1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Sidewalk Salt Info

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by GTMN, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. GTMN

    GTMN Member
    Messages: 41

    Is there a good place to learn about sidewalk salt on this forum or is this a new start? I think not but I may be wrong...
    What are peoples thoughts on this article from meltsnow.com? I've always bought the more expensive salt based upon the so called merits... But obviously 1 or 2 percent CMA is not going to protect anything... Thanks Guys!

    In recent years, we’ve seen an explosion of boutique ice-melters that take low cost rock salt and mix small quantities of premium deicers in with them and then wrap them in a very fancy package. These blends are often 90 percent or more rock salt with a small percentage of a premium ingredient, such as CMA, MAG, or calcium chloride. Ingredients in those proportions make them about as effective as rock salt and they have the same characteristics. Frequently they are priced equal to premium deicers and are in very attractive packages. We use a general rule of thumb: the fancier the bag and label, the more rock salt there is in the product. Most if not all of these products do not disclose their ingredients and therein lies a multitude of problems. First, Federal and State Right to Know Laws require manufacturers to disclose their formula and ingredients in descending order of concentration. Most of these boutique deicers are very clever and take great steps to hide what they are really trying to sell. Companies are taking a $2 bag of rock salt and put it in a bag with very expensive graphics like puppies, babies, and evergreen trees on high quality color package, and then call it “green this” or “enviro that”. They are selling for 4-5 times their actual cost! Many of these packages are outright consumer fraud and no one at the government level seems to be interested in bringing truth in labeling to the ice melt market. It’s a virtual free-for-all as companies are producing fancy bags of salt with dye in it and selling it for 80-90% profit! We are frankly disgusted with some of the sleazy marketing that is being used.

    How do you avoid being burned by the “pig in lipstick”? You demand a certified analysis of ingredients in your deicer from your supplier. We provide these documents routinely on any and all products which we sell. We have nothing to hide and our belief is that if we educate our customers they will make the right decision which will benefit us. It’s part of the deal when you work with MeltSnow.com. We are not playing this game and we are trying to lead the charge against the lies in labels and encourage all of you to do the same. Demand to be given a written statement on the manufacturer’s letterhead of what they are selling to you. If their product is coated with peanut oil, they have a responsibility to tell you that in case someone walking over your deicer has a peanut allergy. If they are selling you rock salt dyed green, do you really think the green dye and lovely evergreen trees on the bag are worth the $7 per bag premium? PT Barnum step right up, we found one for you!

    This is ice melt. We are not shooting rockets off to the moon and there are no secrets. We sometimes hear people say “it’s a patented secret formula”. Say what? If it’s patented, then you are protected under the patent and the formula is listed for public viewing at the patent office. It’s a public document so why is it secret? It’s because they don’t want for you to realize that you are paying $8/bag for $2/bag rock salt with dye. The secret is you’re getting taking to the cleaners – not that you are getting the latest in chemical deicer technology.

    We don’t want to sound like we are down on blended deicers – we’re not. Most them work pretty well and frequently the right combinations of these products in the right amounts can form synergies that are very effective. If we add 8-10 gallons of liquid magnesium chloride or liquid calcium chloride to a ton rock salt and we can lower the working temperature another 10 degrees and use 30% less to do the same job. In practical terms, we are increasing the cost of that compound from $100/ton (just the salt) to $108-$110/ton. So we increased the cost of a 50 lb. bag by only $0.25, not by $7.00! ($10.00/2000 lbs x 50 lbs)

    Most of us can easily tell what we are getting by simply making a visual examination of the product. Does it look like its’ all white pellets or is it a granular material that looks like it’s mostly salt?

    As the old expression goes, if it walks on four legs, barks, wags it’s tail and looks like a dog – it’s probably a dog.