In the winter, you have more than cold hands to worry about. One of the biggest dangers of freezing temperatures is hidden ice. And while there are several ways to melt ice, the beet juice ice melt is one of the most recent and effective means of doing so. Find out everything you should know about this effective way of melting ice.
What Is Beet Juice Ice Melt?
In cold climates, winter storms can be brutal. The ice and snow take a toll on the roads and sidewalks, which creates a demand for a way to melt the ice. In the past, people relied heavily on salt to keep their streets and driveways clear. But salt is harmful to cars, roads, and the environment. Areas that rely heavily on salt, like Toronto, have seen a decline in fish and insects as a result of salt use.
Beet juice melt doesn’t come with as many negative consequences as a salt melt. Essentially, beet juice ice melt is a solution of beets that makes a brine when mixed with salt. Due to its sticky nature, this type of ice melt minimizes the amount of salt that runs off into waterways.
The solution also contains sugar from the beets, which further lowers the freezing point of ice. While salt melts ice at 15 degrees Fahrenheit, sugar drops the freezing point of ice. As a result, ice won’t form unless it’s extremely cold. If you live in an area of the country that has a harsh winter, you could benefit from this lower freezing point.
What Are the Downsides of Using Beet Juice Melt?
There are only two drawbacks to using this type of ice melt. For one, it can leave behind a light brown or red stain. That said, it doesn’t leave behind permanent stains and won’t cause property damage. If you use a melt with white beets, staining isn’t a problem.
The other drawback is the fact that the melt contains sugar, which washes off into the waterways. The sugar attracts germs, and those germs take away some of the oxygen the fish and other creatures need.
Why Does It Work?
To understand how beet juice ice melt works, you need to know how salt works as a deicer. Salt lowers the freezing point of nearby water. To accomplish this, the salt comes into contact with a thin layer of water that covers all ice. This creates a brine that lowers the freezing point of the ice and begins melting the ice that’s around it.
If you want to picture the process, think of a cup of plain water and a cup of salty water. As the temperature reaches freezing levels, the pure water starts to develop ice crystals. However, the saltwater (or beet brine water) has molecules from the salt that move around and don’t affect the entropy of the contents in the cup. The salty water needs to get colder before it can freeze.
With salt melts, you need a significant amount of salt to melt the ice in low temperatures. However, beet juice melt is even more useful. When the temperature drops, you don’t need as much of it to melt the ice.
When Should I Use It?
It would be best if you used a beet juice ice melt before it’s too late. If you try to treat your icy sidewalk or driveway after the ice freezes over, you don’t get all of the benefits of using a melt. Someone could be injured before you have a chance to treat your surfaces.
For that reason, you should use your melt before it gets icy out. When you know there’s going to be a fast drop in temperature or that you’re going to have a snowstorm, apply the beet melt. To make sure it works, you can also use the melt during and after a storm.
By applying the melt before a storm, you can prevent ice from ever forming. This makes damage control easier. So, keep an eye on the weather this winter. If you think snow is coming in, get outside and apply your melt.
Can I Make My Own Beet Juice Ice Melt?
You can definitely make your own beet juice ice melt. (Our editor has tried this with sad-looking golden beets from the pantry shelf, and it works great. Note that red beets are more likely to stain your sidewalks temporarily than golden or white beets.) We have the recipe, along with other DIY deicing solutions, in our guide to DIY Ice Melts.
Where Can I Buy It?
You can find all types of ice melts available. To keep ice dams from spreading on your roof, you might want to look into getting a roof melt.
For home use and for smaller areas, we like Snow Joe BEET-IT Ice Melter.
Snow Joe Beet-It Ice Melter
Enriched with natural beet extract for maximum melting power, it’s also safer for vegetation and the environment. Perfect for use on stairs, sidewalks, decks and driveways, Beet It melts snow and ice down to -20, lasts up to 20 hours. Convenient, resealable 25 lb. bucket with handy measuring scoop for easy dispensing.
For large-scale applications, we like the bulk quantities of Eco Solutions Fusion 2330, as it’s readily available online.
Eco Solutions Fusion 2330 Liquid Ice and Snow Melter
Fusion 2330 is a sugar beet juice based product making it one of the safest pet friendly ice melts and most environmentally friendly deicer. This product is 30% less corrosive, does not cause staining and can be used on all surfaces such as a sidewalk, driveway, concrete, pavers and asphalt. This product melts 25% more ice snd snow while using 25% less deicer. Can be used down to -25C (-13 F) and provides an easy application without the mess of rock salt.
And if you have pets, you’ll be happy to know that any beet-based preparation is a pet-safe ice melt. Before you buy it, you should know that you don’t need a salt spreader for this product. Because the solution is more liquid than rock salt, beet melt needs to be applied with a sprayer. This type of application is easy and only requires a hand sprayer. For an even more straightforward application, you can get an electric sprayer.
The Beet Juice Bottom Line
Beet juice ice melt is an eco-friendlier solution for deicing streets and sidewalks than salt melts. You can make your own if you have the beets and