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How To Best Utilize Salt, Sand To Clear Sidewalks

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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By Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As people prepare for what could be a slippery weekend, homeowners are looking for the best way to get rid of the ice on their steps and sidewalks.

There is salt for cold temperatures and salt for even colder temperatures. There is the environmentally safe and sand, the old standby.

So what should you use, when? Well, you’ve got to ask the right questions in order to get the right stuff for your sidewalk and steps.

“They wanted to know what kind of concrete you’re putting it down on. Do you have pets? Ask the right questions and they’ll get you the right product,” said homeowner Brent Stickles.

Stickles got the quick lesson on what works best under what conditions when it comes to salt from Ace Hardware’s Mike Peterson.

“We have out typical ice melt, just a 50-pound, 20-pound, 10-pound (bags). It works great if your concrete is older than a year,” said Peterson.

He said potassium chloride works best up to zero degrees.

And if you’re concerned about the environment:

“We have environmentally-friendly stuff and it melts at a lower temperature. We don’t have to deal with it now but goes down to like negative 25 degrees,” said Peterson.

There is also pet-friendly salt. And if you want to buy local, Peterson says Cherry Grit is his favorite.

“It’s better with traction. You get good traction and the grit doesn’t track in mud, it just stays there. It’s actually made in Minnesota — New Ulm, Minnesota. Its cherry grit,” he said.

Ace Hardware also sells clay sand and tube sand. Many people like to mix that with salt. Whatever you use just remember, it works better when the sidewalk and steps are snow free.

WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman Reports

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