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Comparing Liquid Deicer and Salt – What Is the Best Way to Remove Ice?

June 2, 2022
Comparing Liquid Deicer and Salt – What Is the Best Way to Remove Ice?
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The liquid de-icer vs salt battle continues to this day, with those who live in cold environments or who suffer particularly harsh winters always curious which solution is best ice control & removal. Getting rid of snow on a property, whether it’s your home or a business, is predicated on one extremely important thing: safety.

This is particularly true in commercial environments, where the possibility of slip opens your business up to liability. So, the questions of what liquid deicer is made of, how does deicer work, what is liquid ice melt made of, and how does liquid deicer work are really important.

Salt was long considered the best way to remove ice but both methods come with benefits and disadvantages. Understanding these benefits and potential problems and applying them to your property's unique requirements and specifications helps you ensure that any deicing efforts are safe for your customers and anybody who frequents your business space.

Liquid deicer, if you’ve never heard of it, is fairly new to some industries. It’s a system that involves pre-treating the pavement, stopping snow from bonding to the surface in the first place. It makes it harder for ice to form and reform, and means deicing after new snowfall is quicker and easier.

Read on, and we’ll discuss what is a good deicer for your business and property, the difference between the best ice removal products, and how you can make the right choice.

What Is A Liquid Deicer Made Of, And How Does It Work?

How does liquid deicer works

What is deicer, and what is the liquid deicer used on roads? A common product used in commercial deicing, a liquid deicer is an agent designed not just to remove ice but to stop it from forming easily in the first place.

What is in liquid road deicer? It’s typically made of ethylene glycol or propylene glycol, liquid deicer is designed to lower the freezing point of water. This means that even in cold environments water struggles to form crystals that create a sheet of ice or snow.

It is widely used on tarmac at airports to ensure that planes have a dry and ice-free space to land even in adverse weather conditions – and if it’s good enough for airplanes, it can certainly work on surfaces used by cars and pedestrians!

We think this is often the best option for businesses not just economically but for safety purposes, too. As with anything, though, there are always pros and cons you should consider first.


  1. It’s Cheaper

Cost is an important consideration for any business. When it comes to liquid deicer, cost is even more important if ice and snow are a frequent problem. Liquid deicer can be less expensive than purchasing salt, even when buying in bulk.

  1. Substantially Lower Labor Costs

Labor costs are lower, too. Liquid deicer requires fewer people to apply to a surface than bagged salt. If you’re paying experts to apply the deicer on a frequent basis, the lower cost of the deicer itself and the fact that it requires fewer men to apply makes it is a great choice.

  1. It Causes Less Damage Than Salt

A common problem with salt is that it can damage surrounding buildings, objects, and vehicles when it is sprayed. Fairly large quantities of salt need to be applied to roads and surfaces, too, which isn’t the case with deicer.


  1. It Takes Time to Work

Unlike salt, liquid deicer takes a little while to work. Applying the substance to the roads doesn’t instantly melt ice as salt does, but it does offer long-term benefits. Used as a pre-treatment, deicer helps stop ice from developing in the first place.

Salt as A Deicer: How It Works

How does salt work to melt ice

Most people use salt, but do you know the answer to the question “How does salt work on ice”? Salt has been used on ice for years primarily because it is fast-acting. Knowing when to salt for snow is simply precisely because it works so quickly.
How about the question “How does salt work to melt ice”? That’s an interesting one! Salt starts by dissolving the thin layer of liquid that’s always on the top of ice, which lowers the freezing point. It creates the same effect of deicer, but in a different way. As the water is absorbed, the salt continues dissolving the water as it develops naturally on top of the ice.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of road salt and see if this is the right option for you and your business.


  1. It’s Super Quick

Salt as a deicer works quick. That’s why people love it. The moment you see snow or ice developing, the application of salt stops that process. However, it doesn’t necessarily work great as a preventative measure – at least, not as effectively as liquid deicer.

  1. It’s Easy to Apply

Salt can take more manpower to lay, but it can also be applied more quickly. That’s one of the reasons why salt is known to cause damage, because it is sprayed out of machinery so quickly that it causes damage and abrasion to all sorts of surfaces in its way.


  1. Price Varies

The price of salt goes up and down. It’s a natural resource and the price of the product can vary depending on demand. If you find yourself in real need for salt, you can bet that most other businesses are too. For this reason…you should expect to pay a premium!

  1. It Causes Damage

Many people ask, “does ice salt damage concrete”? And the answer is yes. Salt can cause damage to concrete and buildings, it can damage vehicles, and it can even hurt plants and vegetation. Not only that, but salt causes erosion over time by getting into cracks in stone.

Is Deicer Best for You? We Think So…

What is liquid deicer

Liquid deicer works differently to salt, it’s cheaper, it’s preventative, and it doesn’t destroy the surfaces you are trying to protect. To top it off, it’s super safe and offers the best defense against slippery surfaces.

At Earth Development, we use the most advanced ice and snow removal products. We use the best liquid, the best equipment, and we have the most talented and professional team you could ask for.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you, don’t hesitate to reach out and get a quote. We’ll let you know exactly what we can do, and we’re happy to work around your company’s specific requirements.

Eddy Zakes
Eddy is a distinguished expert in the snow removal and landscaping industry, boasting over 20 years of experience. As an Advanced Snow Manager certified by the Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA), he is dedicated to upholding the highest industry standards. His strong commitment to excellence and relentless pursuit of improvement makes him a trusted voice in the snow removal and landscaping.
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The amount of snow Minnesota gets each winter fluctuates, but it’s typically safe to expect a consistent amount throughout the winter months. Last year, did you have enough space on your property to store plowed snow?