What is Calcium Chloride (ice melt)

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January 4, 2018 at 12:52 pm Category:

There are many ice melt products available on the market, all with their own unique properties and effectiveness in melting ice on sidewalks, driveways and roads.

In this post, we’re going to dive in on calcium chloride ice melt, looking at what it is (chemically), how it works, benefits/considerations, and where to buy it. If you’re a landscape or snow contractor, or someone who owns a property and wants to take care of the ice that plagues us in the winter, this one’s for you.

What is Calcium Chloride (ice melt)?

Calcium chloride (CaCl2) is the most widely used non-sodium chloride ice melt.

As an exothermic compound (a compound that produces heat w/ moisture), it attracts moisture (e.g. water, snow, ice) which causes a chemical reaction that results in the creation of brine (brine is a mixture made up of water and salt).

The reaction which creates the brine mixture is actually sped up due to this attraction and, given the exothermic nature of calcium chloride, a substantial amount of heat is produced as a result.

The product of heat is what fuels the fast acting results of calcium chloride as a de-icing agent. It is also the reason why calcium chloride ice melt products, such as OxyChem by Peladow® Calcium Chloride Pellets, are able to perform at extremely cold temperatures (up to -25°F or -32°C).

Is calcium chloride rock salt?

While both calcium chloride and rock salt (sodium chloride) share chloride as a chemical property, calcium chloride is not “rock salt”.

Rock salt, also known as sodium chloride (NaCl), has sodium as the base element in its chemical makeup.

Calcium chloride, on the other hand, has calcium as the base element in its chemical makeup, which makes it a non-sodium chloride de-icer.

Is calcium chloride safe?

When used according to the manufacturer instructions, calcium chloride is a safe and incredibly effective ice melt product.

That said, regardless of the type and brand, all chloride-based products present moderate corrosiveness to metals—even rock salt.

As the saying goes, too much of a good thing is not a good thing. So it’s important to note that overuse and overexposure of chloride-based products can cause environmental harm when used in large quantities or when it is over applied directly to lawns and other plants.

Does calcium chloride damage concrete?

Calcium chloride ice melt products, such as OxyChem Calcium Chloride Pellets, are not designed to cause damage to asphalt or concrete. In fact, concrete that is properly poured and cured should not be negatively affected by OxyChem calcium chloride.

If you are needing to de-ice concrete that is less than one year old, you should not use calcium chloride, as the expansion/contraction with freezing will cause damage.


Why you should consider calcium chloride ice melt for de-icing sidewalks, driveways, and roadways

If the information above hasn’t convinced you yet, then we hope to give it to you straight and simple here.

Top reasons why you should consider using calcium chloride for your de-icing needs:

  • Cost Effective: calcium chloride is cost-effective, as a middle-to-low cost option compared to other ice melt products on the market
  • Fast Acting: due to its chemical makeup and exothermic properties, calcium chloride pellets use surrounding moisture (e.g. water, snow, ice) to dissolve and, through that process, create substantial heat which melts ice much faster than other ice melt products
  • High Performance: with the exothermic properties of calcium chloride, it is more effective than other products at extremely low temperatures, being able to melt ice at temperatures as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit

Where to buy calcium chloride

Calcium chloride pellets can be found via many ice control suppliers, both in-store and online; however, for some of the best pricing, it’s recommended that snow plow and other contractors register as a Reinders customer online.

We recommend purchasing OxyChem Calcium Chloride Pellets online at Reinders.com, and selecting will call pickup or have it shipped directly to your location.