It’s clear that customers are embracing “green” cleaning products and systems overall, yet distributors say green ice melt can be a hard sell to customers.

In addition to acknowledging green ice melts’ higher price tags, some customers just don’t believe the product is effective, says Charles Moody, president at Solutex Inc., in Sterling, Va.

“There are still some perceptions that ‘green’ doesn’t work,” says Moody. “It is very effective. You just have to educate your customers on the facts, and on the melting points.”

Certified green ice melt blends that are made with calcium chloride and magnesium chloride actually have lower ice melting points than rock salt alone. Because these elements also draw in moisture more quickly than sodium chloride (which creates the chemical reaction needed to melt ice), it also melts the ice faster.

Though it depends on the specific ice melt blend, green ice melting points vary from about 0 degrees Fahrenheit to below minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Contrarily, rock salt begins to lose its effectiveness at temperatures under 15 degrees Fahrenheit. 

End users should look beyond what is printed on the bag and read the information contained on the SDS sheet to gauge melting points and ingredient lists, says Moody. They should also make sure to follow the appropriate instructions for application.

In the end, choosing an eco-friendly ice melt is better for the environment, and may provide a boost in sales.

“It’s been great for us because it’s just one more selling point,” Moody says. 

As the overall demand for green products grows distributors expect green ice melt to catch on, as well.

“The demand for green products is growing and green ice melt is growing at the same pace,” says Moody. “Ice melt is just like any other green product; it can fall into [problems] where the words ‘green, pet-safe, eco-’ can be misleading. It’s a non-regulated product so there isn’t as much scrutiny.”

“That’s why a third-party certification is so important,” he adds. 

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EPA Only Third-Party To Offer Green Ice Melt Certification