Stay on Your Feet: Keep Sidewalks, Stairs and Driveways Ice-Free

The winter ice is back.  You are slipping and sliding on the driveway, sidewalk, and the stairs too.  Had enough?  Here are some preventive measures you can take to help keep your feet on the ground, like deicing sidewalks.

Rock Salt

Rock salt, or sodium chloride, is commonly used to melt ice on streets, sidewalks and driveways.  It is also popular with homeowners.  Rock salt melts existing ice and keeps new ice from forming.  It is also inexpensive and widely available. However, rock salt can be harmful to animals, pets and children. It can also damage greenery when overapplied, and create salt runoff that can pollute local waterways.

For a safer alternative, use products with magnesium chloride and potassium chloride that won’t irritate skin or harm plants.  Look for a deicer with these ingredients at your local home improvement store.

If you don’t want to use a chemical deicer, salt can also be sprinkled on sidewalks.  The substance lowers the freezing point, causing the ice to melt.


Sand can be spread on top of snow and ice to add traction and prevent slipping.  It doesn’t melt the elements, but can give you extra grip.  Sand is also safer for animals and the environment. The downside is, it has to be reapplied regularly and can leave a lot of residue behind to clean up later.

Safe DIY Alternatives

Stuff you may have at home,  like dried coffee grounds, bird seed, kitty litter and ashes from the fireplace can provide traction on slippery sidewalks and porches.  The residue will have to be cleaned up, but these alternatives can prevent nasty falls.

Pet-Safe Products

Visit your local pet store to find out what deicing products are safe for pets.  Salt-free products that are animal-friendly are easier on paws than rock salt and are safe for plants.  Be prepared to pay more for these products.

Innovative Ways to Remove Ice

There are a handful of DIY remedies to get rid of ice that have proven to be effective.

If the lock on your car is frozen, grab a straw  and blow some ‘hot air’ through it.  The warmth from your breath will melt the ice. Make sure the straw is connected to the lock for maximum effect.  Pour hot water on pavement to melt stubborn ice. Sweep or towel off the water right away so more ice doesn’t form.  Try making a two-to-one mix of rubbing alcohol and water, and spray the mixture on your car windows to melt ice. Wipe it away with your windshield washer. 

Don’t Forget The Snow

Remove snow from sidewalks immediately.  When it melts, the snow will turn into water and refreeze when the temps go down.  Icy sidewalks can pose a serious danger to anyone who uses them. 

Winter Weather Injuries

According to the CDC, around 1 million Americans are injured annually from falls on snow and ice. These injuries are fatal for about 17,000 people every year. Common injuries include muscle sprains and ligament strains, compression fractures, broken bones, and concussions. 

Clean Your Home Exterior

If you are ready to deep clean the exterior of your home or deck, the professionals at Peak Power Wash can help.  We use a technique called “soft wash”, which uses a much lower amount of pressure and reduces potential harm to surfaces.  Contact us at 443-686-WASH or visit our website to request a free estimate.



Our home power washing and home pressure washing service area includes, but is not limited to: Archdale, Clemmons, Eden, Elon, Graham, Greensboro, High Point, Jamestown, King, Kernersville, Lewisville, Madison, Mayoden, Oak Ridge, Reidsville, Summerfield, Stokesdale, Thomasville, Trinity, Walkertown, Winstom Salem, North Carolina