Ice Melt around Plants and Pets
A winter storm is coming and you need a safe ice melt for pets and vegetation. Commercial users don’t want to damage landscaping adjacent to roads, driveways, walkways and parking lots. Residential users often ask for a product that is safer to use around pets. Both types of customers are looking for an alternative to sodium chloride (rock salt). While no ice melt comes without warnings, there are some that are kinder to our companion animals, gardens and grass.
An excellent alternative is magnesium chloride. Magnesium chloride is proven to be less harmful to pets, wildlife, grass and shrubs. Consumer Reports listed magnesium chloride as one on the best options for pet owners and those concerned about plant life. When used as directed, magnesium chloride is less damaging to vegetation and safer to use around pets.
Pavement Ice Control
Magnesium chloride is used in three ways for pavement ice control: Anti-icing, when maintenance professionals spread it onto roads, walkways and other surfaces before a snow storm to prevent snow from sticking and ice from forming; pre-wetting, which means a liquid formulation of magnesium chloride is sprayed directly onto salt as it is being spread onto roadway pavement, wetting the salt to reduce bounce so that it sticks to the road; and pre-treating, when magnesium chloride and salt are mixed together before they are loaded onto trucks and spread onto paved roads.
Safe Ice Melt for Pets
Even though magnesium chloride is safer than rock salt, pet owners should still minimize pet traffic across treated areas. In addition it is wise to wipe off your pup’s paws after a walk.
Other Magnesium Chloride Benefits
In addition to being a safer choice than sodium chloride (rock salt), magnesium chloride is more effective working down to –13 degrees whereas rock salt only works down to +15 degrees. Magnesium chloride melts fast and has an excellent spread flow. Although it is more expensive than rock salt, less magnesium chloride is needed. Consult packaging for recommended spread rate.
Magnesium Chloride Facts:
- Magnesium chloride occurs naturally in oceans and bodies of water such as the Dead Sea and Great Salt Lake.
- Municipalities and departments of transportation often use magnesium chloride as part of their ice melting arsenal.
- Plants actually need small amounts of magnesium.
- Used as a coagulate of soy milk.
- In liquid and flake form, used for dust control at horse racing tracks.
- It’s even a nutritional supplement in humans and animals to promote normal functioning of cells, nerves, muscles, bones and the heart.
- Used for soil stabilization and wind erosion mitigation.
- Used in baby formula in Asian countries.
- Used in fire extinguishers and for fireproofing steel beams and wooden panels.
- Used in textile and paper manufacturing.
- Used in refrigeration.