California, MD – So they got the weather wrong. It happens. Imagine if you could be wrong so often and still have a job.

Anyway, it’s here, it’s melting and the cold night will turn our walkways and paved surfaces into dangerous ice.

Most of us use some kind of salt product to melt ice and keep good footing when we walk to our homes and vehicles. Which salt product is best? That’s what we’re going to get into.

Salt helps to lower the freezing point of water, which we know to be 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also easier to melt ice before it forms than after you have ½ inch on your driveway. Certain salts do this faster and with less damage to your concrete and lawn.

The basic principle to melting ice is the more ion particles your salt breaks down to in a watery liquid form; the harder it is for that substance to refreeze. NaCl has 2 ions; a sodium and a chloride ion, but CaCl2  would become 3 particles, 1 calcium and 2 chloride, and lowers the freezing point more than NaCl.

Rock Salt is very popular, it’s pretty cheap and can break down ice and snow fairly rapidly. Sounds like Rice Krispies Cereal when it hits ice and really burrows quickly. I think it’s great for thick ice because it works down into the ice, weakens it and allows for much easier breaking apart.

The downside to your lawn is that because salt attracts moisture it pulls water from the plants roots systems. It can also harm your soil by making it become packed too easily and unfriendly for plant growth, make the pH more acidic and can harm your pet’s feet as well.

Here is a chart showing different types of salt and their respective properties, pros and cons from about.com.

From sources I browsed online thicker chunks of salt melted ice more quickly than finer salt.

There is a great article from the University Of Maryland at College Park describing salt products, their safety to the Bay, and much more. Go to my website and check it out or clike here: http://www.growingforyou.com/images/MeltingIceSafely.pdf

The ultimate ice melter from the web seems to be CMA or Calcium Magnesium Acetate. It works super fast, has no corrosive properties, is safe for the plants and lawn and keeps the Bay clean.


Dr. Jay M. Lipoff is the owner of Back At Your Best Chiropractic & Physical Therapy, LLC, which is located at 23127 Three Notch Road, Suite 205, just past the WAWA at Route 235 and Route 4 intersection.

Dr. Lipoff is also the author of “Back At Your Best; Balancing the Demands of Life With the Needs of Your Body.” It is available in book and Kindle format at Amazon.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in 1990, a Doctorate of Chiropractic (D.C.) from New York Chiropractic College (NYCC) in 1994 and he became a Certified Fitness Trainer (CFT) in 2005.

Dr. Lipoff is an Executive Board Member, International Chiropractic Association Council on Fitness and Sports Health Science; has a radio segment: Back At Your Best in 5 Minutes or Less, President and Founder; Foundation 4 Heroes, Contributing writer, Huffington Post’ Co-Founder, Drug Free Training USA; Member, NY Strength-promoting the importance of physical conditioning; Board Member of Public Relations Committee, Maryland Chiropractic Association; has spoken on nationally broadcasted radio interviews, has articles in print and referenced in over 100 print papers, magazine and on websites, President, Wildewood Business Network-promoting better business relations and community outreach.

For more information, go to www.BackAtYourBest.com, find us on Facebook, or call 301-863-BEST (2378). www.f4heroes.com, 844-F4Heroes.