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How to Choose a Deicer

    Icy steps


    It’s January, and the weather has been up and down here in Chicago. We’ve had below-zero windchills mixed in with 40-degree days that melt the snow to water just in time for it to freeze over when temperatures drop again. It’s a vicious cycle, and comes with increased fall hazards as sidewalks accumulate ice. We’ve talked a lot about making sure you use a deicer in our past winter tips blogs, and here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons, we want to go the extra step and share our guide to choosing a deicer that will work for you.

    The bottom line is that you have options! No longer is sodium chloride rock salt the only standard. Many of these options you can find easily at a home and garden store, or online. You can also use them in combination with each other for different types of spaces. Some choices we recommend to keep your household or business safe:

    1) Be environmentally conscious with a “green” deicer. Instead of rock salt, opt for a deicer with 100% calcium chloride, which doesn’t harm pets if ingested. It also doesn’t track into your house or building as easily as traditional rock salt, therefore you can minimize hard surface floor cleaning and carpet cleaning during the winter. This comes in flake, pellet, or liquid form.
    2) Use a deicer with potassium chloride when the temperature falls below 20 degrees. Traditional rock salt is much less effective as the temperatures get lower, and that’s where potassium chloride pellets shine.
    3) Purchase a deicer with urea if you need to melt ice in temperatures above 25 degrees. It poses less of a threat to plants and wildlife than rock salt because of its low toxicity level.
    4) For people who want the best protection against harm caused by a child’s or pet’s accidental ingestion of their deicing agent, turn to non-chloride based deicers, like Safe Paw. It’s salt-free and made instead with an amide-glycol blend – making it the safest option for pets. You could also use calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) for the most environmentally friendly option.
    5) Contrary to popular belief, sand and kitty litter will not melt ice, but they will provide better traction on ice. We would not recommend using this option without also purchasing a deicer.

    The National Safety Council reports that the frigid weather causes almost 8.9 million visits to the emergency rooms yearly. Follow our tips to make sure you don’t become another statistic!

    ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is a women-owned and family run company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore. The business provides disaster restoration services for damages caused by water, fire, flooding, mold remediation, and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning (hoarder/clutter, post construction, carpet & upholstery) to residential and commercial customers residing in Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest and the North Shore. For more information, visit, or give us a call at 773-376-1110.


    • Nasutsa Mabwa

      Nasutsa Mabwa is President of ServiceMaster by Simons, a MBE/WBE City of Chicago and State of Illinois certified firm. She is a 2020 Daily Herald Business Ledger C-Suite awardee, a member of Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40 and a 2018 ServiceMaster(c) Achiever Award recipient. She is a Civic Federation Board Member, an Advisory Board Member for as President Elect on the Executive Committee for the Evanston Chamber of Commerce. She is IICRC certified for WRT & FSRT.

      About ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons
      Restoration By Simons is an MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving both Cook and Lake County, Illinois. Recently, the company was awarded a variety of honors, including the SB100 Best of Small Business Award Winner 2021, Bronze Stevie® Award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year category in the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, recipient of the 2020 Better Business Bureau's Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and the recipient of the 2020 Skokie Business of the Year Award, Honorable Mention Category. Restoration By Simons provides disaster restoration services including water and flood damage restoration, fire and smoke damage restoration, mold remediation, to residential and commercial customers in both Cook and Lake County IL.

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