Impact of Salt and Ice Melt on Your Lawn | Dr. Green Lawn Care Services

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Impact of Salt and Ice Melt on Your Lawn

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Posted on: Jan 29, 2024Raunie

While this winter hasn’t been especially snowy or cold, it is still a perfect time to explore and learn about products that we use every day. With the ever-growing world of innovation, science, and technology, products are constantly changing, some for the better, and some maybe not… Today I want to explore the differences between regular everyday rock salt vs. the newer development of Ice melt. But with an added component of its effect on your lawn and other green spaces.

Effect on Lawns:

  • Salt: Can be harmful to lawns and plants if used excessively or if it accumulates in the soil over time. Rock salt can disrupt the balance of nutrients in the soil, leading to any surrounding grass appearing dry, or struggling. Additionally, salt runoff from treated surfaces can seep into the soil, potentially causing long-term damage to nearby vegetation.
  • Ice Melt: Some ice melt products are formulated to be less harmful to lawns vs. traditional rock salt. However, like everything we use moderation is key. Ice Melt can still have negative effects if overapplied or allowed to accumulate in the soil. When using ice melt near lawns or garden beds, it’s essential to follow application instructions carefully and avoid excessive use to minimize potential effects on the soil.


  • Salt: Commonly known as rock salt, is a natural mineral mined from underground deposits. This natural chemical lowers the freezing point of water, making it effective for melting ice on roads and sidewalks.
  • Ice Melt: Ice melt products can vary in composition but often contain a blend of natural and chemical components. These blends are formulated to melt ice at lower temperatures than pure rock salt and have a quicker response time.


  • Salt: Works effectively at temperatures above -9°C. It’s less effective at lower temperatures and might not be ideal for extremely cold conditions.
  • Ice Melt: Contains elements that work at lower temperatures, sometimes as low as -32°C depending on the specific blend. This makes it more effective than rock salt in very cold conditions.

Speed of Action:

  • Salt: Generally takes longer to melt ice compared to ice melt products, especially in colder temperatures.
  • Ice Melt: Often works more quickly due to its composition, melting ice and snow faster even at lower temperatures. One of the advantages of Ice Melt is you end up using less product overall because it works more rapidly and in colder conditions.

Considering these factors, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of salt and ice melt when selecting a de-icing product. Understanding their differences and their potential effects on lawns and the environment can help homeowners and property managers make informed decisions to keep their outdoor spaces safe while minimizing harm to vegetation and surrounding ecosystems. No matter which product you choose, it’s always best to apply topsoil along any driveways or areas where there are snow piles each Spring. This will help any plants, or grass maintain a natural soil balance and promote healthy growth.