Ready to demystify ice melter temperatures? You’re in the right place.
Discover how to identify false advertising and use these resources to be better prepared for your next ice melter purchase.
There are only TWO types of melting temperatures you need to know about before buying ice melter, the eutectic temperature and the practical melting temperature (or effective melting temperature).
|Eutectic Temperature||Practical Melting Temperature|
|The eutectic temperature is the lowest possible temperature at which the deicer melts ice under laboratory-controlled conditions. A lower eutectic temperature does not have as much significance in relation to how the ice melter will work in a real-world scenario.||The practical melting temperature, also known as the effective melting temperature (EMT), is the lowest temperature at which the deicer will melt ice in real-world conditions.|
Discover some of the common ingredients of ice melters below in Table 1 and the range of melting temperatures usually provided for them.*
|Ingredient||Lowest Practical Melting Temperature||Eutectic Temperature|
|Urea||25° F||11° F|
|Potassium Chloride (KCl)||20° to 25° F||12° to 15° F|
|Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA)||20° F||-18° F|
|Sodium Chloride (NaCl)||5° to 20° F||-6° F|
|Magnesium Chloride (MgCl2)||-15° to 5° F||-28° to -25° F|
|Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)||-25° to -20° F||-60° to -55° F|
Now, let’s take a look at Table 2 below to see some of the ice melters we usually stock and their advertised temperatures. When buying ice melter, we recommend that you look at the product’s ingredients and identify which melt temperature the product is advertising. You can use Table 1 above to determine if the advertised temperature reasonably equates to an appropriate practical melting temperature based on the ingredients of the product. If the packaging or product data sheets don’t provide more information, you can reach out to the manufacturer directly to verify the practical melting temperature.
|Ice Melter Name & Description||Advertised Melting Temperature|
|Safe Step® Pro Plus Ice Melter magnesium chloride and sodium chloride mix||-7° F|
|CORE Multi-Power Ice Melt combination of calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and sodium chloride||-10° F|
|IceAway Rock Salt Ice Melter sodium chloride||5° F|
|Peladow® Calcium Chloride Pellets Snow & Ice Melter calcium chloride||-25°F|
|MAG Magnesium Chloride Ice Melting Pellets magnesium chloride||-13°F|
Understanding temperatures is just the tip of the iceberg. What about the melt speed, or how quickly the deicer can melt the ice? What about the melting capacity (melt volume capability), or how much ice the deicer will melt? Some ingredients are better at melting speed and melting capacity than others. If you really want to buy the best ice melter for your unique needs, look for the answers to these questions on the available product information, or by talking directly with the manufacturer. This will help you compare ice melters and find the correct one that meets your buying criteria.
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MacDonnell, G. (2003, August). Deicers… and the degrees they’ll go to. Snow & Ice Manager.
Lowest practical melting temperature. (2020, April 16). Minnesota Stormwater Manual. https://stormwater.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/Lowest_practical_melting_temperature
The Reference & Buyer’s Guide for Professional Ice Melters. (2010). RJ Schinner. https://www.rjschinner.com/linked-files/literature/SafeStep-JanSanBuyers-Guide.pdf
Choosing the right deicer. (n.d.) Occidental Chemical Corporation. Retrieved February 16, 2021, from https://www.oxycalciumchloride.com/sidewalk-ice-melting/effective-ice-melting/how-to-melt-ice-effectively/choosing-the-right-deicer
Koefod, S. (2008). Common Misconceptions about the Performance and Environmental Impact of Deicing. IBTTA. https://www.ibtta.org/sites/default/files/unrestricted/win08_Koefod.pdf