Applying salt to the driveway and other walking surfaces is a common task in cold snowy regions of the U.S. during the winter. The salt works by lowering the freezing temperature of water, which causes ice to melt and thus reduces injuries from slipping. Ice also forms in snow-free periods that are cold when rain hits the ground and freezes into ice sheets. Applying rock salt while it is still raining prevents the water from freezing to begin with.
Things You'll Need
Rain repellent coat
Put on the proper winter clothing before going outside to spread salt on the driveway. Proper clothing includes no-slip shoes, a hooded water repellent coat, and old gloves.
Walk to the bottom of the driveway carrying a bag of rock salt, also called sodium chloride. Slit open the top of the bag and use a gloved hand to scoop up approximately 1 cup of the salt.
Sprinkle the salt in a sideways pattern over the driveway using your hand. Sprinkle the salt as evenly as possible, but do not attempt to saturate the entire driveway surface.
Continue sprinkling the driveway, working your way backward to the house. Once at the house, it's a good idea to also sprinkle the rock salt on the steps leading to the house to prevent it ice from forming there.
Remove the salt and any slush from the driveway as soon as possible once freezing temperatures subside. Shovel the material into an area of the yard where it will not damage vegetation or into the street for street sweepers to collect if allowed in your locality.
Salt does not melt or prevent ice on driveways when the outdoor temperatures drop to 16 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rock salt can damage grass and nearby vegetation, so use it sparingly or remove it as soon as possible after freezing temperatures subside.
Rock salt will damage and erode fresh concrete surfaces, so avoid using it if the driveway consists of concrete. Use non-salt deicers on concrete driveways to prevent ice formation.