How to Efficiently Remove Snow and Ice from Driveways

Besides rock salt, several solutions can help keep your driveway clear of ice this winter. Shoveling or snow blowing should remove fresh snow that has fallen on it. We recommend choosing a metal shovel, if possible, to avoid damage to your driveway surface.

Rubbing alcohol can also be an effective deicer when mixed with hot water and dish soap and applied directly onto frozen areas, quickly melting the ice. Simply spraying this mixture on affected spots allows it to do its work and hasten melting.

For a more permanent and hassle-free solution to winter ice problems, consider investing in a snow melt system from PlumbTech. Check out their services at:


Salt is one of the most commonly employed methods for snow removal and can be very effective. Salt works by taking down the freezing point of water, thus preventing ice formation and aiding snowmelt. Unfortunately, however, improper use may damage concrete.

Instead of randomly scattering salt across your driveway, apply it strategically to minimize work and make your driveway safer for vehicles and people alike.

If you don’t already have any ice-melting products handy, a homemade alcohol solution may help break up thin coverings of ice.

You can create your own ice melter by mixing 1/2 gallon of hot water with 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol, six drops of dish detergent, and the necessary amount of ice. Watch the ice bubble and melt as you do this!

This may prove particularly effective where plows leave piles of packed snow. The alcohol will quickly begin melting the ice while loosening up the snowpack.


Salt (sodium chloride) is one of the most frequently used products to de-ice driveways. Yet, its side effects include corrosion of concrete structures and damage to plants and animals, over-salinization of lakes and rivers and potential environmental harm.

Sand can provide some advantages over salt in terms of traction in cold temperatures. The fine grit embedding itself in the ice and snow for increased traction can make this more effective than salt. However, regular applications are necessary as clumps form that could endanger cars and pedestrians alike.

Heated driveway mat

Consider an easy-to-install heated driveway mat if you want to put away your shovel and salt bin for this season. These electric heating elements melt snow as it falls, preventing its buildup into ice formation. Some mats even provide added traction to reduce the risks of slips and falls on your driveway.

These devices may cost more upfront, but their long-term costs are often much lower: They consume significantly less electricity than many heating systems and can even be controlled using an energy-efficient thermostat or sensor that automatically senses snowfall. Plus, their mats can be stored when the snowy season isn’t around anymore.


Shoveling is an effective solution if you don’t own a snow blower or want to strengthen your muscles. Make frequent trips across your driveway, walkways and steps during a storm to clear it as efficiently as possible and reduce injuries. This approach will save time as well.

Wear work gloves while shoveling, take frequent breaks to rest your muscles and take regular intervals. If you slip while shoveling, spread some kitty litter or sand over slippery areas for better traction.

As an alternative to salt deicers, try using salt-free deicers on your driveway and sidewalks to help prevent refreezing while being better for pets and the environment than traditional salt.


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