Scattering salt is a common way to help melt snow and de-ice surfaces, but there are a few different methods to accomplish this. Rock salt and blended ice melt salt are two of the most common types of salt used for these purposes, but that doesn’t mean they do the exact same thing. There are important differences between to the two, and understanding those differences can help you get the right project for your needs.

Not all ice removal is the same, and even the temperature where the salt is being used can impact its effectiveness. When searching for bulk salt distributors, it’s important to know you’re getting the right product for your situation, the amount of space it’s going to cover, and how quickly it’s going to react.

What Are They Made Of?

Rock salt is typically composed of sodium chloride – which makes it very similar to table salt. It is very common and is typically mined from underground salt deposits. Blended ice melt salt, on the other hand, is usually comprised of different chemicals, and can include other chloride compounds like calcium chloride and magnesium chloride. Some ice melt products can also contain additives that change the color or prevent corrosion.

How Fast Do They Work?

If you’re looking for the faster melting time between the two, blended ice melt salt typically works faster than its rock salt counterpart. This is largely due to the fact that blended ice melt salt has various compounds present, and those compounds have lower freezing points that initiate the melting process more rapidly. Rock salt typically works slower, especially at lower temperatures.

When Do They Melt?

Rock salt is generally most effective at melting ice and snow at temperatures down to around 15°F (or -9°C), and the effectiveness and speed diminishes at lower temperatures. Blended ice melt salt can work in much lower temperatures compared to rock salt – again because of the compounds. For example, calcium chloride works at 0°F (or -18°C), making blended ice melt salt much more effective and suitable for extremely cold temperatures.

Will They Hurt the Environment?

Rock salt is widely considered less harmful to surrounding vegetation when compared to other de-icing agents, but can still have negative effects on plants when used in large quantities. Blended ice melt salt’s impact will depend on the specific composition. Some of these compounds (like calcium chloride or magnesium chloride) can be less damaging when compared to sodium chloride, but excessive use will also cause some environmental concerns.

What Do They Cost?

Rock salt is usually the less expensive option between the two, making it more cost-effective for a variety of situations. Because of the enhanced performance, more complex composition, and ability to work in colder temps, blended ice melt salt is usually the more expensive option. The choice between the two general comes down to temperature consideration and how quickly you need the product to work.

Both products are proven to work at melting ice, but preferences and other concern which is right for your situation. For more information on the pros and cons of rock salt compared to blended ice melt salt, reach out to the experts at Clarity Salt today.