It's something we deal with every winter: that stubborn ice that never seems to melt off the sidewalk in front of the house. Read on to learn how to make some homemade ice removers that really work!

What You Need To Know

  • A variety of household products can be used to make ice remover

  • Some chemicals can be toxic to pets so pick ones that are safe

  • Some products are better at removing ice than others

All of us have likely experienced that embrassing and sometimes painful fall walking up the driveway during the winter. Snow falls, melts during the day, and then refreezes at night laying the foundation for trouble. 

The obvious answer to getting rid of the ice fast would be to throw some salt down, but resist the temptation because there are better options! While it's true that salt is great at melting ice, when that water refreezes, the corrosive effect of salt may crack and damage the concrete. 

Instead, use some of these non-damaging solutions to quickly and safely deal with that sheet of ice on your shoveled walk or driveway. 

Rubbing alcohol

You might have noticed that alcohol is listed as an ingredient on the packaging of many commercial deicers and that's because standard 70% alcohol solution has a very low freezing point, making it the perfect ice remover. The lower the freezing point, the less likely it will be that the melted ice refreezes. 

For a solution you can stow away year-round, combine two parts rubbing alcohol with one part warm water in a spray bottle and spray the solution onto the surface of your sideway or driveway to gradually melt the ice. 

Magnesium chloride

Magnesium chloride can effectively melt ice at a temperatures well-below zero and can tackle thick ice with relative ease. In addition, the chemical offers a more environmentally friendly and pet friendly alternative. 

For the best results, purchase magnesium chloride in pellet rather than flake form and disperse the pellets by hand over icy patches. Before you know it, that annoying ice will quickly melt away!

Kitty litter is helpful

While not technically a deicer, kitty litter helps create friction so you can gain traction over slippery surfaces. If you're in a hurry and can't wait around for the ice to melt, toss a large amount of non-clumping kitty litter by hand over an icy sidewalk.

If you don't have kitty litter, substitute other gritty materials that you have on hand such as sand, wood chips, sawdust, or even fireplace ash.