Salt is used to make the roadways safer during the winter. It lowers the freezing point of snow and ice and keeps the snow “workable” so it is more easily removed. Salt can be used for anti-icing, de-icing, or melting. Anti-icing is a technique where a chloride is applied to the roadway prior to a storm to prevent the snow/ice from bonding to the pavement. De-icing and melting is when a chloride is applied after the storm has begun in order to break up ice and snow pack or to melt glare/black ice.
Click on state to download specifications of sodium chloride for that state’s department of transportation.
- Clear Roads Roadway Salt Best Management Practices Manual
- Clear Roads Effective Salt and Anti-icing Application Rates Guidelines
- Clear Roads Field Guide for Testing Deicing Chemicals
- PNS Qualified Product Listing
- New Mexico
- South Dakota
Member states share results of pilot-testing of winter maintenance products and materials that their agencies have conducted.
- Boost Salt Brine Enhancer Inhibitor (Enviro Tech)
- IceKicker (Saltworx)
- Ice Slicer Deicer
Other Research and Resources
- Development of an Improved Agricultural-Based Deicing Product: This research investigated by-products from agricultural processes that may be suitable for use as deicing applications.
- Do Road Salts Cause Environmental Impacts?: A brief literature review of potential environmental problems associated with the use of salt to de-ice roads.
- Field Usage of Alternative Deicers for Snow and Ice Control: A Minnesota DOT Local Road Research Board synthesis document summarizing non-chloride based deicers available on the market at this time, including acetate, formate, glycol, and succinate based deicing products.
- Highway Deicing: Comparing Salt and Calcium Magnesium Acetate: A Transportation Research Board (TRB) special report examining the total cost of salt and calcium magnesium acetate (CMA), including the indirect cost of application and indirect costs to the environment, infrastructure and motor vehicles.
- Impacts of Using Salt and Salt Brine for Roadway Deicing: A study to better understand the environmental impacts from the use of salt and salt brines to keep roads free of snow and ice.
- Guidelines for the Selection of Snow and Ice Control Materials to Mitigate Environmental Impacts – A NCHRP Final Report.
- Operational Factors that Affect Road Salt Usage and the Effectiveness and Efficiency of
Salt Spreading Operations and Equipment: The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) conducted a three-year study to evaluate its Snow and Ice Control Program, identify measures that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its deicer material usage, and reduce material costs.
- Road Salt Moving Toward the Solution: A Cary Institute report on road salt.
- Road Salt Report – 2017: A Madison and Dane County, Wisconsin report on road salt.
- Salt Brine Blending to Optimize Deicing and Anti-Icing Performance: Minnesota Department of Transportation, July 2012.
- Salt Management Strategy: Environmental Impacts and Potential Economic Costs and Benefits of Improved Management Practices in Northern Virginia
- Manual of Practice for an Effective Anti-icing Program: A Guide For Highway Winter Maintenance Personnel
- Environmental Impacts of Road Salt and Other De-icing Chemicals: Information from the Minnesota Stormwater Manual
- Pacific Northwest Snowfighters (PNS): An association of transportation agencies dedicated to ensuring the safety of winter maintenance products through structured testing and evaluation.
- Salt Institute: A nonprofit trade association that analyzes research and public policy, dispels inaccuracies in public knowledge and fosters increased understanding of the life enhancing qualities of salt.
- Wisconsin DOT Salt Storage Needs Report