After a heavy snowfall, homeowners have to tackle the snow and ice that build up fast. It might surprise them how much ice can accumulate on their driveways and sidewalks near their homes.

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This guide cuts straight to the chase, showing you effective ways to remove ice from your driveway and sidewalks. It tells you which methods really work and which ones aren’t worth your effort.

Using Boiling Hot Water

Try boiling water as a real, all-natural way to remove ice from driveways and sidewalks. Especially if the ice is thick and likely to come off with some effort, boil a large pot of hot water.

Apply it to any large chunks of ice that refuse to go. This will surely break it apart. Sweep your hot water across the surface to maximize coverage. Just be sure to move quickly. Within an hour, your boiling water will have frozen.

Choose a Liquid De-icer

Liquid de-icer works better than rock salt. The liquid sticks better to your driveway or sidewalk than rock salt. While rock salt melts holes into your ice, a liquid de-icer embeds across an ice surface and easily breaks apart your ice in minutes.

You can move much faster with its application, and liquid de-icer also remains effective longer than rock salt. There is no need for reapplication. While rock salt is cheaper, liquid de-icer will melt your ice faster and be kinder to the environment.

Non-Liquid De-Icer

If you aren’t interested in liquids, choose calcium chloride or magnesium chloride pellets. These are crushed inside a spreader and easily applied to a driveway or sidewalk.

The advantage of calcium chloride or magnesium chloride is that they do not have the same toxic effect on grass. With any deicer, do not let your pets consume it. It can pose a serious risk to their health.

Using Rock Salt

Rock salt contains chemicals. It harms plants and animals. Most driveways are near grassy areas, and no homeowner will want rock salt on their lawns or gardens or potentially ingested by a pet.

While this is the most well-known way to remove ice, spreading rock salt is old news. If you use it, be careful. Evenly spread it out and remove as much of it as possible afterwards.

Don’t Just Hit It with a Shovel

Many people who aren’t prepared for an onslaught of ice will hit it with a shovel, an axe, or anything they can handle. A shovel may break apart some ice, but only if it’s already melting through another product.

Hitting ice with a shovel will do the job you think it would. It will only damage your shovel and frustrate you. Tackling ice is best done with a de-icing product to melt it before using a shovel.

Rubbing Alcohol and a Snow Shovel

In terms of all-natural ways to clear ice from driveways, rubbing alcohol may be a solid starting point. Fill a half-gallon spray bottle with 70% isopropyl alcohol. Though some dilute rubbing alcohol with water, you don’t necessarily need to.

Spray alcohol across the iced surface. Spray the entire area you want to tackle. Wait 15-30 minutes. Start breaking the melted ice with a snow shovel. The rubbing alcohol will eat into the ice and help you get a lot of your ice removed.

Water and Vinegar

You can use a half-and-half water and vinegar deicer for small ice areas in your driveway or sidewalk. This only works sometimes. However, apply it like rubbing alcohol, and you may see similar performance.

If you do not have rock salt or rubbing alcohol, try vinegar. It’s eco-friendly, affordable, and readily accessible. Unlike rock salt, it also poses no risk to the natural environment around it.

Never Use Sand or Cat Litter

Sand and cat litter are huge issues. They make a mess and don’t melt ice. Yes, sand and cat litter will add extra traction to a driveway or sidewalk. They work well that way, but they require a huge cleanup afterwards.

It’s not worth it to go through all that effort when you have a liquid deicer and natural products ready. For a truly fast, long-lasting product, use a liquid deicer. This is how to get rid of all the ice on driveways and sidewalks.

, How to Clear Ice from Driveways and Sidewalks, Days of a Domestic Dad