The Unexpected Trick for Melting Ice: Water Softener Salt

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Written By John Stephen
I’m John, the person behind the aquahow blog. I love to investigate water conditions and ways of building water filters. Mostly for my aquariums and home use.

You can melt ice using many options, such as ice melt salt, rock salt, table salt, etc. But can you use water softener salt to melt ice? Keep scrolling to learn about it!

Can You Use Water Softener Salt To Melt Ice?

Can You Use Water Softener Salt To Melt Ice

Yes, You can use water softener salt to melt ice as it helps melt ice at 32°F or 0°C. Water softener salt is much purer compared to other options because it contains a higher amount of sodium chloride or potassium chloride that melts ice quickly.

can-you-use-water-softener-salt-to-melt-ice
Use water softener salt to melt ice

Step 01: Spread the Water Softener Salt

Spread the Water Softener Salt

Spread the water softener salt in all areas of the driveway where you want to remove the ice.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation to learn the ideal amount of salt needed.

You can remove up to 46 pounds of ice with one pound of water softener salt.

But as a general rule of thumb, use four ounces of salt for every square yard.

Keep your kids and pets away while doing the job.

Step 02: A Quick Activation of the Solution

If you want the water softener salt to work more quickly, add some hot water inside the bottle.

Then, spray salt pellets to activate the solution swiftly.

Step 03: Give Enough Time To Melt Ice

Give Enough Time To Melt Ice

Wait for 15-20 minutes until the entire ice has completely melted.

Sometimes, it may take more time if the ice is too thick.

Avoid using water softener salt during the snowstorm. It reduces its efficiency.

Spread the salt once the snowstorm is finished.

Step 04: Get Off Excessive Salt or Pallets

Remove the excessive salt or pallets from the area using a shovel to prevent damaging the concrete.

Too much water-softener salt is a waste of high-quality salt.

Also, some substances of water softener salt may remain on the driveway surface even after cleaning it properly.

How To Use Water Softener Salt To Melt Ice On Driveway?

How To Use Water Softener Salt To Melt Ice On Driveway

Water softener salt can be an affordable yet effective solution to melt ice on your driveway.

Being cautious and having a strategic plan is crucial if your pavements are sensitive.

Here are steps to follow to utilize water softener salt to melt ice:

Does All Water Softener Salt Melt Ice At The Same Temperature?

Does All Water Softener Salt Melt Ice At The Same Temperature
All Water Softener Salt Melt Ice Not The Same Temperature

Water softener salt doesn’t melt ice at the same temperature for all.

It usually depends on two main factors: ingredients of water softener salt and water hardness.

If your water softener salt contains a higher amount of sodium chloride, it will melt the ice at 30°F or -1.11°C.

But, a water softener salt with an increased level of magnesium chloride requires -25°F or -31.67°C to melt.

A few options have a melting point of 15°F or -9.44°C. However, most frozen water’s average temperature is 32°F or 0°C.

If the frozen water has a hardness level of 120 to 170 mg/L, it may take slightly more time to melt due to high levels of dissolved minerals.

How Much Time Does Water Softener Salt Take To Melt Ice?

The melting session may last around 20 to 30 minutes if the temperature is at -10 °C or 14 °F.

It usually depends on the quality and quantity of the water softener salt. But, the area you want to use the salt will directly or indirectly affect it.

You can’t also ignore the ice melter’s granule size because it influences the melting process.

Some areas may work quickly, while others may take additional time.

The melting pattern will be close to pure calcium. But their lastingness is as similar as sodium/potash mixture.

Plus, if the outside temperature level is still highly low, the salt will struggle to lower the freezing point of ice.  

Also, It is not recommended to use water softener salt to melt ice. Water softener salt is not designed for this purpose and may not be effective at melting ice.

It is better to use a specialized ice melt product that is designed for melting ice on sidewalks and driveways. These products typically contain chemicals that can effectively melt ice at lower temperatures.

ProductTime to Melt IceRecommended UsageSafety Information
Calcium Chloride10-30 minutesFor use on sidewalks, driveways, and stepsAvoid contact with skin and eyes; can cause irritation
Potassium Chloride15-60 minutesFor use on concrete and asphalt surfacesSafe for use around pets and plants; can cause irritation to skin and eyes
Urea30-60 minutesFor use on sidewalks, driveways, and stepsSafe for use around pets and plants; can cause irritation to skin and eyes
Sodium Chloride (Rock Salt)30-60 minutesFor use on sidewalks, driveways, and stepsCan damage plants and corrode metal surfaces; can cause irritation to skin and eyes
This table shows how much time different ice melt products take to melt ice

Is Water Softener Salt Better Than Ice Melt Salt And Rock Salt?

Water softener salt is better than ice melt salt and rock salt due to its affordability and quick melting capabilities.

However, you may need more water softener salt than other options in some cases. After all, it has a reduced amount of chemicals than others.

Final Words

Water softener salt can be an excellent choice to quickly melt and remove ice from unwanted areas. Just make sure to use them correctly to get the best result.

Reference

01. S A Yarows, W E Fusilier, A B Weder, 1997. Sodium concentration of water from softeners – PubMed.

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