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Can someone please explain to me just what exactly is.......

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Andy N., Jan 11, 2003.

  1. Andy N.

    Andy N. Senior Member
    Messages: 236

    Magic Salt. It seems to be the end all be all to you guys. No one in my area is using it and I want to know exactly what it is used for, how you apply it, where I can get it, etc. etc. etc. Give me all the details, the positives and negatives, field experience with it and such. Thanks.
  2. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    If you do a search for it , you can read all the articles and posts on Magic Salt.

    I use it and it works great
  3. chris k

    chris k Senior Member
    Messages: 204

    I don't personaly use the product on lots. I have started to use it on the walks though. A friend of mine in the business uses it for everything and swears by it. Last week we had an inch or so every morning. All he did was apply the magic salt and hislots were pavement, no scraping at all. He says you can just watch the snow and ice melt.
    The ony problem I see is that it works so well that you are making less applications. This is great if you have a season contract where you get paid snow or no snow (which he does). My accounts are all on a per application basis. Yah I could charge more for the magic salt but I feel I would still be losing money.
    As for what it is. From what I gather it is nothing more than salt with "Magic-O" sprayed on it.
    Hope this helps a little.
  4. Andy N.

    Andy N. Senior Member
    Messages: 236

    Magic O eh? How does he apply it, where does he get it. Does it work better in colder temps. It is near 10 here now and takes an assload of salt to melt a little. I have to scrape the 1/2inch off my clients to get a good melt.
  5. ceaman

    ceaman Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    It is a treated salt.
    It can be purchaced in bags or liquid can be used to treat your bulk pile.

    It is a liquid corn byproduct mixed with liquid magnesuim chloride. Dark in apperance with a slight odor. It lowers the operating temperature of the salt, and reduces its corrosiveness. This allows you to use less product and achive the same or better results.

    There are several products (Magic, Caliber, Ice ban, Geomelt) that can be used to achive similar results. Some of these products can be applied directly to surfaces to de-ice or anti-ice in liquid form. Each has its different charictaristics. Some are more popular in areas because of thier availibility and price. Magic is very popular in the northeast for some of these reasons.

    I am sure that Innovative or John Parker will respond to you as well
  6. Lawn Lad

    Lawn Lad Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    Magic salt is a good product in my opinion, but it has it's place. I don't think it's a end all solution, or at least in bags it's not. We have found that it takes about the same initial quanity of Magic to regular salt (above 20 F) to get the desired effect. If I'm applying 150 lbs to a smaller lot, that's three bags of Magic versus 2 80 lbs of salt. $8 for salt versus $20 or $30 for Magic. So it's at least twice the cost if not three times or more.

    Yes, Magic does work at lower temps, it starts melting snow/ice faster than regular salt, it has a residual effect and it's non corrosive. For these reasons we use it. We use it on all of our sidewalks and some of our parking lots.

    Once we start using bulk I'll try using the liquid to treat our piles and then I'll see if the cost is justifiable. Adding another $20 cost per ton (not including labor to mix the pile or store the product) to the salt when using bulk is certainly different than the cost using bags. So it just may be worth using bulk Magic only, but I don't know yet.

    It's worth trying at least and seeing for yourself if it makes a difference.
  7. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I've used it to:

    1. Melt ice from wooden steps

    2. Pretreat deck and steps to melt snow (have melted up to a 4" snowfall. Residual effect keeps ice from forming during subsequent snow falls.

    3. Melt packed snow and ice from grass covered driveway

    4. Melt ice from asphalt gas station driveway

    5. Melt ice and packed snow from brick steps today that hadn't been scooped all winter. This was for a customer I just got so the movers could get her stuff in. I laid it directly on ice build up of 1/2 inch. Within two minutes they had traction to move in the furniture.

    6. Melt packed snow and ice on hardpack (gravel and dirt)

    7. Put around the tires to get unstuck - three times so far. Each time it worked within seconds.
  8. Rooster

    Rooster Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 650

    From plowking35 aka: Dino here on plowsite, his web site:
    http://www.thehousedoktor.com/Magic Salt.htm

    Also a sponsor on Plowsite.com

    What is Magic Salt™ ?

    Magic Salt™ is regular rock salt that has been treated with Magic Minus Zero™. This liquid is a de-icing product which is recycled from agricultural processing industries and then blended with liquid magnesium chloride. Together they are completely biodegradable and environmentally friendly.

    When added to salt, the liquid suppresses salt’s corrosive nature to steel and concrete. At the same time, this unique product's color is more visible than salt and will inhibit salt’s messy residue.

    Thaks Dino!

  9. Taconic

    Taconic PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 180

    Andy you can call Winter Weather Services in Derry PA .They are also in Latrobe PA.They can supply you with both bagged and liquid Magic products and answer any qustions you may have about it.There is 1 major difference between magic and the other quote agricutural byproduct ice melters and its distilled solubles Magic is not corn based.I do not have Winter Weather Services number handy but just call information.
    John Parker
    Taconic Maintenance Inc
  10. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    They have a website as well...
  11. ceaman

    ceaman Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    I am sorry I thought it was corn based... my mistake.
    (sorry John)
  12. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    Lawn Lad,
    I am surprised to read your post. I wonder what is different about your situation than others. I have found that those 150# lots only required around 100# of Magic to get better results than rock salt, and that is with using bagged material. I could probably even use less, but as I have posted before here, I go with a guaranteed amount because I don't usually have a chance to monitor the accounts in a timely manner to make sure that a lighter app worked. So for better results, a better residual effect for future needs, & less corrosion of my equipment & trucks; the $23.00 of Magic required for that lot vs the $13.00 of rock salt seems worth it to me. I think maybe you are using more of it than you need to because it doesn't really look different when applied vs applying rock salt (in fact because of the larger particle size, it seems as if you may be putting down a whole lot less than a normal rock salt app, because you are not covering the lots as thick as a rock salt app). It certainly doesn't look like using 2/3 of what would normally be put down could magically work as well, but when you come back to the lot a 1\2 hour later, you will see the difference. When I first tried Magic we used a w\b fert spreader to do 3 swaths in one of our closed lots in the middle of the night. 1 rock salt, 1 Magic equal amount to rock salt & one with Magic 2\3 rate of rock salt - side by side. A half hour later we came back (it was still snowing during this event) and the equal amount of Magic was definitely overkill, black & wet in heavy snow; the 2\3 rate was perfect as far as the snow wasn't melted completely, but it wasn't icy\slippery under it; which was better than the straight rock salt section, which was snow covered but not slippery\ icy under it. :confused:
  13. Brian Akehurst

    Brian Akehurst Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    All I can say is if you have not tried MAGIC ... you need to.
    You won't understand what MAGIC is until you try it out for yourself. Use it on the same property you use straight salt. Magic will keep the surface from refreezing.


  14. Lawn Lad

    Lawn Lad Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    BRL - thanks for your comments. I may be over applying, there is no doubt. In the similar situation as you in that I don't always have a chance to make it back around to see the sites an hour later. My other problem being that I have the salt truck routed to begin 2 to 3 hours after plowing begins so the salter has properties to hit. It takes about 2.5 hrs for the salt route, so he wraps up around 6:00 or 6:30 am. Doesn't give us much time to wait for melting and then reapply if necessary. Now this of course a nice ideal evening storm with the night time clean up and no more flurries during the night or morning rush hour. I have not been able to tell the difference during the day time storms when we're salting aisles, and I am impatient and will not wait during the day time storms. I tend to apply more material during the daytime storms to keep things slushy. And apply generously at night to make sure we don't have to go back around and reapply at my cost with a second application because we put it on too light.

    I'll have to try your experiment. I have the perfect lot in mind to do it in too. Thanks again for your suggestion.
  15. Comet

    Comet Senior Member
    Messages: 160

    Andy N,
    Magic is really a great product. You are left with a clean, neat, blacktop apperance, snow/ice free and clean!!.
    Its my 1st year using it, (bagged that is)
    John I will be up for more if things go well
    I have been comparing a small industrial lot Im using it on thats surrounded by other industrial lots that are having saltsand applications applied same events.

    What a clean differance it makes, its wonderful, I have to go with the bagged for now, I dont mind
    It continued to work I seen 48 hour later still
  16. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    Ok...I just had a call from a potential customer. She's concerned about de-icers in general. She has *little* little kids, and I guess she's worried that something will get tracked into the house and one of the kids will eat some of it. (No, I am not making this up.) She's of course heard that salt is bad for your concrete, although I was able to convince her that rock salt is the same chemical as table salt. As far as the chemical properties of calcium, I know it's another in the chloride family, but I was not sure what to say about whether one of the kids ate some. The same question with Magic--what if one of the kids eats some? (No, I AM NOT making this up.) :confused:
  17. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Digger242J, I tell people they could eat Magic Salt without any harmful effect. It only makes sense since eating rock salt is not overly harmful and the Magic -0 that it's treated with is not corrosive.

    That, and that the corrosiveness is greatly reduced, is enough to overcome practically any skepticism. As far as corrosive - on the brochure it says that "Magic -0 liquid is less corrosive than distilled water".

    However, I wouldn't recommend a plateful of Magic Salt for supper tonight.
  18. ceaman

    ceaman Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    it tastes salty... I wouldnt eat it...:p
  19. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    I found this link a while back off the SIMA Links page.


    It has a bit more info on Magnesium Chloride in general.

    Magic -0 is an organic, non-toxic compound. Digger, go to www.magicsalt.com, and printout the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for it. You can give it to the customer to quell her fears.

  20. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Digger, as far as eating Calcium Chloride, I know people who will get burns on their skin from handling it without gloves, so I can only imagine what would happen if a young child ingested some.:(