How to Melt the Ice on a Blacktop Driveway


When ice forms on driving and walking surfaces, it presents a potential hazard. Instead of waiting for the ice to melt from the heat of the sun, which might take a considerable amount of time, you can assist the ice in its melting process. The method you choose will depend on the temperature in your area. Calcium chloride works in conditions to minus 25 degrees F, while rock salt stops melting ice at around 10-15 degrees F.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Calcium chloride flakes
  • Hand-held fertilizer spreader
  • Rubber boots
  • Gloves
  • Rock salt

Calcium Chloride

  • Shovel as much snow and ice away from the driveway as possible.

  • Put on gloves and place about 1 cup of calcium chloride flakes into a hand-held fertilizer spreader. This amount will typically treat about 3 square yards. Refer to the specific product's instructions for exact measurements.

  • Spread the calcium chloride flakes over the surface. You do not need to coat the surface with an even layer of flakes as they will dissolve and spread out in the melting ice.

Rock Salt

  • Shovel away as much snow as possible before applying rock salt. For best results, sprinkle rock salt before any snow or ice storm to prevent freezing.

  • Pour about 2 1/4 cups of rock salt into a hand-held fertilizer spreader.

  • Spread the rock salt liberally over the area in an even layer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Mix 1 part calcium chloride flakes with one part rock salt to minimize expense when applying to the driveway.
  • Read the product instructions carefully and adhere to all warnings.
  • Avoid getting calcium chloride on your hands or skin as it can cause burns when combined with water.
  • Avoid applying too much calcium chloride to your driveway. In this case, less is more.
  • Remove your shoes or boots before walking inside your home or business if you walk on the area that contains calcium chloride. It can leave an oily residue that can damage floors.
  • Do not use rock salt on brick or rock walkways that contain mortar joints as it can damage the mortar.

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  • Photo Credit Steve Mason/Photodisc/Getty Images
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