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.
Ready to buy an ice melter? Click Here to discover all of the ice melters we currently carry.
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
The name says it all… this melter is 100% rock salt (Sodium Chloride). This natural salt was obtained by conventional mining methods, crushed, and screened to size. The crystals are optimally sized for melting performance. The manufacturer states that it can melt ice to 5º F. This is a nice budget-friendly option for ice melting, and it’s our most popular melter. Click Here to get the PDF.
Let’s keep rocking! HotRock™ Rock Salt is over 98% pure salt (Sodium Chloride). According to the manufacturer, it is effective to 5° F. What’s special about HotRock™? This salt has unique mineral content and a natural pink hue for precision application control while spreading. This is the most economically priced salt available! Click Here to get the PDF.
These pellets are 90% Calcium Chloride, making them a fast-acting and effective choice. The manufacturer states that it melts ice up to 3 times faster than competing materials. They thought of everything… the round shape helps it penetrate ice and break the bond with the pavement more quickly. This is a top-notch melter, with a lowest practical melt point of -25º F. The reaction that creates brine also generates heat, making Peladow® more effective at colder temperatures than other materials. Click Here to get the PDF!
Here’s an environmentally safer option! Not only is this Magnesium Chloride melter safer on concrete (less damage) and steel (less corrosion), it also has a low toxicity level compared to other ingredients. It does not burn or irritate skin, and leaves no residue. The manufacturer states it melts as low as -13º F.
This ice melter is a Magnesium Chloride and Sodium Chloride mix. Both of these ingredients are powerful melters, giving you a lower practical melting temperature. According to the manufacturer, it will melt ice and snow down to -7° F. What we like about it: blue high-visibility crystals, and corrosion inhibitor! It’s our best-selling ice melt.
This ice melter is safer for the environment and for concrete when used as directed. It consists of Sodium Chloride crystals coated with a liquid ice melter containing Magnesium Chloride and organic corn-based carbohydrate for faster melting and residual effects. Additionally, it’s less corrosive than Calcium Chloride. It’s hard to miss with its bright violet color for optimum spreading. We saved the best for last, it is effective to -20 º F according to the manufacturer. Click Here to get the PDF.