Driveways and sidewalks all over Rockford are skating rinks right now, and with a major ice shortage happening in the Midwest, our cars, hips, and butts are in serious trouble.

My house has a concrete driveway so using salt to de-ice it is not something we do, but right now it is BAD. I couldn't get our truck all the way up it the other day, (and it is not on a hill), and I am OVER IT.

I hit up Google yesterday to find some DIY de-icer options that would not ruin our concrete driveway, and here's a few that I found. Might be a good day to give one of them a try:

  • Make your own de-icer solution: Mix 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish soap, 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol with a half-gallon of hot water and then pour the mixture on your driveway or sidewalk. The solution will cause the snow and ice to bubble up and begin to melt, but leftover pieces will need to be scraped away with a shovel.
  • Cover the ice with sand: If you can't use salt to melt the ice, your next option is to cover it with something that will provide traction. When buying sand to do this, the grittier, the better. Throwing down sand from your kid's sandbox will probably not do the trick.
  • Use ashes from your fireplace: I've seen a few people swearing by this method of melting ice, but I've often wondered how it works. Fireplacemall.com says; "Fireplace ashes primarily provide traction on icy and snowy surfaces. As a secondary function, fireplace ashes melt ice and snow by darkening the area. Dark areas absorb more of the sun’s heat, thereby speeding up the melting process on sidewalks, driveways, streets and steps to which ashes have been applied."
  • Other common household items that are effective melting ice: table salt, sugar, fertilizer, beet juice. All of these have better potential of melting ice in small areas like front stoops and steps, but when you're desperate, they're definitely worth a shot.

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