You’d think that melting ice is easy, but when it is the middle of the winter season and temperatures are cold…melting ice can be a whole ordeal, not to mention that it can take a huge amount of time.
And you might be wondering, why would I want to melt ice in winter? Well, maybe you need to melt the ice blocking a door, or a window, or your car, or the driveway.
There are many situations and circumstances in which ice is something you want to get rid of, and the best way to get rid of ice is by melting it.
Surprisingly, one of the best and fastest ways of melting ice is to use salt on it. But the thing is, there are many different types of salt that you can use.
It’s quite popular for people to use pool salt when it comes to melting ice. But can pool salt really be used to melt ice? Does it actually work? And how?
We can answer all these questions, and more. So let’s get right into it!
What is pool salt?
Before we address the main question of whether pool salt can be used to melt ice or not, we thought we’d start by clarifying exactly what pool salt is, as many people will not be familiar with it.
Pool salt is essentially just table salt, but in a different form. It is usually standard NaCl, known as sodium chloride.
Pool salt is used by being added to a pool, where it then begins to break down and dissolve, into sodium ions and chlorine ions.
So basically, it is used in the same way chlorine chemicals would, but the pool salt is a lot better, as it does not cause any eye or skin irritation to swimmers, and it is not toxic.
Plus, using pool salt turns a pool into a saltwater pool, which many people prefer as it can be a lot better to swim in, has more benefits regarding people’s health, and as we mentioned, no irritation or problems like that!
It is more expensive to start with, but then it becomes a lot easier to maintain over time. So overall, it is usually considered a win-win.
But basically, pool salt is just a type of normal salt, very much like table salt but sold in a different form. Now we can go back to melting ice.
Can pool salt be used to melt ice?
The answer to this is yes! Pool salt is very similar to any other salt, and it can therefore also be used to melt ice, even though it is described as being designed for use in pools.
In fact, many people use pool salt to melt the ice in their driveway, without even having a pool. So there’s plenty of proof of pool salt being effective, and being usable by anyone regardless of pool status.
Besides, pool salt can actually be one of the more environmentally friendly options when it comes to salt products designed for melting ice, so it is a great option for the situation at hand, and will absolutely work just fine.
How does salt melt ice?
If you’re wondering exactly how salt melts ice, then wonder no more, because we have the answer for you. (We know it can be quite surprising or confusing!)
Basically, a solution of water and dissolved salt has a lower freezing point than pure water. So when you add salt to water, the salt dissolves in the top layer surface of the ice, and lowers its freezing point, so that it begins to melt.
As it melts, the salt dissolves with the next layer of ice, lowering the freezing point and melting it, and so on.
So it is sort of like a chain reaction of the salt mixing with the ice, lowering the freezing point, and causing it to therefore melt. And the more salt there is, the quicker the ice will melt, because the lower the freezing point will be.
However, there is a limit to the freezing point salt can achieve. So no matter how much salt you use, the freezing point will not budge above zero degrees Fahrenheit. So if the temperature outside is below this, then the salt will not be able to help you melt it.
Pool salt does exactly this. When you sprinkle a good amount of it onto a block of ice, such as ice on the road or on a doorstep, the salt dissolves into the top layer of the ice. It lowers the freezing point, melts that layer of ice, and moves on to the next layer.
The salt essentially makes its way through the ice, melting it. And yes, the more salt you use, the faster the ice will melt. (Except for when it is below zero degrees Fahrenheit, as we have already mentioned).
This is why pool salt can be very effective for melting ice, and it is far more environmentally friendly than using other products with chemical products in them!
Pool salt is a type of salt, similar to table salt and others. It can indeed be used to melt ice, in the same way that most types of salt can be used to melt ice.
This is because the salt, in this case the pool salt, dissolves into the ice and lowers the freezing point, causing the ice to melt progressively, at quite a fast rate.
It is faster than other methods, and also more environmentally friendly. Plus, if you do happen to have a pool, it means you can use it in both winter and summer!