De-icers, although small, are very mighty, and are usually found in a liquid format in a tube. These are kept either in garages or cars, oftentimes both, in order for people to use them whenever they need to. De-icers are not used just for melting the ice from the locks, windscreens and other parts of the car, they can also be used to grease up stiff joints on bikes and other such things. This makes de-icers popular all year round, and not just when the winter weather takes a turn for the worse.
When it comes to snow salt, the prospect of it is not as straight forward as it would seem. Many people assume that the snow salt is simply spread on the snow covered roads in order to melt away the snow. This is not truly what happens. Salt is a wonder for lowering the freezing temperature of water, having six times the effect of sugar. However, it takes a lot of salt to melt the smallest amount of ice. This is why, when snow storms are forewarned, snow salt will be placed on roads and pathways before the precipitation has even begun to fall.
The simplest way to keep snow from the roads, is to make it impossible for it to settle and gain ground. This is where snow salt comes in. snow salt destroys the links and bonding properties needed for snow to settle and stay upon the ground. If the snow is unable to keep contact with the ground, it becomes a lot easier for it to melt and move. The ground, being so cold in such low temperatures, would be the perfect resting place for the freezing snow and it would allow it to remain frozen for a time longer than if the ground were to warm up.
Because snow salt raises the freezing temperature for snow, it is another way it keeps the snow from settling. When the individual flakes hit the salt, they are chemically "told" that they are no longer cold enough to be frozen, and therefore should melt away. This means that snow salt is a chemical changer for the snow, and if applied before the snow falls it is an almost sure fire way of making the snow melt before it truly touches the ground.
De-icer works in much the same way as snow salt, but on a much smaller scale. The de-icer is a chemical compound which works to break the bond between the molecules of the frozen water. It changes the balance of the ice and the snow, giving it the chemical trigger that it needs to be colder to be frozen, and since it cannot achieve a colder temperature alone, it will simply melt away. However, de-icer is nowhere near as strong as snow salt. This is why things like ice scrapers are so handy.
Once de-icer has been applied, and the chemical reactions in the ice and snow have started to take place, the whole construction becomes a lot easier to manipulate. A simple, plastic ice scraper can be all that a person needs in order to remove the offending frozen water from their locks, windscreens, and mirrors. Heavy frost can be removed with a light spraying of de-icer, and a generous amount of scraping from an ice-scraper.
Most of the time, drivers will have heated their cars for a few moments before starting this process, which means that the warmth combined with the de-icer will have the frost and snow melting and being able to move incredibly quickly.
For some people, snow salts and de-icers are the differences between being stuck inside all Christmas, and being with the family. They can be real life savers, especially for people who do not live where council bins of snow salt are readily available all year round. A snow shovel