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kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: wurm
Date: February 14, 2024 09:54AM
Poll
What's your favorite method for dealing with icey walkways and driveways?
Only registered users are allowed to vote for this poll.
21 votes were received.
sand 7
 
33%
kitty litter 1
 
5%
ice-melt/rock salt 13
 
62%



Who needs google when we have each other?

Cleanup after yesterday's bust of a storm presented my wife and me with the question of which to use to prevent us falling on our butts in the driveway. My wife asked me to throw some sand out there, but I had an opened box of kitty litter from last year, so I used that. We stopped using ice-melt type stuff after we got our dog, but she's been gone for a couple of years now, so I guess that could be an option.

So what do you folks use? Those in the warmer climes should not feel the need to rub it in.


- just realized a quirk to the forum polling option. I can't fix the typo in the poll question. (icy rather than icey)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2024 09:59AM by wurm.
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Re: kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: February 14, 2024 09:58AM
I always use salt. The county here uses a salt/sand mixture that seems to work well.



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Re: kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: rgG
Date: February 14, 2024 09:59AM
Those in the warmer climes should not feel the need to rub it in.

But, where is the fun in that? grinning smiley
You can gloat when it is 98º and 100% relative humidity here, which will be sooner than I like to think about.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: February 14, 2024 10:05AM
It depends upon what you're goal is. Sand/Kitty Litter work about the same for traction, but they leave dirt/grit behind. Litter/Sand can also decrease the albedo thereby increasing the amount of solar energy absorbed from the sun. This can somewhat help melt snow/ice faster during the day. Salt will melt the ice/snow and leave a wet surface that can refreeze later. Salt breaks down the concrete, sand/litter doesn't damage concrete. Salt kills grass/plants adjacent to surface, sand/litter does little if anything to plants. Salt will only work to melt ice down to a temperature of -6°. Beyond that temp salt/sand/litter all work the same as a traction device.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2024 10:25AM by ztirffritz.
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Re: kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: mattkime
Date: February 14, 2024 10:07AM
It depends. Around here we try to limit our salt usage to protect our lakes.

I guess I'd use sand over kitty litter.

---

As long as you don't do the all too common NYC method of dealing with snow - hoping you've dumped enough bags of salt that it will all just melt.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2024 10:44AM by mattkime.
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Re: kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: wurm
Date: February 14, 2024 10:24AM
Thanks for your thoughts.

Salt will melt the ice/snow and leave a wet surface that can refreeze later.

This is another one of the reasons we stopped using salt.

Both sand and kitty litter can be tracked back into the house, but sand seems to be the consensus based on a lot of what I've been reading. Bonus that it's also usually the cheapest.
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Re: kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: Schpark
Date: February 14, 2024 10:36AM
I never use anything on snow, I shovel it. Use salt on ice, especially the thick stuff to soften it up, then chop and shovel the ice away. Doing it like this I have never had it refreeze.
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Re: kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: Speedy
Date: February 14, 2024 11:29AM
I let the sun do the job.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: Acer
Date: February 14, 2024 11:49AM
Clay kitty litter can get slippy if it's wet.

We avoid needing traction/melt material by clearing snow ASAP and busting ice where we can. Then it's sand if needed, but not often. I have ice melt for a quick clean fix on the steps to the front door, but i think I have the same container I bought ten years ago.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2024 11:50AM by Acer.
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Re: kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: February 14, 2024 12:44PM
No love for a heated driveway mat?



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Re: kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: sekker
Date: February 14, 2024 02:07PM
Pet-friendly salt mixes are how we lived in MN for over 25 years.

As we got older, making sure our sidewalks were clear was ever more important to us.
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Re: kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: freeradical
Date: February 14, 2024 02:27PM
Kitty litter ain't cheap, just saying...
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Re: kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: Altered Horizons
Date: February 14, 2024 04:27PM
I use ash from the fireplace. Excellent traction.



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Re: kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: February 14, 2024 06:04PM
Salt is good. Sand is good. Kitty litter becomes a clay mess.
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Re: kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: February 14, 2024 06:29PM
Cheap sand mixed with about 10% snow melt.



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Re: kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: February 15, 2024 09:28AM
painter's canvas tarp on the brick steps, sand if necessary on the concrete sidewalk below.

because I've had to pay out-of-pocket to replace sections after the concrete was chemically damaged.

even by those ice melt chemicals that were claimed to be safe for concrete right there on the bag.
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Re: kitty litter vs sand vs ice melt
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: February 15, 2024 12:28PM
I guess that a propane torch is out of the question.
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