Here are some general application pointers:

Where to Start

First, consider the temperature, the time of day, whether the treated surface is asphalt or concrete, and drainage to adjust your material usage quantities. Learning your variables through experience and recording them makes your business more profitable.

It’s All In the Brine

The melting potential of most de-icing materials is determined by its ability to attract sufficient moisture, which then forms a brine. Simply a mixture of water and the de-icing material, a brine lowers the freezing point of water and begins to melt the surrounding ice and snow. For success of and application you must select the correct material and apply it in the right concentration.

Know Your Material

When buying material, everything you need to know about its capabilities, effective application rates and area of coverage will be printed right on the bag.


Choose an appropriate material for the temperatures in which you are working. Remember, as temperatures approach a material’s low-temperature threshold, the melting process will slow.


Consider the moisture content of the snow and ice you are working against. A wet snow is easier to melt than a dry snow because the moisture gets the brine process off to a good start.


It’s easier to melt from the bottom up than it is from the top down. If you’re in a high traffic area, passing vehicles will help push the de-icing material down into the snow and ice. But, if you’re in an area of low traffic, take the time to drive back over the application path a few times to assist the de-icing process.

Night and Day

Depending on the time of day, your application approach should change. It’s easier to melt snow and ice during the day than it is at night. Not only will it be colder at night, but you also don’t have sunlight, which helps speed up the melting process.

Mix It Up

When working with tailgate spreaders, consider mixing different materials right in the hopper. This allows you to take advantage of the best characteristics of different materials to achieve a better, and perhaps more cost efficient, end result.

*Tip – When mixing materials, start by pouring the larger material into the hopper, followed by the smaller material. During the application, the smaller material will naturally work its way down through the bulkier material, delivering an even mix of de-icing products to the spinner.