4 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Rock Salt

Every year it seems that autumn flies by and now, Old Man Winter is lurking just around the corner, which means that NJ residents can expect freezing temperatures and icy conditions.

The combination of colder temperatures and high volumes of precipitation makes NJ and neighboring states the perfect place for ice to form on sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, roads and other surfaces.

While rock salt has traditionally been used to lower the freezing temperature of water and prevent ice from forming, there are many people who don’t like the idea of working with this particular compound. This is because, although safe for many surfaces, rock salt can cause certain types of pavement to become discolored and can cause damage to plants.

Fortunately, there are many alternatives that can be used in lieu of rock salt. Today’s post will highlight four excellent alternatives to rock salt that are extremely effective and affordable.

Why Choose Alternatives to Rock Salt?

There are some homeowners who tend to shy away from using sodium chloride (traditional rock salt). This is primarily due to the fact that sodium chloride is mildly corrosive.

When used in excessive quantities, this type of rock salt may cause damage to certain surfaces and vegetation. Because NJ gets so cold and experiences so much rain and snow, high volumes of rock salt are generally required for safety purposes.

Consequently, it may be in your best interest to consider working with environmentally friendly alternatives to rock salt.

Top Alternatives to Rock Salt

While there are many different chemical compounds and materials available on the market as an alternative to traditional rock salt, the experts at Braen Supply tend to prefer some more than others.

After years in the industry, we have developed a keen sense for determining which materials are the most effective for offering traction and melting snow and ice. Our favorite rock salt alternatives include:


Of the different alternatives to rock salt available on the market, Environmelt is the among the most popular. This is because the material has been specifically formulated to be tough on snow and ice while protecting the environment and surrounding vegetation.

The product is made from Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA) which is very powerful and is capable of working effectively in temperatures down to -25 degree Fahrenheit. Because it works two times faster than other ice melting materials and is so efficient in freezing conditions, less of the material is needed than traditional rock salt.

In addition to this, CMA is safer for plant life, animals and even, use around children. Finally, the material is significantly less corrosive than other materials and is safer to use around concrete and wood.


Although sand is not capable of actually reducing the freezing temperature of water and cannot melt snow and ice, it is still a great alternative to traditional rock salt. The grainy nature of sand allows for excellent traction.

When sprinkled on top of icy patches of your front walkway, driveway, or even on large parking lots and roads, sand is able to improve the grip of pedestrian shoes and the tires of automobiles. This will significantly reduce the likelihood of car accidents or slip and fall injuries.

Sand is completely natural and will not cause any damage to your property. In addition to this, sand does not form a brine with frozen snow and ice, so less material is needed over time. This can allow for significant savings.

Stone Grits

Like sand, stone grits are unable to melt snow and ice, but can do wonders for improving overall traction and safety. Although many stores tend to sell out of sand when the winter season picks up, you’ll find that it’s usually quite easy to find stone grits in supply.

If you choose, you may mix stone grits with an environmentally friendly ice melting compound. You’ll find that the combination of the two materials means that less ice melt needs to be used while producing a very safe environment for you, your loved ones and passersby.


The Safer-Than-Salt brand has earned its reputation for offering one of the most powerful alternatives to rock salt while still being safe for use around plants and animals.

We especially love the Breeder’s Preferred blend, which makes use of a CMA formula that rapidly melts existing snow and ice and prevents future formations – all without creating harmful conditions for your property, vegetation or pets.

The material is also tinted green so that you know exactly how much ice melt you’ve used and don’t accidentally over apply. Ultimately, this means less waste, less impact on the environment and a little extra cash in your pocket.

Choosing Alternatives to Rock Salt

It’s important that you make the right decision when choosing the right alternative to traditional rock salt for your property. Each of the above-listed rock salt alternatives has their own unique sets of advantages, but some might be better for your lifestyle than others.

If you have pets that you love dearly, we strongly recommend going with a product like Safer Than Salt Breeder’s Preferred, as it’s specifically designed for use around your four-legged friends. Those with a green thumb and who take pride in their landscape might be better served by a product like Environmelt.

If you need to add some traction to areas that tend to get a little bit slushy and slick but aren’t heavily trafficked, the use of sand or stone grits could be beneficial. In cases where a surface is extremely icy and is used frequently for foot or vehicular traffic, we recommend a mixture of an environmentally friendly ice melting compound and the salt or grits for added protection.

If you have any questions or concerns about choosing the right rock salt alternatives, visit our locally owned and operated store to speak to one of our experts. We’re more than happy to help you pick the right product for your property and to calculate your ice melting needs.

Buying Alternatives to Rock Salt in NJ

Braen Supply is the leading supplier of rock salt alternatives in NJ and its surrounding areas. We care about the people of NJ and make it our mission to provide our customers with ice melting materials that improve safety conditions while still being safe for the environment.

In addition to manufacturing our own sand and stone grits, we also carry some of the top brands of environmentally safe ice melting compounds. Our materials are always available at the lowest and most competitive rates.

Ice melt is sold by the bag, the pallet, or the truckload. All of our materials can be picked up at your convenience or can be bulk delivered to areas throughout parts of NJ & NY and limited parts of PA & CT.

Rock Salt Buying Guide