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Can You Use Water Softener Salt on Your Driveway? (Answered)

Icy driveways and sidewalks are an integral part of winter. Each of us will agree that nothing can be more annoying than waking up in the morning to an icy and frozen driveway.  

However, if you are tempted to use any salt then you are walking in the wrong lane. Keep in mind that not all salts are the same. Additionally, if you are wondering whether you can use water softener salt on your driveway or not, then you are in the right place. 

We are going to have a detailed discussion on this very topic today. So, bear with us to find all your answers. 

Can You Use Water Softener Salt On Your Driveway?

You can use water softener salt on your driveway. These salts have the same ingredients as rock salt that can be used to melt down the ice in your driveway. However, water softener salts are more affordable so you can simply use this instead of buying expensive salts. 

Water softeners are used to get rid of harsh minerals from water to soften the water. The water that contains higher levels of magnesium and calcium is known as hard water. However, water softener salts have sodium, which balances the water. 

The surface of the ice has a thin layer of water on them. When salt is put over them it mixes with the layer of water and starts to melt down. The salt forces the ice to break down and turn into saltwater. This entire process continues until there is no ice left. 

And in the end, you have a clear driveway. 

However, not all types of water softener salts can be used on your driveway. Additionally, ice melters cannot be used to soften water. 

Apart from these, water softeners are also safe to use around children, so you do not have to worry about your children or pets.  

Does water softener salt melt ice on the driveway?

The answer is positive, which means water softener salt can melt ice on the driveway. 

Water softening salt can be a great option to melt down the ice on your driveway. The basic reason behind this is water softening salt can decrease the melting point of water. Thus, the ice starts to melt down as soon as it comes in contact with the water softening salt.

Additionally, rock salt can also be used to melt down the ice. 

The amount of time that the ice takes to break down depends on the temperature of the area. However, it also depends on the quality of salt. 

Does water softener salt hurt concrete? Does water softener salt hurt asphalt?

Water softener salt can hurt concrete, sidewalks, and patios. Additionally, it can also hurt asphalt over time. 

Using salt on concrete can create bumps and potholes. Salt hurts concrete and asphalt over time. It can cause corrosion on the surface which can later lead to discoloration, crumbling, and cracking of concrete. 

Concrete is considered to be a porous material that absorbs water comfortably. During the winter days, there is water all over the pathways, driveways, and roads. Although it does not hurt the concrete by itself, the salt used to melt down the ice does. 

In the coastal areas, moisture in the air contains a high amount of sodium in the air. Over time this can lead to the concrete crumbling, and becoming discolored. 

Water softening salt damages the concrete due to the chemical reaction that happens with the concrete surface. Your driveway or pavement is usually constructed with white-gray concrete. The calcium chloride in the salt mixes with the concrete which has calcium hydroxide in it. 

This produces calcium oxychloride which with time causes huge damage. 

Three reasons why you can use water softener salt on your driveway 

You can use water softener salt to melt ice in your driveway and there are multiple reasons for that. Here are three reasons why you can use water softener salt on your driveway: 

Easy to use and budget-friendly: 

Water softener salts are easy to use and affordable. These salts are pure graded salts that can be simply used to deice roads and driveways. 

All salts come with almost the same type of ingredients. However, as they act as purifiers therefore they are filled with more effective deicing ingredients. Using a water softener is an affordable option when you compare it with ice melters. 

Also, water softening salts are way more available than other ingredients that can be used to break down salt.

Safe to use around children: 

One of the basic reasons why you can use water softener salts is that they are considered safe around children and pets.  

Water softener salts are usually used to purify water or turn hard water into soft ones. Therefore, they do not contain any harmful ingredients that can hurt your children or pets. 

You do not have to carry a burden around your head after you have applied water softener on your driveway. As it will not harm anyone or anything. 

Easily breaks down ice: 

The water softener breaks down the ice in no time. There is a thin layer of water that sits on the ice of your driveway. This water continuously breaks down when it comes in contact with salt. 

At the fixed temperature the water and ice have the same volume. However, as the temperature drops the volume of the ice increases, and as the temperature rises the volume of water increases. 

As you sprinkle salt on your frozen driveway, the sodium chloride in the salt decreases the freezing point of the water. 

Therefore, the temperature does not remain the same, and as the temperature balance breaks the water forces the ice to break down. 

What salt should I use on my driveway? Is water softener salt the same as rock salt? 

You can use rock salts or water softener salts on your driveway. Water softener salts and rock salt are not the same.

The most common type of salt used on the driveways is rock salt. However, rock salts and water softener salts are different. There are two types of salts that are mostly used. The most common one among them is solar salt. 

Solar salts come from the lakes, seas, oceans, and rivers. This salt is produced using a natural evaporation system and wind power. The purity of the salt is pretty high. Almost 98-99℅ of the salt is considered pure. 

Among the two types, the second type is known as evaporated salt. This salt is also produced in the evaporation system. However, as solar salts are purer than other salts, it is considered to be a great option that can be used in your driveway. Solar salts are also water softener salts.

Additionally, rock salt and water softener salts are not the same. But, they both can be used to defrost your driveway. 

How to spread water softener salt over your driveway?

Spreading water softener salt over your driveway is simpler than applying ice melter over them. 

Here are a few steps you can follow to spread water softener salt over your driveway: 

Filling a bucket with water softener: 

Before you get started fill a bucket with water softening. The amount will depend on the area that you are planning to decide. For obvious reasons, you should not use blocks of water softening salts and salt pellets. Salt crystals work the best in this case. 

Using salt crystals you can cover more area and it is easier to apply. However, if you only own blocks of salt or salt pellets, you will need to crush them or ground them finely. 

Spreading the salt: 

Before you sprinkle the salt crystals make sure you have a plan to prevent salt wastage. Rock salts have a hue of pink, gray, and brown in them. On the other hand, water softeners do not have any dark-colored hue. 

They are white. Although it can make the application tougher, after a few hours of spreading the salt you will notice that the water has started to melt. 

If you plan on driving through your driveway early in the morning. Try and apply the water softening salt at night. Remember to use grounded salts. 

Final Thoughts

You can use water softener salt on your driveway. It is a pretty simple and affordable option that can be used easily. Additionally, water softening salts are considered safe for the environment and your children. However, over time it can cause damage to your driveway or pathway.