Finding The Best Deicer

SPOKANE — With the cold weather causing many streets to ice over, local hardware stores reporting a record amount of deicer sales over the past few months.

Many stores in the Inland Northwest are having trouble keeping deicer on their shelves. At the General Store in north Spokane, employees say that it has been a record year for ice melter sales.

One major reason for this high amount of sales is that the deicer melts during the day, but with all of the recent cold weather, the ice re-freezes overnight. This is causing people to buy more deicer, and stores struggling to keep up with demand.

“We have literally sold tons and tons of ice melt,” Nick Fjellstrom of the General Store said. “This year, we’ve had snow as much. I think it’s the most we’ve had in five years. We’ve had a lot of snow this year.

Fjellstrom says there are differences in ice-melters and customers should know a little bit about what they are buying before making a final purchase.

Some are more expensive than others, and some are created solely to melt ice. There are also some cheaper alternatives like fertilizer and rock salt, but there may be some side effects with these two.

In a recent test of ice melting products, we actually purchased several different types of deicers to determine if there were any abnormalities between them.

One was pet safe, two were similar but vary a little bit in ingredients, and one was rock salt. We put each of them on a slab of ice in the KXLY parking lot and let it sit for about a half an hour.

Once the time was up, we found that the mid-level price range products seemed to work the best at cutting through the ice. The cheaper product, the rock salt, was also effective, but customers should be aware that it can also do some long-term damage to roadways.