Best Ice Melting Solutions for Asphalt Driveways

Brad Smith
Written By Brad Smith

Key Takeaways

  • Heated Driveway Systems are the best way to melt ice on Asphalt Driveways.
  • Rock Salt (Sodium Chloride) is one of the most cost-effective and versatile ice melts for asphalt driveways.
  • Calcium Chloride is one of the most popular ice melt agents on the market because it can perform in as low as -25 degrees F and is fast acting.
best ice melting solutions for asphalt driveways

Best Ice Melting Solution For an Asphalt Driveway

Heated Driveway Systems

Heated driveway systems stand out as the superior solution for melting ice on asphalt driveways. Unlike traditional methods such as rock salt or calcium chloride, these systems offer a range of unparalleled benefits:

  1. Environmentally Friendly: They do not involve the use of chemicals like calcium chloride or rock salt, which can be harmful to the local flora and fauna.
  2. Pet Friendly: Pets are safe from the harmful effects of ingesting or walking on chemical ice melts.
  3. Prevent Ice Build-Up: By maintaining a consistent temperature, these systems prevent ice from forming in the first place.
  4. Time and Labor Saving: They eliminate the need for manual snow removal or spreading ice melts, saving significant time and effort.
  5. Safety: By reducing the need for manual gritting, these systems lower the risk of accidents and falls due to slippery surfaces.

Additionally, a heated driveway installation is a long-term investment in property value, offering convenience and safety during winter months.

Pros of Heated Driveways:

  • No Shoveling Required: These systems eliminate the need for manual snow removal.
  • Reduced Damage to Driveway: Avoiding the use of ice-melt chemicals and rock salt prevents deterioration of driveway surfaces.
  • Environmental and Pet Safety: Heated driveways don’t require chemicals that can harm plants, pets, or local wildlife.
  • Increased Property Value: They can potentially increase the market value of your home.
  • Safety and Convenience: Reduces the risk of accidents on icy surfaces and provides peace of mind.

Cons of Heated Driveways:

  • Installation Cost: The initial installation can be expensive, ranging from $13,000 to $16,000 or more, depending on the driveway’s size.
  • Operational Costs: Increased utility bills due to the use of electricity or gas for operation.
  • Complexity and Maintenance: These systems can be complex and may require professional installation and maintenance.
  • Limited Area of Effect: They won’t melt snow and ice on steps or walkways unless those areas are also heated.
  • Potential Repair Costs: If the system malfunctions, repairs might involve significant driveway work.

Safe Step Rock Salt Ice Melter

This product is a traditional rock salt ice melter, known for its widespread use and effectiveness.


  • Cost-Effective: It’s among the most economical options available.
  • High Availability: Easily found in many stores and online.
  • Efficiency: Melts ice effectively down to 5°F (-15°C).


  • Environmental Impact: Can be harmful to plants and pets.
  • Corrosive: May accelerate wear on concrete and metal surfaces.
  • Residue: Leaves a white powdery residue that can be tracked indoors.

Price: Prices vary, but it’s generally affordable. For example, at Walmart, a 25 lb bag is priced around $52.20, though there are variations in price and package size at different retailers​​.

Green Gobbler Pet Safe Ice Melt

A pet and plant-safe ice melt solution, focusing on environmental friendliness.


  • Eco-Friendly: Less harmful to vegetation and pets.
  • Effective in Moderate Cold: Works well in typical winter temperatures.
  • Safe on Surfaces: Less corrosive to concrete and metal.


  • Price: Slightly more expensive due to its specialized formula.
  • Effectiveness in Extreme Cold: May not work as well in very low temperatures.
  • Availability: Might not be as readily available as traditional options.

Price: The Green Gobbler Pet Safe Ice Melt is available in different quantities and prices with a 15 lbs Pail being priced at $42.99.

Snow Joe Melt-2-Go

It’s an anti-corrosion formula known for working in extreme temperatures and its rapid melting action.


  • Highly Effective: Melts ice quickly, even in severe cold.
  • Versatile: Can be used on various surfaces.
  • Quantity: Available in large quantities for extensive use.


  • Cost: Can be more expensive than basic rock salt.
  • Corrosion: May be more corrosive than eco-friendly options.
  • Storage: Requires proper storage to maintain efficacy..

Price: The price of Snow Joe Melt-2-Go ice melt varies depending on the quantity. A 25 lbs Bag is usually priced at around $19.99.

Safe Paw Salt-Free Ice Melt

A non-toxic, chloride-free ice melt, focusing on safety for pets and the environment.


  • Pet and Plant Safe: Non-toxic formulation is safe around animals and plants.
  • Non-Corrosive: Does not damage concrete or metal surfaces.
  • Residue-Free: Leaves no harmful or unsightly residue.


  • Price: Higher due to its specialized formulation.
  • Application Rate: Might require more product for the same effect.
  • Temperature Limitations: May not work as effectively in extreme cold.

Price: The Safe Paw Salt-Free Ice Melt is available in an 8.3 lb jug and is normally priced at $24.95.

Harris Kind Melt Pet Friendly Ice Melt

Designed with a focus on pet safety, this ice melt is effective and environmentally friendly.


  • Pet-Friendly: Safe for pets to walk on.
  • Eco-Friendly: Less harmful to plants and surrounding wildlife.
  • Effective Melting: Works efficiently in a range of temperatures.


  • Cost: More expensive than traditional rock salts.
  • Limited Extreme Cold Efficiency: May not work as well in very low temperatures.
  • Availability: Not as widely available as some other options.

Price: Harris Kind Melt Pet Friendly Ice Melt is available in a 15 lbs Pail normally priced at $34.99.

How to Choose the Right Ice Melt for Your Asphalt Driveway

Choosing the right ice melt for your asphalt driveway involves considering various factors such as cost, environmental impact, pet safety, and effectiveness in different temperatures. Here’s a detailed guide to help you make an informed decision:

1. Assess the Environmental Impact

  • Chemical Composition: Some ice melts contain chemicals that can harm plants and contaminate water sources. Look for eco-friendly options, like those with natural ingredients.
  • Runoff Concerns: Consider how the ice melt will affect your local ecosystem. Some products can cause damage to nearby vegetation or pose risks to local wildlife and pets.

2. Consider Pet Safety

  • Non-Toxic Ingredients: If you have pets, opt for pet-safe ice melts. These products are formulated to be non-toxic and safe for animals if they come into contact with them.
  • Paw Protection: Some ice melts can cause irritation or burns on pets’ paws. Look for products that are gentle on pet paws.

3. Evaluate Cost vs. Efficiency

  • Initial Cost: While heated driveway systems offer the best overall solution, they come with a higher initial cost. Evaluate if the investment aligns with your budget.
  • Long-Term Savings: A heated driveway system can be cost-effective in the long run by reducing the need for repeated purchases of ice melt products.
  • Effectiveness in Your Climate: Choose an ice melt that works efficiently in the temperature range of your area. For example, calcium chloride is effective in extremely low temperatures.

4. Understand the Impact on Your Driveway

  • Concrete Safety: Some ice melts can be corrosive to concrete over time. If your driveway has concrete elements, choose a product that is labeled as safe for concrete.
  • Asphalt Preservation: For asphalt driveways, avoid products that can degrade asphalt over time. Certain chemicals can cause asphalt to become brittle and crack.

5. Look at Ease of Application and Storage

  • Application Method: Consider how the product is applied. Some require special spreaders, while others can be spread by hand.
  • Storage Requirements: Check if the product needs special storage conditions to maintain its efficacy, especially if you’re buying in bulk.

6. Read Product Reviews and Recommendations

  • User Feedback: Look for reviews from other consumers, especially those in a similar climate and with similar driveway types.
  • Expert Opinions: Seek advice from professionals in snow removal or home maintenance for recommendations on the best products for your specific needs.


Is magnesium chloride safe for asphalt?

Yes, magnesium chloride is generally safe for asphalt and is less corrosive than other options like rock salt.

What are some home remedies for melting ice on driveways?

Common home remedies include using sand for traction, beet juice mixed with salt for a less corrosive solution, or even alfalfa meal as a natural, eco-friendly ice melt.

Can ice melts damage concrete driveways?

Some ice melts, especially those with high chloride content, can damage concrete driveways over time. It’s important to choose products labeled as safe for concrete.


The best ice melting solutions for an asphalt driveway depends on various factors including environmental impact, pet safety, cost, and temperature effectiveness. 

While heated driveway systems offer the most comprehensive solution, various ice melts available in the market cater to different needs and budgets. 

It’s essential to consider the specific requirements of your driveway and locality when choosing an ice melt.

Remember, the key is to find a balance between effectiveness, safety, and environmental responsibility.

smith brad omni

Written by Brad Smith

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.