Besides overuse, the biggest mistake most ice melt customers make is buying products that are not ideal for their specific ice melting needs. There are a variety of ice melters on the market today. There’s sodium chloride also known as rock salt, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, urea, triple melts and blends. When choosing ice melt, it’s important to know that each product has its own unique melting temperature. For instance, the two most commonly used and inexpensive materials are rock salt and calcium chloride. Both melt ice over the broadest temperature range and are the only materials that are effective below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Rock salt will work down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit and calcium chloride to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, but both are considered very corrosive and can damage surrounding vegetation. Urea and potassium chloride are less corrosive ice melting agents, but are more expensive and are only effective down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Urea, a fertilizer, also is considered the least effective, as large amounts are required to melt ice. Urea also has the potential to pollute surface and ground water. So, the next time you purchase ice melt, make sure you choose a product geared specifically to the weather conditions and temperatures in your area.