does not cause any damages to stone, concrete, or trees.

The main ingredients used in the manufacturer of these top-performing pellets are glycol and carbonyldiamine. Like in all the other Safe Paw products, they tow compounds constitute the patented dual-effect compound that gives you remarkable results. The composition is well known for its non-corrosive and non-toxic properties and ability to penetrate deeper into the snow and ice deposits, destabilizing them and causing them to melt easily and completely. Unlike most of the products we’ve discussed above, this one has a different formulation. Rather than releasing heat on contacting ice, the Safe Paw Ice Melter pellets draw heat from the sun which powers the dual-effect compound above to stage an exceptional performance.

With the time-release formulation, the de-icing power of these pellets will last for up to 3 days. This means that you won’t experience re-icing on your surfaces for three days, after applying the pellets. It’s also incredibly easy to dispense the pellets, given that they come with blue coloration so that you can easily tell where you’ve applied ice and where you haven’t.

The pellets come in a 35 pounds pail with an easy grip handle for convenient carry. It effectively diminishes ice from all surfaces. It has a deeper penetration power that enables it to reach deep into thick layers of ice and break them for easy shoveling and scooping. It doesn’t hurt your pet’s sensitive paws and skin. It’s also environmentally friendly and safe for humans.

Highlighted Features:​

  • Non-toxic ice melt- guaranteed safety for pets
  • Concentrated pellets that cover twice the area of the rock salt
  • Timed-release formulation prevents re-icing for up to 3 days
  • Available in the 35 pounds pail
  • Safe for kids, pets, vegetation, concrete stone, and brick

8. Splash Ice Melt, Snow & Ice Melter Review:

If you’re looking for the best ice melt for removing snow, ice on cured concrete as well as other porous surfaces, then the Splash Ice Melt, Snow & Ice Melter will give you great results. This particular melt has been designed to easily and quickly remove ice that builds up on cured concrete and other porous surfaces. It comes in a 12 pounds sturdy jug and can melt ice down to 5 degrees F.

The melt’s main ingredients are potassium chloride and sodium chloride. These two elements team up to produce heat that powers the pellets to work quickly and efficiently, provided the temperatures do not go below the freezing point. The handy jug that contains these pellets feature an easy grip handle for comfortable carry and application. Using the melt is incredibly easy; you just shake the stuff over snow or ice, sit back and watch it vanish. And given its bluish coloration, it will be easy to tell the areas you’ve applied the melt and those that are yet to be applied.

The substance works great for driveways, steps, sidewalks, and any other place where safety is a primary concern. However, the manufacturer cautions you to handle the substance with care as it can irritate your skin or eyes, and has harmful effects if swallowed.

Highlighted Features:​

  • Formulated for cured concretes and non-porous surfaces
  • Melts ice and snow down to 5 degrees F
  • Potassium chloride and sodium chloride blend

9. Scotwood Industries 50B-RR Road Runner Premium Ice Melter Review:

Scotwood ice melt

The Scotwood Industries 50B-RR Road Runner Premium Ice Melter utilizes an efficient combination of magnesium and calcium pellets, sodium and potassium chlorides to give you a high-quality that melts ice and snow immediately it comes into contact. The melt remains completely safe to the human, pets, environment, and all the surfaces you apply it on.

One of the aspects of this melt that secures it a place on our list of top ice melts is the calcium chloride pellets it comes with. As you know, this compound is used in almost all the top-quality ice melts, keeping in mind that its one of the quickest, most efficient de-icers that man has ever discovered. The pellets combine with magnesium chloride to provide you with a powerful blend starts melting snow and ice instantly, upon contact. The heat produced during contact is sufficient to vanish the thickest of ice and snow deposits faster and efficiently.

Since this is a powerful de-icer, you’ll only have to apply smaller amounts and witness greater results. Something that adds up to its de-icing effectiveness is the fact that it works on ice with temperatures as low as -15 degrees F. The melt is completely safe on concrete, vegetation compared to the rock salt- provided you apply it as directed. The stuff is colorless and odorless.

Highlighted Features:​

  • Safe to apply on concrete
  • Colorless and odorless
  • Safe for vegetation and environment
  • Melts down to -15 degrees F
  • Begins melting ice on contact

10. Pet-Friendly Subzero Ice Melt - Super Concentrated Ice Melt Review:

Not only is the Pet-Friendly Subzero Super Concentrated Ice Melt a non-toxic substance that’s guaranteed for the safety of your pets, but is also an extra-powerful melt that wipes out ice and snow four times faster than the rock salt. What’s more, it gives remarkable result compared to the others ice melts on the market today.

The super-concentrated is capable of covering twice the area covered by rock salt. And does not irritate your pet skin and paws. The fact that the melt works to temperatures as low as-15 degrees F ensures that the melt does not leave a single bit of the ice on your surfaces. Moreover, it comes with a timed-release formulation, where the melt’s power last on your surfaces fro up to 3 days. This helps prevent re-icing for the same number of days. The flakes come in a 9-pound jar that’s durable and feature an easy grip handle for comfortable carry. Additionally, it comes with a shaker lid that allows for easy application of the melt.

The Pet-Friendly Subzero Super Concentrated Ice Melt is guaranteed non-toxic. It’s 100% safe for humans, animals, concrete brick, stone, and vegetation. Its melting power is only comparable to about 40 pounds of rock salt.

  • Concentrated ice melt, safe for your pet
  • Melts to -15 degrees-Four times more effective compared to rock salt
  • Easy spread shaker lid
  • Melting power comparable to up to 40 pounds of rock salt

Final Verdict

That’s all for the ten best ice melt reviews on the market today. All the products I’ve recommended to you above do an excellent job when it comes to getting ice out of your driveways, entranceway, and sidewalk, making them slip-free and safe for driving.

Moreover, all the products are so powerful that their icing power will last for up to 3 days. They have no harmful effects on your pets, kids, environment, vegetations and other installations around your home.

Overall, each of these products will give you the real value for your money.

Grab one of the ice melts today and arm yourself for the notorious ice and snow the next winter.

  • Updated January 19, 2017
  • Ice
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