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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Safety First. De-Ice Steps and Walkways.

Home Depot
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Difficulty: Beginner
Duration: 2 hours


Fresh fallen snow makes your home a winter wonderland. But the charm is gone when fluffy flakes turn into icy patches.

When it comes to ice buildup, the best defense is a good offense. Make your outdoor steps and walkways safe by de-icing.

De-Icing Options:

  1. The best choice is calcium magnesium acetate (CMA). It melts ice and is no more damaging than tap water. It costs more than rock salt, but you’ll save money and time by not having to replant or replace hardscapes.
  2. Magnesium chloride, potassium chloride or calcium chloride are other options; however, they can corrode metal, damage walkways and stain carpets.
  3. Avoid rock salt. It damages your lawn and landscape, deteriorates concrete, causes flagstone to flake, leaves bleached white spots, causes metal to rust and is even harmful to fish. Any other de-icer on the market is more environmentally friendly than rock salt.

How to De-ice Outdoor Steps and Walkways:

  1. Apply de-icer according to package instructions to steps and walkways before the snow or sleet comes down. De-icer acts like cooking oil under the ice and keeps anything from sticking.
  2. After a few inches of snow have fallen, shovel the walkway. If more snow is predicted, apply another layer of de-icer.
  3. To remove ice, carefully chip away with a snow shovel or ice pick. Start at edges and work in.
  4. For stubborn ice, melt using boiled water and mop up immediately. Leftover water will freeze. Wear gloves to avoid scalding your skin.
  5. Store the de-icer and snow shovel in a safe and easy to reach place. You don’t want to walk over a slippery walkway to get to your tools.


To make the work less back-breaking, choose an ergonomic snow shovel.

Product Checklist:

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