The 10 Best Snow and Ice Melters
This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in December of 2016. When the weather turns cold and you need a way to keep ice and snow accumulation under control, investing in one of these melters will be a wise decision. They are available in organic formulas that are non-corrosive and pet-friendly, along with traditional salts. Both significantly improve traction and can prevent the slippery stuff from reforming around your property. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
April 06, 2020:
As you might imagine, there is generally little innovation year to year with ice and snow melters, so we still stand by the majority of last year's recommendations. That being said, we did eliminate Clear Drive Liquid as there were too many reports of it not working very well, and even a few of the product actually freezing and adding to the problem.
Identifying eco-friendly products that were safe to use around pets and children was a top priority for us and they make up a good portion of this list. That being said, some animals are more sensitive than others, so we recommend you test it in a small area first to see if your pet has a reaction to it, before spreading it over large areas where they will be walking. According to the manufacturers, the pet-friendly options on this list are Harris Safe Melt, Redmond Ice Slicer, Pestell Paw Thaw, Snow Joe Melt-2-Go Environmental Blend, Safe Paw ZW152, Branch Creek Entry, and Natural Rapport Pet-Safe. Safe Paw ZW152 is even touted as being 100-percent non-toxic and safe to ingest, though we highly discourage allowing your animal to lick it up.
When it comes to truly frigid areas like North Dakota and Minnesota where temperatures can regularly drop well below zero on winter days, Green Gobbler Calcium Chloride Pellets, Blue Heat BHP40, and Snow Joe Melt-2-Go are going to be your best options. The first works in temperatures down to -40 Fahrenheit, and the other two are effective in temperatures down to -25. If you are looking for a pet-safe option for below zero temperatures you'll have to turn to Harris Safe Melt, which stays effective down to -13 degrees.
While we generally feel that granular options work better, some may find them inconvenient and prefer to use a liquid formula. For those readers we have included Branch Creek Entry, which is 100-percent chloride-free option.
Whichever ice and snow melter you do go with from this list, they will all significantly reduce the need for you to dig that snow shovel out of your garage.
October 14, 2018:
Eliminated products with unreliable availability and added liquid options to the list for their ease and uniformity of application.
Total Solutions Green Fire Aptly named, Total Solutions Green Fire is both green colored and immediately generates exothermic heat to quickly melt through ice in temperatures as low as -40 degrees. It is non-caustic to skin, so you can apply it without protective equipment, and it won't harm plants or asphalt. valtecindustries.com
Uline Pet Safe Ice Melt Enhanced with calcium magnesium acetate, Uline Pet Safe Ice And Snow Melt forms a protective barrier on surfaces that can help prevent corrosion. It is a non-toxic option that works down to -12 degrees Fahrenheit, and which is affordably-priced for a 50-pound bucket. Plus, it is made with special conditioners that reduce clumping and extend its shelf life. uline.com