08 January 2017
At a temperature of 30 degrees (F), one pound of salt (sodium chloride) will melt 46 pounds of ice. But, as the temperature drops, salt's effectiveness slows to the point that when you get down near 10 degrees (F) and below, salt is barely working. 1
Commercially available ice melt materials include salt (sodium chloride), calcium chloride, and magnesium chloride. Each ingredient has its advantages and disadvantages but salt remains the best choice for use at temperatures above 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9.4 degrees Celsius). 2
Sustained bitterly cold temperatures are fairly rare for much of the country, so in case that happens to you and all you have is salt to melt ice, what can you do?
Magnesium chloride and calcium chloride remain effective at melting ice even with bitterly cold temperatures. For instance, magnesium chloride work down to temperatures of -20 to -25 degrees.
The Diamond Crystal® product line offers several ice melt products that are effective at bitterly cold temperatures. Jiffy Melt® Ice Melt Salt contains a specially formulated blend of magnesium chloride and sodium chloride for quick-melting action at temperatures of -10 °F / -23 °C. Flash Melt® Ice and Snow Melt is the easy choice when temperatures get down to -25 °F / -31 °C as it contains calcium chloride that gives off heat as it dissolves, liquefying ice.