The 5 Best Ice Melts: Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

Bill Taylor
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Each winter, the streets and sidewalks outside my house end up being covered with an icy layer that forms from snow and melted ice. Plus, I have the unfortunate luck of parking in the garage and running errands during cold seasons. As you can probably imagine, the icy sidewalks often keep me indoors, making me miss running around outdoors and enjoying the great scenery.

I hate it, but we’re at the mercy of winter mother nature: how else can we get from A to B (unless you have a helicopter at your disposal, which would be awesome in our book). Fortunately, I’ve found an easy way of breaking free from winter: by throwing down some ice melts down on my walkways and driveway. I can use it on my pathways both indoors and in the backyard where I usually play with the kids.

What is ice melt?

Ice melt is basically a substance that melts away snow and ice. It comes in a granular, crystalline, or liquid form. You can throw it down on floors, steps, sidewalks, driveways, and patios. This way, ice and snow would easily slide off, leaving your path clear.

NameCategoryProduct
Green Gobbler 96% Pure Calcium Chloride Snow & Ice Melt PelletsBest OverallGreen Gobbler 96% Pure Calcium Chloride Snow & Ice Melt Pellets
Branch Creek Entry Chloride-FreeBudget PickBranch Creek Entry Chloride-Free
Snow Joe AZ-25-EB-BKT Melt-2-Go Nature + Pet Friendly CMA Blended Ice MelterUpgrade PickSnow Joe AZ-25-EB-BKT Melt-2-Go Nature + Pet Friendly CMA Blended Ice Melter

1. Green Gobbler 96% Pure Calcium Chloride Snow & Ice Melt Pellets

Our rating: 9 / 10

Green Gobbler 96% Pure Calcium Chloride Snow & Ice Melt Pellets

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Pros:

  • Long lasting
  • Effective against snow and ice
  • Easy to handle and store
  • Scientifically proven to melt snow and ice
  • Economical

Cons:

  • Too costly
  • Not suited for hard to reach spots
  • Can be more effective if spread bigger

Perfect for ice rinks, sidewalks, driveways, and highway, Green Gobbler Ice Melt is the best you can find in market. This ice melt is made up of pure and solid calcium chloride which helps in melting ice, snow and other hard snow. And that is why it is called the best ice melter.

These ice melts are in pellet form which is easy to handle, store and keeps handy. Green Gobbler ice melt, 96% ice melt pellets will give you the best result and melt the ice quickly without damaging the surrounding environment. It is a calcium chloride – 7%-based product and significantly less toxic than other calcium chloride ice melters.

It is also available in the form of garden fertilizer or plant food, which you can add to your soil. That is if you have a garden and want to control the growth of weeds or grass. Make sure to use it before and not after the snowfall.

2. DANDO Powerful Ice Melt 25 lbs Calcium Chloride Pellets

Our rating: 8 / 10

DANDO Powerful Ice Melt 25 lbs Calcium Chloride Pellets

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Pros:

  • Heavier than most ice-melt products on the market
  • Non-corrosive pellets that can freeze even in temperatures as low as -27 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Will dissolve in cold weather and as temperatures rise, the ice-melt pellets will slowly vanish
  • Safe and non-toxic, unlike other ice-melt pellets that can be harmful
  • Pretty cheap for the price

Cons:

  • If mixed with peat moss and rock salt, might not provide as much traction as expected
  • It might not be ideal for sloped areas, as it might just slide/melt the snow
  • If temperatures are too high, the pellets will melt even before they can dissolve in the ice

The Dando Owned by International Products is a unique, and well-priced product. It comes in a bag of 25 lbs of ice-melt pellets that are in the form of a small, round ball.

3. Snow Joe AZ-25-EB-BKT Melt-2-Go Nature + Pet Friendly CMA Blended Ice Melter

Our rating: 8 / 10

Snow Joe AZ-25-EB-BKT Melt-2-Go Nature + Pet Friendly CMA Blended Ice Melter

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If you’re looking for a simple ice melter that’s safe to use around pets and other animals in addition to pets and plants, the Snow Joe AZ-28-SS Complete Ice Melt Kit is one of the best on the market. It’s non-toxic and freeze resistant, and the water it releases melts down ice and snow extremely fast.

4. Branch Creek Entry Chloride-Free

Our rating: 7 / 10

Branch Creek Entry Chloride-Free

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Pros:

  • Melts ice and snow without harmful chemicals
  • Safe for pets, children, pets, and plants
  • Made from potassium, calcium chloride and proprietary blend of environmentally safe, water soluble ingredients
  • Lowers the freezing point of water, which makes it ideal for heavy snow and ice
  • Has a low pH, is non-flammable, and non-explosive
  • Provides long-lasting ice control
  • Can be used on concrete, asphalt, metal, and wood
  • Helps prevent salt damage to the home due to corrosion
  • Made in the USA, to American standards

Cons:

  • Has a short shelf life of 3-6 months
  • Rather expensive
  • May be cloudy in color
  • Reviewers have complained that the ice melts too fast
  • The first time you use it, it may have a bad odor

Overall, the Branch Creek Entry Chloride-Free is a good product to use to rid the driveway of ice and snow. It’s one of the best ice melts for the money.

5. Safe Paw Ice Melter

Our rating: 7 / 10

Safe Paw Ice Melter

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Pros:

  • Safe, non-toxic formula
  • Effective on ice and snow
  • Long-lasting formula
  • No aftertaste

Cons:

  • Melts slower than traditional ice melters
  • Sensitive skin may have adverse reactions to this product
  • Not effective if applied to extremely cold snow
  • The product’s packaging is brittle

6. Safety Works 10059526 Dust Masks

Our rating: 5 / 10

Safety Works 10059526 Dust Masks

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Pros:

  • Easy to breathe
  • Removes all dust
  • Soft, comfortable, yet durable

Cons:

  • Comes in a large bundle
  • Kind of uncomfortable

One of the most memorable things about winter is how it gets your body to anticipate the sweet embrace of spring. Not to mention the iced-over puddles and dangerously slippery sidewalks. That’s why it’s no wonder that keeping winter’s worst off the pavement and out of your home has become a top priority for many families in the US.

We understand that choosing the right ice melt for your needs can be confusing, especially with all the different brands and varieties out there. The first step to avoiding a slippery situation is to choose the right salt for your environment. There are tons sea and rock salt varieties that are designed for your needs.

In this article, we’ll take a look at ten popular types of salt and provide you with the pros and cons of using them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the most effective ice melt?

Aurora Ice Melter, Scotts 20X, Morton 2691, Bonide 3500, Sikkens Ice Melt.

What is the best pet safe ice melt?

The best ice melts are not contaminated. An ice melter can contain a skeletal system of calcium, magnesium, and heavy metal salts inclusive of aluminum. These are the best types of ice melters and when burned, the ashes contains these materials. If these ashes are then contacted with water, it will exacerbate the process of leaching.

The use of burnable ice melts will accomplish two separate objectives: melting the ice and controlling the burning of the adjacent vegetation. It will also provide a compacted and solid base for walking if the temperature falls well below freezing.

How long does it take for ice melt to work?

Ice melts work very fast by just applying some on the surface of the ice. It will melt ice in just a matter of seconds although it will not melt the ice that’s already melted on the ground. It is not enough to just melt the ice on the surface but also the unmelted ice underneath on the ground.

A high-quality ice melt will not just melt the ice on the pavement but also the ice on the bottom of the driveway. You should look for products that not only melt the ice on the surface but below the surface as well.

Is it better to put ice melt down before it snows?

Most people start with this method but it’s actually not an effective one. By doing this, the ice melt has to melt the snow as well as all the ice on the ground.

Instead, you should put ice melt down before a major snowfall. The time to do it is right as the storm is impending, when the clouds are still building and the temperature is dropping. This is the perfect time to apply the ice melt.

Conclusion

No sense in beating around the bush. As soon as the sun starts to go down and the air gets a chill in there, you want to get your ice melt out!

But, that can be a problem. Ice melt can be expensive stuff. You can’t afford to be messing around with a bad choice of ice melt that won’t do the job and won’t work well in your driveway or sidewalk.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Green Gobbler 96% Pure Calcium Chloride Snow & Ice Melt PelletsBest OverallGreen Gobbler 96% Pure Calcium Chloride Snow & Ice Melt Pellets
Branch Creek Entry Chloride-FreeBudget PickBranch Creek Entry Chloride-Free
Snow Joe AZ-25-EB-BKT Melt-2-Go Nature + Pet Friendly CMA Blended Ice MelterUpgrade PickSnow Joe AZ-25-EB-BKT Melt-2-Go Nature + Pet Friendly CMA Blended Ice Melter