Why You Should Avoid Using Rock Salt

Patrick Bogans difference between ice melt and rock salt does rock salt work is rock salt safe rock salt versus ice melt will rock salt hurt my plants

We all want to save a little money. A great deal here, a clearance sale there: holiday sales and BOGO coupons are a way of life for some savvy shoppers. Unfortunately, buying cheap doesn't always mean buying smart. 

If there's one thing you don't want to buy cheap, it's ice melt. With so many cheap products on the market (we're looking at you, rock salt), it's hard not to be tempted by the price. But you deserve better than a cheap ice melt. Here's why you should avoid buying rock salt this winter:

The proof is in the pudding—well, in the pellets.

Ice melters come in all shapes and sizes. On the shelf, you'll find everything from basic rock salt to sophisticated chloride blends.

Time and time again, studies have shown that using ice melt is the better choice. Why? Rock salt has too many downsides. You should know that rock salt is:

  • Corrosive to concrete
  • Toxic to animals
  • Harmful to vegetation

Also, it takes a good amount of time to start working (it won't work at all if the air temperature is less than 15 degrees). No ice melt is perfectly safe or effective, but rock salt is far from the best thing you can buy. If you want to protect your pets, plants, and property, go with ice melt.

Your dog deserves better!

Most people don’t think about their pets when buying ice melt, and that’s a problem.

When your pet goes outside for a potty break or a fun time in the snow, they’re not going to tip-toe around rock salt or chloride-based ice melt. Your pet will walk right over the bits of rock salt and get them stuck in their paws. This can cause unbearable paw irritation.

And the worst part is that your pet will lick their paws to stop the pain, which can lead to gastrointestinal issues that only a vet can treat.

Don’t put your precious pup in such a precarious situation. Try to find a pet-friendly ice melt. Remember: with any “pet-safe” product, make sure to read the label thoroughly to understand how and why it's safe for your pet. (Need help finding a pet-friendly ice melt? Click here.)

Ice melt lasts longer.

Rock salt doesn't last nearly as long or work nearly as well as ice melt. Ice melt generates exothermic heat, melting snow and ice as soon as it hits the ground. Rock salt doesn't do that. Ice melt is proactive. That means you won't have to reapply every few hours or put down more than you need.

So instead of getting in the car, driving to the store and buying more rock salt, just spend a little more money from the start and get ice melt. You'll save time and money in the long run.

The bottom line: Magnesium and calcium chloride blends are safer than rock salt. Unlike rock salt, these blends are not as toxic to pets or corrosive to concrete. You'll spend a few more bucks on ice melt, but it’s worth it. 

By the way: Have you heard of Amazon’s barcode feature on their smartphone app? It's pretty handy. Say you're at the department store, and you're stuck between two options. Download Amazon's app and tap the Camera icon in the top right corner. Scan the product’s barcode using your phone’s camera. If Amazon sells the product, you'll be directed to the listing immediately. Then you can browse reviews to help you make a final decision. Spending the extra five minutes to look at reviews is well worth the trouble.

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