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Best De-Icer for Sidewalks

Updated: Feb 20, 2024 4:20 PM
best de icer sidewalks featured image that shows the top three best tool models

The best de-icer for sidewalks keeps driveaways, parking lots, and sidewalks slip-free and successfully melts ice after a massive snowstorm or freezing rain, preventing an awkward slip-n-slide tap dance into oblivion. Our evaluation focused on the application type (pellets vs. granules vs. liquids), ingredients, melting time, ease of application, and long-lasting coverage. What separates the best tools from others is that they are easy to use and last for a long time. We know these features are important to you.

After more than 13 hours of research, our top pick goes to the Green Gobbler 96% Pure Calcium Chloride Snow & Ice Melt Pellets. It offers the fastest acting ingredient on our list (calcium chloride), comes in a rounded shape for better dispensing, and works in the coldest environments possible (up to -40 F°)

Top 7 Best De-Icer for Sidewalks Compared

 #1  Safe Paw Ice Melt – Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: This ice melter blitzes through snow and ice like a running back with a rounded pellet design and pet-friendly formula. It is a cool choice if you would prefer not to visit a vet for paw, eye, and skin irritation.

  • Best quality
  • Safe on pets
  • Lasts up to 72 hours
  • May hurt concrete if not applied correctly
  • Box may leak

The ingredients of our top pick are non-toxic, making it safe on concrete, vegetation, and lawns. It’s also super concentrated so it doesn’t take much to be effective and lasts for up to 72 hours, cutting through half-inch ice in about 10 minutes.. Its rounded pellets also make it easy to distribute and apply to a larger area.

One of our favorite features of this de-icer is its time-release effect, which keeps ice from freezing for up to three days. It is also good at sub-zero temperatures (as low as -2°F). This makes it ideal for most midwestern climates in the dead of winter. For your car, you want the best de-icer car spray.

 #2  Green Gobbler 96% Pure Calcium Chloride Snow & Ice Melt Pellets – Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: These ice melting pellets make our list thanks to their ability to operate and melt ice in temperatures as low as -40 F°. They’re an excellent choice for large ice removal jobs (think sprawling driveways and patios) thanks to its fastest acting formula.

  • Effective to -40 F°
  • Hard to pry lid off tub
  • Messy application
  • High cost
  • Can damage plants and vegetation
  • Not as useful on thicker ice

A rounded pellet shape makes it compatible for use with ice melt spreaders for a better dispersion over your driveways and sidewalks. There is also no need to shovel snow –this de-icer melts itup to 4x faster than traditional rock salt. Spread it before a snowfall and you will have to do less work.

This pick’s main ingredient, calcium chloride, is proven to penetrate ice faster than magnesium chloride by giving off heat, resulting in quicker broken ice.

 #3  Green Gobbler Pet Safe Ice Melt Fast-Acting Treatment – Best for Pets

WHY WE LIKE IT: This de-icer is a solid choice, as it boasts a fast-acting formula, working in temperatures as low as -10 degrees (for up to 30 minutes). Moreover, its toxicity is lower than our #1 pick. It is an excellent option if you own a p

  • Pet-friendly
  • Easy application
  • Works in 20-30 minutes
  • Higher operating temperature (-10 Fahrenheit)
  • May leave greasy wet residue

This product is safe for pets. It is not made of jagged granules and does not cause stomach ingestion. Its main ingredient, magnesium chloride, is also less corrosive on concrete, grass, vegetation, and roofs than calcium chloride, making it a great option for those living in the city.

This pick is very effective in low temperatures down tos -10 Fahrenheit. It is also easy to apply using handheld or rotary ice melt spreaders with a rounded, pellet design.A cover nozzle also makes it super easy to pour. Though I am not sure how this works with the best wheel chair ramp.

 #4  Snow Joe AZ-25-EB Melt-2-Go Nature + Pet-Friendly CMA Blended Ice Melter – Best Driveway Deicer

WHY WE LIKE IT: This ice melter blitzes through snow and ice with a calcium magnesium acetate formula and color coated crystals. It works very well if you are elderly or visually impaired, needing a color guide to dispense the correct amount.

  • Color coated
  • Easy application
  • Reusable
  • May damage concrete and wood if overapplied
  • Blue dye may stain
  • Messy application

Thanks to an included measuring scoop and easy-to-open refillable bucket, this de-icer is easy to apply. Unlike our #1 and #2 picks, it uses color coated crystals instead of clear crystals, which helps to prevent overuse. A reusable bag also makes it easier to store and extends service life better than our #3 pick,n Green Gobbler, which uses a lid that is hard to pry open.

This ice melter uses a time-release formula, which keeps it activated for a longer period. Like our #4 pick Snow Joe MELT10B-J, it can also be applied before snowfall to avoid shoveling snow later on.

 #5  Snow Joe MELT10EB-J 10 Lb Jug Premium Environmentally-Friendly Blend Ice Melter – Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: This budget ice melter comes with an eco-friendly calcium magnesium acetate formula and a time-release formula. It is a solid choice in areas with lush vegetation and plant areas such as driveways and patios that could use a non-toxic formula.

  • Eco & pet-friendly
  • Color coated crystals
  • Suitable for driveways and patios
  • Blue residue after snow melts
  • Container may leak

This 10-gallon ice melter does not cause skin irritation. This means no pesky granules that prick your dog’s feet while they are out playing in your backyard Treated surfaces can also be stepped on using shoes without fear of tracking slimy residue back into your home. Anti-caking agents and a resealable bag also makes it easy to store for a longer shelf life.

This snow killer does pretty well in freezing temperatures, effective in as low as -7.6°F, which is only marginally less than the Green Gobbler (-40°F). Very rarely do temperatures reach that low anyway. Otherwise, we might as well open the North Pole for business. Ice melt really is an essential piece of outdoor gear for the home.

 #6  Keep It Green Ice Melt – 12 Pound Jug – Best Eco-Friendly Deicer

WHY WE LIKE IT: This bright green colored ice melter works well with a CMA/potassium acetate hybrid formula and is effective in temperatures as low as -25 F. This makes it the right choice if you are looking for the perfect application amount using its residue as a visual guide

  • Easy to pour
  • Ergonomic grip handle
  • Green colored
  • Thick, jagged crystals
  • Not pet or child-friendly to walk on
  • Produces thick white residue

This pick’s main ingredients, calcium magnesium acetate and potassium acetate, are less harmful chemicals than Green Gobbler’s calcium chlorine when applied correctly. It really rips through snow and ice while being less toxic on grass, concrete, metals, and vegetation. Plus, it is very budget-friendly for an eco-friendly product, which are typically known for costing more (cough, all organic products, cough)

Unlike rounded pellets, this ice melter’s crystals are jagged-shaped and lego-textured making it better for use in petless and childless households. However, it generates thick clumps over time, which helps with traction.. This is good to have when moonwalking on driveways. Keep it handy for your lawn and garden.

 #7  Harris Safe Melt Pet-Friendly Ice and Snow Melter – Best for Ease of Use

WHY WE LIKE IT: This product is a dependable workhorse, decimating through snow and ice with a calcium magnesium acetate formula and rounded pellets. It is an excellent choice if you are looking for a pet-safe formula and in no rush to leave the house with its slower than average acting formula.

  • Pet safe
  • Less corrosive than calcium chloride
  • Includes scoop
  • Poor value
  • Slower acting than calcium chloride

This pick’s effective temperature is as low as -13 degrees Fahrenheit, making it good in very cold weather. Like the Green Gobbler and Keep It Green formulas, its rounded pellets instead of jagged granules, which makes it easier to apply using ice melt spreaders. Note, these are not color coated like the Snow Joe and the Keep It Green, so you may spread too much by accident.

Plants are safe when the product is applied correctly, as it is less corrosive than calcium chloride. This is also true for concrete, metals, and vegetation. A scoop is included in its bucket.

How We Decided

Choosing the best de-icer for sidewalks could mean the difference between a slippery driveway and one free of snow and ice.

In determining the best de-icer for sidewalk to buy, you should consider its formula (calcium chloride vs. magnesium chloride vs. sodium chloride vs. potassium chloride), effective temperature, and application type. Calcium chloride penetrates snow and ice deeper than magnesium chloride, with lower effective temperature (up to -40 Fahrenheit vs. – 1- Fahrenheit) . However, it is more corrosive to concrete, lawns, and plants if over applied. Sodium chloride or rock salt is a widely used inexpensive option. However, rock salt is endothermic, meaning it must draw heat from the surrounding area making it ineffective against extreme cold weather (lowest effective temperature +20 Fahrenheit). Potassium Chloride also melts ice through endothermic properties and has a lowest effective temperature of +25 Fahrenheit.

Application type is critical. Jagged granules tend to convert into large clumps over time, providing improved traction. Rounded pallets are capable of being better distributed and better capable of being used with ice melt spreaders.

Best Deicers for Sidewalks Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Shape
    Rounded pellets instead of jagged granules are capable of being spread over a larger area using traditional ice melters, resulting in more bang for your buck. They are also less irritating to step on, particularly important if you have pets or small children.
  2. Ingredients
    The fastest acting formula belongs to calcium chloride. It is also most effective in the lowest temperatures (up to -40 F°) However, it is known to be more corrosive to lawns, vegetation, metals, and concrete than magnesium chloride, which works in temperatures as low as -10 F°.
  3. Color Coating
    Color coated de-icers such as the Snow Jow AZ-25-EB makes it easier to apply since there is a visual guide. This is a worthwhile option for those with limited visibility or the elderly, as well as those on a budget.

Best De-Icer for Sidewalks Questions (FAQ)

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