Better Options to De-ice Your Driveway

Peyton Baldwin
December/January 2007
Add to My MSN


Content Tools

Related Content

Maintaining Your Unpaved Driveway

Regular maintenance will extend the life of your driveway.

De-Ice Sidewalks and Driveways Naturally

Learn how to de-ice slippery surfaces without harming nearby soil and plants.

When it comes to removing snow and ice from your driveway many people turn to salt. But salt can damage soil and plants, contaminate groundwater, and corrode driveways, car bodies and even household floors.


The most sustainable way to de-ice your car or driveway is to physically shovel or scrape the wintery mix away. There are several other remedies that do not include harmful chemicals or too much back-breaking work.



  • To help clear your windshield, fill windshield wiper reservoir with one part water and two parts vinegar or use water and rubbing alcohol. Then make sure your windshield wipers are in working condition.

  • Spray or pour lukewarm (NOT hot) water over the windshield.

  • Cover the windshield with the vinegar and water mixture to help prevent ice buildup.

  • Cover the windshield with a rug or scrap piece of carpet the night before snow or ice.

  • Hire someone to shovel your driveway.


Other ice melting products are available but can be harmful to the environment, children and pets, so be sure to read the label. Many of the pellets you put down on the driveway to melt the ice, such as Driveway Heat, contain chemicals that are considered to be nontoxic if used correctly but are still just as harmful as salt. Children and pets are especially at risk because these products heat up ? some to 175 degrees ? to break the ice away from the driveway. Pets can get the pellets stuck in their paws and end up burnt, or worse, ingesting them. The same is true for children. Anything you track onto your carpet can end up in children's eyes or mouths.


Some chemicals are less harmful to the environment and your family. Safe Paw makes an ice melting product that is specifically designed to keep children and pets safe. Cryotech E36 is acetate-based and is considered nontoxic. Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) is a better alternative to salt, but can still be harmful to the environment. The key is the amount of rainfall. The area affected needs adequate moisture to wash the chemicals away.


Some products are also available to help you shovel snow. One example is the wovel, which uses your body weight to remove snow and is easier on your back.


Do you have an ice removal remedy? Share your tips or stories in the comments section below. You can also learn about ice damming by clicking here.









Post a comment below.

 

leesa
5/3/2014 5:36:19 AM
I have found very http://vikramfertilizers.com/fertizer%20chemical%20products.html useful information over http://krishnapatterns.com/metal-casting-manufacturer.html there, thanks for http://www.appoultry.com/chick%20feeder.html sharing this. please try to add more informative posts in http://newlaxmiwoodindustries.com/pinewoodbox.html order to keep us in touch.

leesa
5/3/2014 5:32:50 AM
I just came across your http://softyandsoda.com/softyhome.html blog and reading your beautiful words. I thought I would leave my first comment but I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Anabell Jones
12/9/2013 6:18:52 PM
For winsheild place an old lap blanket or towel over it and remove in the mirning. The frost will remain on the blanket leaving you a perfect winshield on a frosty morning. Be careful as the mostiure will degrade the blanket or towel over time.

John
11/29/2013 5:26:56 PM
I meant vinegar and baking soda not vinegar and water.

John
11/29/2013 5:26:00 PM
The deicer that's sprayed as a liquid on streets and on planes is 97% sodium acetate, a food grade chemical that biodegrades, is safe for plants and animals and protects concrete ( it's used to seal concrete ). It's also used to give salt and vinegar potato chips their flavor ( 1 to 1 with acetic acid ), to keep freshly cut meat or fruit from discoloring, and to retain the color of frozen vegetables. School age children often build volcanoes for science projects by mixing vinegar and water to make sodium acetate and CO2. Household vinegar is mostly water so the sodium acetate produced would be less than 10% sodium acetate with the rest being water but it should still work and if you like, you can boil it down ( just stop boiling if a skin forms ). Get a garden pressure sprayer, put in three tablespoons of baking soda and slowly spoon in up to two liters of vinegar letting the foam dissipate each time unless you want a volcano, stop when it no longer foams, then pump up the sprayer and spray your sidewalk before the snow falls. It's good to -18 Celsius while rock salt only works to -6.6 Celsius.

John
11/29/2013 5:08:08 PM
The deicer that's sprayed as a liquid on streets and on planes is 97% sodium acetate, a food grade chemical that biodegrades, is safe for plants and animals and protects concrete ( it's used to seal concrete ). It's also used to give salt and vinegar potato chips their flavor ( 1 to 1 with acetic acid ), to keep freshly cut meat or fruit from discoloring, and to retain the color of frozen vegetables. School age children often build volcanoes for science projects by mixing vinegar and water to make sodium acetate and CO2. Household vinegar is mostly water so the sodium acetate produced would be less than 10% sodium acetate with the rest being water but it should still work and if you like, you can boil it down ( just stop boiling if a skin forms ). Get a garden pressure sprayer, put in three tablespoons of baking soda and slowly spoon in up to two liters of vinegar letting the foam dissipate each time unless you want a volcano, stop when it no longer foams, then pump up the sprayer and spray your sidewalk before the snow falls. It's good to -18 Celsius while rock salt only works to -6.6 Celsius.








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.