5 popular myths about snow and ice removal

Knowing the truth about de-icers, salt and other methods of snow and ice mitigation will helpt to set reasonable expectations from product application as well as keep everyone safe this winter. We've gathered and debunked the 5 most popular myths about snow and ice removal.


Myth: Chemical de-icers will melt snow, so I won’t have to shovel it.

Fact: Keep that shovel handy, because de-icers only do a couple of things:

  • Make sure you read the instructions, because de-icers only work at certain temperatures
  • It doesn’t melt the ice, but makes ice release its grip on the pavement
  • Once the ice has hold of the pavement, de-icers can’t help much
  • Chemical de-icers are aids only, not the solution to the problem.

Myth: More de-icer is better.

Fact: Too much de-icer makes slush, which is dangerous too.

If you use more de-icer on the parking lot or sidewalk in front of your store or office, (a) it won’t loosen already frozen ice, and (b) it makes a slushy goop that is just as dangerous to your customers and clients as an icy walkway. The best way to handle ice is to treat surfaces before it forms. If it beats you to the punch, shovel up the slush and keep sidewalks clean.


Myth: Using hot water to melt ice is a better idea for the environment.

Fact: It might be better for the environment, but the real winner is the lawyers of the people who slip on the black ice you create.

Hot water will eventually refreeze, often times causing invisible black ice. Now you’ve created a mess that will leave you wide open to lawsuits. Mother nature didn’t create that black ice, you did. Your customers run the risk of a slip and fall accident due to a very bad idea. Stick to the chemicals or let the pros manage your ice for the best results. Just remember, more de-icer is not better.


Myth Sand, kitty litter, and ash melt snow and are more eco-friendly.

Fact: These items only help with traction on ice, they do not melt snow like a de-icer.

They can actually cause their own set of environmental problems.


Myth: Snow and ice removal should be done at night when the parking lot is empty.

Fact: No, it’s best to remove snow and ice as it’s happening.

If snow is falling at night, then yes, please remove it then and thank the Lord it fell when the lot was empty for a quicker clean up. However, don’t wait until a lot is empty to plow. Snow should be removed just after it falls to prevent it compacting and freezing over. Additionally, if the sun shines after the storm, it will help to melt whatever snow is left clinging to the parking lot and walkways

Ice management is actually most effective before it forms. And remember – Ice melting chemicals only work at certain temperatures. Chicago winter nights might be too cold for de-icers to work if you wait until lots are empty.


Please note: De-icers are hard on water supplies which animals and birds may rely on. Keep that in mind before you shovel snow out of your parking lot and into storm drains leading into the water supply.


When you speak with your local Russo Ice Melt Representative, you will only get the facts. They can help you find the right de-icer that best suits your needs. For more on our ice melt, check out the Russo Salt Supply page.



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