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Winter prep: Make ice melt that is environmentally, pet friendly

Posted: 8:19 AM, Nov 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-12-02 07:24:57-05
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Many people rely on ice melt to minimize slick and icy conditions around the house. Unfortunately, there are several mixtures and types of rock salt to purchase that are dangerous for our pets and harmful to the environment.

Dr. David Van Horn, associate chemistry professor at University of Missouri-Kansas city, explained.

“When you go to the store, you will now find a magnitude of products. Some get down to different freezing levels...typically any salt [sodium chloride] will work. Some are touted as being more environmentally safe or pet friendly, so those are with calcium chloride or magnesium chloride as their ingredients," he said.

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The drawback to the mixtures that are safe for the environment and our pets is the cost.

"The calcium or magnesium product are at a higher price," Dr. Van Horn said.

The following simple recipes will help solve these problems during the winter time. They are cheaper and safer for us to use while efficiently melting the snow or ice. These recipes include ingredients that you most likely already have at home.

Vinegar Mixture
Ingredients: White vinegar and water
Directions: Mix one part vinegar and one part warm water. In this example, we used one cup each. Make sure to stir the solution well. You can always add more vinegar if you have a lot of ice to melt. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle. Spray this on your windshield to melt ice (or frost). You can also pour it directly on snowy or icy surfaces.

Rubbing Alcohol Mixture
Ingredients: Rubbing alcohol, dish soap and warm water
Directions: To a half gallon of warm water, add four tablespoons of rubbing alcohol. Then add one teaspoon, or about six drops, of Dawn dish soap. Mix together. Pour this mixture directly on any icy surface. Use a watering can if spreading over a larger surface area.

If you need a little more ice melting power, use Kosher Salt. It's pet safe and will help get rid of the ice.