In most parts of North America winter means snow and ice. This also means we all need to navigate some slick and slippery surfaces getting from point A to point B. Many people use a salt based product to melt the ice and to improve traction. But did you know that clay based clay cat litter can also de-ice a surface and add traction? The cost of both products is a wash more or less, but by using clay cat litter you aren’t needlessly adding salt (and other nasties) to our water sources, and, you won’t leave a white salt stain reside on your walkways and driveway! Don’t use clumping litter however as the ice will melt and leave a goopy sticky mess.
Check out our 365 Green Tips Series
11 thoughts on “Green Tip #24: De-Ice with Clay Cat Litter”
Thanks for the tip. We have used the eco friendly stuff that is safe for pets and plants and it seems to do the job. I knew cat litter could help with grip but I didn’t know it would actually melt the ice. Interesting.
As far as I know it can help melting a bit.
Did you do the full research on the eco-friendly stuff? Is it truly OK for the water supply and the soil? (not questioning you, but we meant to look into it and haven’t gotten around to it).
The one thing I don’t like about the eco stuff is that it is green or blue (I think?) and it gets tracked into the house …
Good tip. We actually used kitty litter just a few weeks ago when we couldn’t get the car up our (somewhat) steep driveway. It worked like a charm — and is certainly cheaper than icemelt.
Yes – very handy to have some in the car in the winter.
@ SPF I will have to check the name of it and get back to you. I haven’t found it too much of an issue tracking it in the house. In fact, we don’t use much of it, just in a few spots.
I’ve tried this before, it works! And yes, don’t use clumping kitty litter. I had a friend that did that; great intentions + wrong product = very messy outcome :)
I learned the hard way too hehe.
This is a great tip! I’m going to try this out. What do you think about Magnesium Chloride products? They are gentle on most surfaces, won’t harm vegetation — low environmental impact. Very effective, melt’s ice at low temps. The cost is also just slightly higher than sodium chloride.
I haven’t looked into Magnesium Chloride – but it still sounds like a chemical. If possible, we prefer no environmental impact vs low.
Here is my process for de-icing my windows:
Start your car and crank the defrost and heat.Next, warm up some water on the stove and then add two cups of salt and stir. Pour the hot saltwater over the windows’ exteriors. This will have the effect of warming up the glass as well as melting the ice. Work in small sections and soak up the excess water immediately with a towel. You may be left with a very thin layer of ice. Scrape the rest off with ease!
Be careful when applying hot water to your windows. If you dump buckets of water on the windows and ignore the towel, you can easily freeze your doors and other mechanisms. Respect saltwater as the powerful tool it is and be patient.