Two of the most common de-icing agents are natural rock salt and calcium chloride. That doesn’t mean they’re created equal. Understanding the difference between the products is important, because even though they achieve the same end, they can have different impacts on where they’re used. Both are very common, but they also have different applications.

The chemical makeup of these products is also very different, meaning how their applied is different, too. Rock salt is fantastic for melting ice and snow after it has fallen, while calcium chloride is best used before ice has formed or snow has fallen. There are other differences, as well, making them unique to the different application you might need. When looking for bulk salt distributors near me, it’s important to understand why you need it and where you’ll be putting it.

What’s the Difference Between Rock Salt & Calcium Chloride?

Both have their applications, so one isn’t necessarily better than the other. Calcium chloride works better in colder temperatures, as it is effective well below freezing temps. Rock salt can still be used in the cold, but it typically works best when the temperature is above 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Rock salt will be great if your temperatures never drop below that. However, if you run the risk of temps dropping below freezing, calcium chloride may be a better option.

Both are widely used for de-icing roads, driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks. Rock Salt naturally melts and dissolves through liquid water, but has a tougher time moving through solid ice. Calcium chloride absorbs the moisture and releases heat, making it better on thicker ice. Because of this, calcium chloride also works much faster than rock salt, often instantly making a change in the desired area.

Understanding Environmental Impact

Both can have environmental effects, and it’s vital to understand these impacts and how they’ll affect the area you’re using them. Calcium chloride can be corrosive to metal surfaces, which can lead to damage on vehicles. Water runoff containing calcium chloride can also pollute water and soil. It can also have a negative impact on vegetation, and the runoff can also harm plants and trees.

Rock salt runoff can also lead to soil and water contamination. High concentrations of sodium can adversely affect plants and vegetation, leading to soil degradation. In larger concentrations, it can also contribute to the corrosion of metal, similar to calcium chloride. Using lower application rates of either de-icing agent can help minimize their environmental impact, and it’s also important to implement strategies to protect vegetation in areas where they will be used.

There are a few important factors to consider when determining which is better suited for your needs. Both offer similar results, but there are definite pros and cons to both. While the region and climate where you live determines which one will be more common, it’s important to get the option that responsibly fits your needs. For more information on the difference between rock salt and calcium chloride, reach out to the experts at Clarity Salt today.