DIY Ice Melt: 8 Cheap Alternatives To Store-Bought Salt

diy ice melt

In the bitter cold of winter, it's nearly impossible to go outside without discovering piles of melting snow and ice. This accumulation can damage property and put our safety at risk

Most homeowners typically use salt to melt ice on the sidewalk. However, DIY ice melt is a cheaper alternative that can make a big difference in the amount of time it takes to get the ice off your walk.

In this post, I'll highlight the cheap DIY ice melt alternative to store-bought salt options out there. 

Let's dive right in. 

8 Cheap Ice Melt DIY Options 

The truth is, there are many cheap DIY ice melt options out there. But all of them are not created equal. 

Here we look at some common ice melt options for your car, walkways, and driveways.

1. Water and Vinegar Ice Melt

To make DIY ice melt, you can mix one part gallon with three parts vinegar. Shake well before using the mixture, and then spray it onto the icy areas. The ice will gradually melt away, so you shouldn't worry about using too much. 

You can also use the solution on your windshield and vehicle's wheels.

2. Baking Soda Ice Melt

Similar to salt, baking soda lowers the freezing point of water. It works best in moderately cold weather. 

To use baking soda, mix it with hot water and then spray the mixture on the ice. It's not as harsh as salt, and it won't damage bricks and concrete, so it's a good choice for a cheap alternative to store-bought salt.

So, if you're worried about the environmental impact of salt, baking soda is among the best ice melt solutions. 

It's a great way to keep your driveway and walkways clear of ice.

3. Fertilizer Ice Melt

Fertilizers are another inexpensive alternative. Most fertilizers contain ammonium sulfate, which speeds up the melting process. 

However, unlike salt, these ingredients will end up in your sewer, so make sure to mix correctly before applying them to a snowy area. 

If you're worried about damaging your car's paint or flooring, consider mixing two tablespoons of baking soda with water and spraying it on the ice.

4. Rock Salt And Water Ice Melt

Rock salt and water make a reliable homemade de-icer. To make your rock and salt ice melt, combine rock salt and water. Then, let it stand overnight. 

You should see the salt dissolve and start sprinkling it on the icy surface. By alternating the two methods, you can create a homemade ice melt that's effective and inexpensive at the same time. 

5. Warm Water, Dishwashing Soap, And Alcohol

You can also make your ice melt with three simple ingredients:

  • A one-half gallon of hot water
  • Six drops of dish soap
  • Two ounces of rubbing alcohol 

The three-ingredient mixture is perfect for melting ice from your car, as it will not damage your car or driveway. 

You can mix the solution and pour it into a spray bottle. The mixture will instantly dissolve ice on your car's ice.

Just make sure to mix it with something that adds friction, such as sand or kitty litter.

6. Wood Ash Ice Melt

You can also make your own DIY ice melt using wood ash.

You can mix one part of wood ash with a gallon of water and let it sit overnight. Then pour the mixture into another bucket and add two cups of white vinegar. 

After that, you can spray it on the snow and watch it melt. You can use this mix to de-ice sidewalks and other areas.

7. Isopropyl Alcohol DIY Ice Melt

Isopropyl alcohol is a common de-icer. It is useful for various purposes, including melting ice on the car windshield and driveway. 

Isopropyl alcohol has a low freezing point, making it safe to use on many surfaces. It is a non-toxic substance that is safe for pets and children and, therefore, you can keep it near entrances for easy access.

8. White Vinegar Wood Ash And Water Ice Melt

Whether snow on the driveway or ice on your car windshield, a mixture of white vinegar, wood ash, and water is a quick fix to melt the ice and snow. 

The acidity of vinegar prevents the ice from forming. But be careful! Never use vinegar on a damaged or cracked windshield, as it can damage the glass. You can use dawn dish soap instead of vinegar if it is safe for your plants.

Wood ash and water are easy to make and have a great flavor. 

  1. First, you'll need a gallon bucket. You'll also need a spray bottle. The solution should sit overnight so that you can squirt it onto frozen surfaces. This will help to melt ice quickly.
  2. You'll need to mix it with one gallon of water to use wood ash. After mixing it, let it sit overnight. Next, pour the wood ash-water mixture into a separate bucket. 
  3. You'll need 2 cups of white vinegar for this solution. After the ice melts, simply spray it on the sidewalk or car window. It will not only melt the ice but will also prevent new snow from forming.

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