Rock Salt Or Calcium Chloride: Which Is the Best Snow/Ice Remover?

Q: Rock Salt Or Calcium Chloride: Which Is the Best snow/ice remover? Candy, Arlington, MA

A:  The 2 main snow and ice removal agents people use are rock salt (aka sodium chloride) and calcium chloride.  The only real advantage of using rock salt over calcium chloride to remove snow and ice is that rock salt is a little cheaper.  However, calcium chloride offers several advantages over rock salt:

One of the most obvious advantages is that calcium can be effective at much colder temperatures than sodium chloride/rock salt.  In fact, calcium chloride can be effective at temperatures as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit, while rock salt loses its effectiveness at temperatures below 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Also, rock salt poisons soil, damages trees and other vegetation, and can damage concrete (FYI, I’ve spent thousands of dollars repairing concrete around properties I own where I’ve used rock salt to remove snow and ice)–i’m sure my mason prefers I use rock salt to calcium chloride LOL!

Calcium chloride also poses less risk to plants than sodium chloride and it does not have the sharp edges found on rock salt.  For these reasons, I recommend you use calcium chloride rather than rock salt to remove snow and ice.

Thanks for your question, Candy!

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