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Top 5 De-icer Alternatives

    Have you ever stepped out of your house on a cold winter morning and realized that the snow had settled so firmly there was no room to move? That is one of the very few mood crushers that the ever-so-lovely winter season brings with it. It is usually due to extensive snowfall and ice accumulation on the roads that completely disallows mobility. However, there is a solution for this crisis: using an anti-ice solution that is effective in melting ice. Wait, instead of calling it a solution, let’s call it a makeshift because a de-icer is generally terrible for the environment and should not be considered a concrete resolution to the problem. So, which other alternative can we use if not a de-icer? This guide is all about that. Let’s get started! Ice melters are jam-packed with strong chemicals like calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, sodium chloride, calcium magnesium acetate, potassium chloride, and so on. These chemicals are in high concentration to ensure maximum effectiveness in melting ice. However, we can’t ignore the fact that these chemical-heavy solutions prove to be highly toxic to the environment as it is particularly harmful to the soil, lakes, grass, and plants. This is the primary reason you shouldn’t be using de-icers, and instead, prefer other alternatives. Let’s discuss what they are. 

    Heated Mats

    Heated mats can be an excellent alternative to melt ice if the area is smaller. However, they can be a bit pricey. You must plug a heated mat into a car’s volt socket with a 110-volt outlet. So if you wish to clear the snow pile up near your front door, garage, etc., these heated mats can do the job quite well. In case of larger areas, such as the driveway, we’d suggest you go for another alternative. 

    Coffee Grinds

    This is your cue for never throwing away any coffee grinds! It would help if you started storing the coffee grounds of your morning brews a month in advance so you’ll have enough of them as winter arrives. Once you have shoveled the ground well, roughly sprinkle all the coffee grounds along the walkway. This gives you a sufficient amount of gripping so you don’t slip and fall. Besides, the acids present in the coffee ground can also melt the ice quicker. 

    Use Vinegar

    Vinegar is a strong acid, and we all know that. This makes it the ultimate cleaning agent and a melting agent. The acetic acid present in vinegar can melt ice very quickly and even prevent the ice from forming again. You can create a solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle, which you can use to melt snow that has accumulated on your windshield, car windows, house windows, doorbells, tires, and so on. Vinegar truly is an underdog when it comes to de-icers. 

    Spread Kitty Litter For Traction

    As strange as it may sound, kitty litter can be a great help in deicing and keeping the ground clean. The properties of kitty litter do an excellent job of absorbing the moisture on the floor. So even after you have successfully melted the ice, you can still sprinkle some kitty litter to extract the moisture and speed up the drying process. Also, you should know that kitty litter is, by far, the most organic and environmentally friendly de-icing agent there is. 


    Municipalities and other local bodies have now started recommending that people in snowy regions use sand as a de-icer. However, sand alone cannot work as a de-icer, even if it is an excellent way to secure a good road grip. You can use a homemade de-icer by using sugar beet juice, vinegar, and so on, and then you can layer it with sand. In this way, not only will the snow melt quickly, but the floor will also become moisture-free as the sand grits settle and offer a decent grip. 


    All in all, de-icers can prove to be lifesavers during harsh winters, but only if you know which one to use. Always look for alternatives that address or resolve the problem and are also safe for the environment- be it natural or artificial. That being said, we hope the alternatives mentioned above work in your favor and make way for a comfortable and stress-free winter.