The winter is here which means fun holiday celebrations, cozy winter meals, and ice. Lots of ice. That you have to deal with. A white Christmas isn’t so fun when you have to salt your driveway, shovel your sidewalk, and of course, pay for expensive ice melt.
To make the burden of winter weather less painful, don’t pay for ice melt this year, use one of these 10 incredibly effective DIY ice melt recipes.
DIY Ice Melt for Sidewalks and Driveways
Spread these super simple ice melts on your sidewalks and driveway to take care of unexpected, annoying winter ice.
Salt Ice Melt
The expensive price of ice melt on top of having to deal with annoying winter ice always felt like having salt rubbed in my wounds. Now, I will be the one rubbing the salt. Or rather spreading it on my sidewalk or driveway where ice materializes this winter.
Salt is the most popular way to get rid of ice. The most common form of salt that is used to melt ice is rock salt, but you can also use table salt, it will just provide you with less traction when stepped on.
Salt doesn’t melt ice so much as lower its freezing point from 32 degrees Fahrenheit to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. This means it doesn’t work in the extreme cold but is very effective in places that tend to have weather that stays in the 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit range.
To use salt as an ice melt add it to hot water and then pour the salty water over the ice you’re targeting. The hot water will melt the ice while the salt keeps it from refreezing.
Baking Soda Ice Melt
Now we’re cooking! Turns out you should have been raiding your kitchen this whole time instead of buying expensive ice melt. Baking soda works in a similar way to salt. It lowers the freezing point of water when it permeates it, working well in environments that have cold weather, but not extremely cold weather.
Just like salt, mix it in with hot water and apply it to the ice you want to melt. A benefit of baking soda is that it’s less alkaline than salt so you run less of a risk of it damaging concrete or bricks.
Fertilizer Ice Melt
Thought you wouldn’t need to pull out your fertilizer until the spring? Think again! Fertilizer works as a very effective ice melt. Ingredients in fertilizer, like alfalfa meal, urea, and ammonium sulfate help melt ice. Although this is a great temporary solution it should not be used consistently over a long period of time. If used too much it could lead to it burning vegetation or eroding concrete.
To use fertilizer as an ice melt, simply spread it over an icy surface. It won’t work immediately, but will rather speed up the melting process.
Epsom Salt and Sugar Ice Melt
Head back to the kitchen for this gentle but effective ice melt. Epsom salt is a great option for ice melt because it’s as effective as table salt and rock salt, but it’s much safer to use around plant life. Mix the Epsom salt with some sugar for the best results, because yes, sugar also has great ice melting capabilities.
You can mix these two with hot water for immediate ice melting, or sprinkle them on top of ice to speed up the melting process.
DIY Ice Melt Spray
While ice melts that you can sprinkle on top of ice are great, there’s something to be said for the ease of using ice melt spray. These simple ice melt sprays incorporate ingredients you probably have lying around the house.
Beet Juice Ice Melt
This method is not only all-natural, it’s also completely pet-safe ice melt because dogs, cats, or whatever other pet you have are safe to consume small quantities of beet juice.
You also don’t have to worry about beet juice harming plants or corroding your sidewalk and driveway. You might have to worry about it dying them purple, but to prevent that from happening you can rinse it off with soap and water once the temperature rises above freezing again.
To use beet juice to melt ice, mix 20% beet juice with 80% of salt brine and put it in a spray bottle. Spray it in slippery areas and wait for it to work. Beet juice will help the salt brine lower water’s freezing temperature even more.
White Vinegar, Wood Ash, and Water Ice Melt
This white vinegar, wood ash, and water ice melt method is not only extremely effective in getting rid of old ice and preventing new ice from forming, it’s also gentle on plants, sidewalks, and driveways.
To make this ice melt, collect 2 cups of wood ash from your fireplace. Fill a bucket with a gallon of water and add the wood ash to the bucket. Let the mixture sit overnight.
In the morning clear out all the bits of wood ash that are still floating. Pour the mixture into a new bucket, leaving behind the clumps of wood ash at the bottom of the old bucket.
Add 2 cups of white vinegar and stir the mixture well. Once it’s sufficiently mixed up, pour it into a spray bottle.
Then you can take it outside and spray the snow and ice that you want to melt. Not only will it melt old ice, but it will also prevent new ice and snow from accumulating.
Because sugar is so effective in melting ice, beverages that contain a lot of sugar can actually function as ice melt. Whether its Kool-Aid, soda, fruit juice, or another beverage that contains a large amount of sugar, you can spray it on ice and snow to get them to melt more quickly.
This option is good to use if your house is somehow out of both normal salt and straight sugar and you really need a quick-fix to deice your sidewalk and driveway.
However, it should not be frequently used since it’s not quite as effective as some of the other methods mentioned above, and the artificial dyes can cause a mess if they are getting on the bottom of your shoes and being tracked into your house. Not to mention, I wouldn’t use this spray on your car since it could cause some issues with your car’s paint job.
DIY Ice Melt for Your Car
There’s nothing quite as annoying as waking up early on a winter morning to head to work only to find that you can’t because your car is completely iced over. For a quick fix, you can easily create these ice melt sprays with ingredients you probably have at home.
3-Ingredient Ice Melt
This 3-ingredient ice melt is one of the most effective ice melts on this list. Not only is it extremely easy to make, it’s also perfect for removing ice from cars!
To make it fill a bucket with ½ a gallon of hot water. Add 6 drops of dish soap to the water and mix them into it. Then add 2 ounces of rubbing alcohol and mix that into the water. When the mixture is complete, pour it into a spray bottle.
If there’s any snow on your car brush it off and then spray this mixture on the ice below it. You can then gently push all of the ice off your car or use your scraper to give it a nudge off. It should fall right off, no heavy scraping required!
Isopropyl Alcohol Ice Melt
This super simple ice melt method is perfect for removing stubborn ice from car windshields. Keep a bottle of this stuff near your door so you can quickly use it on mornings where you don’t want to deal with the timely and arduous process of scraping ice off your car.
To make this ice melt, add a cup of water to a spray bottle. Then, add a cup of isopropyl alcohol. Shake the bottle well before each use. You can spray it right onto your car’s windshield, windows, and door handles, and the ice will start to melt immediately!
Water and Vinegar Ice Melt
This easy DIY ice melt is particularly gentle on your car. Don’t mistake gentleness for it not being effective though, this incredible ice melt works super well. To make it all you need is a spray bottle, water, and vinegar.
The water and vinegar mixture should be one part water and three parts vinegar. I just added 1 cup of water and 3 cups of vinegar to keep it simple. Before using, shake the bottle well so that the water and vinegar are thoroughly mixed.
Spray a decent dosage on to your car’s windshield and the ice should gradually melt away. Really, don’t be afraid to use a lot. Enjoy breakfast and a cup of coffee while this ice melt does your work for you. By the time you’re done, your car will be ready to go!
These ice melt instructions are great for removing ice from your roof, driveway, sidewalk, car, and where ever else it freezes over. Don’t get caught in a winter storm without ice melt and don’t pay exorbitant prices for it. You can make these super simple but extremely effective ice melt recipes at home!
I hope you found this guide helpful! If you did, be sure to share it and comment below with any ice melt questions!