How to Use Bulk Road Salt

Bulk road salt is commonly used for de-icing roads and sidewalks during winter to prevent the formation of ice and improve overall safety. Winter poses a unique set of challenges for property owners and managers, particularly when it comes to ensuring safety on icy surfaces. One of the key tools for winter maintenance is bulk road salt. Bulk road salt isn't just convenient, it's cost-effective too. Especially in Utah, we use road salt almost every day in the winter, so just buying one bag at a time can add up. Buying in bulk minimizes costs since users will travel for it less, have better storage, and it’s easier to handle. Bulk road salt is efficient for spreading helping users cover more ground with less salt per square foot. Kilgore Landscape Center understands the importance of responsible salt application, and in this guide, we will walk you through the best practices to maximize the effectiveness of bulk road salt while minimizing its environmental impact. Here are general guidelines on how to use bulk road salt effectively.



Applying salt before snowfall is important because it gives the salt time to mix with the falling snow, creating a solution that stops ice from forming on surfaces. When ice is already there, the salt has to melt it before it can start working on new snow, making the process slower.

Putting salt down early gives it a boost. It can go deep into the snow, reaching the pavement or ground below. This makes the salt last longer, melting snow from underneath and stopping ice even when temperatures change. When you use salt before the snow, it sticks better to surfaces, making them less slippery. But if ice is already there, the bond between salt and the surface might not be as strong, making it less effective.

Doing things early with salt is not just efficient - it's also safer. By preventing ice and improving traction before things get dangerous, you reduce the chances of accidents and falls on icy surfaces. So, putting salt down ahead of time not only helps you use less salt but also keeps things safer and less slippery. Get an early start with bulk road salt from Kilgore Landscape Center.


Resist the temptation to overuse salt this winter and find the balance for efficient snowmelt. Excessive salt poses environmental risks, negatively impacting waterways, vegetation, and infrastructure.

Excessive salt is not just wasteful; it also contributes to pollution and disrupts ecosystems. It can harm aquatic life, compromise water quality, and accelerate soil erosion, underscoring the importance of using salt responsibly.

It's important to note that some salt can be detrimental to plants, and the repeated freeze-thaw cycle can damage roads and sidewalks. Refer to local guidelines for a measured approach to salt application, ensuring uniform coverage. 

Kilgore Landscape Center is a valuable resource, providing expert advice for a responsible snowmelt strategy. By using the right amount of salt, applying it evenly, and seeking professional guidance, you can get more for your money too.


Perfecting salt distribution is crucial for winter maintenance on icy surfaces. Whether using a truck-mounted spreader, handheld dispenser, or a shovel, getting the salt balance right is key for effective and safe ice control.

Clumped salt can cause hazardous icy patches. On the other hand, even salt distribution needs to be well-coordinated to efficiently melt ice and create a safe path for everyone. Learn the most effective way to spread from one a Kilgore Landscape Center professional.

Tools to Spread:

Truck-Mounted Spreader: Move smoothly, avoiding excess salt in one place. Slightly overlap passes for complete coverage.

Handheld Dispenser: Sprinkle salt evenly, avoiding concentrated spots to prevent uneven melting.

Shovel Method: Imagine carefully laying down a thin layer of salt for even coverage in smaller spaces.

Dealing with salt clumps:

Break It Up: Before spreading, break down hard salt chunks for easier application.

Calibration Matters: Ensure correct spreader setup to avoid clumps or uneven coverage.

Mix It Up: Consider mixing salt with sand for stubborn clumps, ensuring smoother spreading.


As temperatures drop in winter, rock salt's reliability, also known as sodium chloride, decreases significantly. When it gets extremely cold, below 15°F (-9°C), rock salt isn't as effective, and other ways of dealing with icy conditions become crucial for safety. Understanding these limitations and exploring alternative options helps winter maintenance be the most effective in handling icy situations, even in the toughest weather.

As explained, rock salt's ability to melt ice weakens as temperatures go down. This happens because the salt particles can't move as well in the cold, making it harder for them to interact with water and melt ice.

Knowing these limits means using other methods like ice melts from Kilgore Landscape Center in really cold conditions. 


As winter sets in, the need for de-icing is inevitable, but you should always prioritize personal safety and responsible maintenance practices. Follow these steps to be safe and efficient while de-icing. 

Protect Yourself: 

Wear gloves: Salt crystals can be abrasive and irritate your skin. Use waterproof gloves for added protection against moisture.

Wear eye protection: Airborne salt particles can irritate your eyes, causing redness, stinging, and even temporary vision impairment. Safety glasses or goggles are essential.

Use a dust mask: Inhaling salt dust can irritate your lungs and worsen respiratory conditions like asthma. A dust mask or respirator is crucial, especially when handling large quantities or in windy conditions.

Dress appropriately: Layer up with warm, waterproof clothing to protect yourself from the cold and moisture. Don't forget your hat, boots, and a face mask for windy conditions.

Safe handling practices:

Minimize dust: Choose controlled application methods like hand-held spreaders with dust guards or enclosed truck-mounted options. Avoid creating clouds of dust whenever possible.

Maintain good posture: Lifting and spreading salt can strain your muscles. Bend your knees and lift with your legs to avoid back injuries. Utilize ergonomic equipment if available.

Be mindful of the environment: Choose environmentally friendly de-icing options for sensitive areas like near waterways or vegetation. Follow proper disposal guidelines for salt and empty bags. Ask Kilgore Landscape Center for specific guidelines and advice.

General precautions:

Wash up: After handling salt, wash your hands and exposed skin thoroughly with warm water and soap. This removes any residue that could cause irritation.

Store salt safely: Keep salt bags in a dry, covered place to prevent them from clumping or becoming contaminated.

Be aware of the weather: Avoid spreading salt if rain or snow is expected to fall soon, as it will wash away the effectiveness and potentially pollute waterways.

Additional Tips:

Mix with Abrasives:

Many professionals mix salt with sand or other abrasives for enhanced traction on icy surfaces. Salt acts strategically, bombarding ice molecules and weakening their defenses. However, melted water can create a perilous, slippery film. Abrasives, such as sand, gravel, or sawdust, help maintain traction. This disrupts the slippery film, providing a secure grip for footwear.

While salt's effectiveness wanes with dropping temperatures, abrasives persist on the surface, offering prolonged traction even after the initial melting. This extends the effectiveness of de-icing efforts. Integrating abrasives helps reduce the amount of salt needed, minimizing environmental impact and potential corrosion risks linked to excessive salting.

Sand: A classic and cost-effective choice. Opt for coarse sand to maximize grip.

Gravel: Offers superior traction but may be messy and potentially damaging to delicate surfaces.

Sawdust: An eco-friendly option that absorbs moisture and enhances grip, though it may require more frequent application.

Begin with a smaller ratio of salt to abrasive, adjusting based on ice severity and temperature.

Ensure thorough mixing for even distribution of both components. Kilgore Landscape Center recommends that users avoid creating overly heavy applications that may be challenging to spread and could damage surfaces.

Environmental Considerations:

Winter maintenance relies on sodium chloride (salt), but its environmental impact demands a careful strategy. To balance effective ice control with environmental responsibility, users must be mindful and explore alternative de-icing options.

Excessive salt poses significant threats:

Groundwater Contamination: Salt can harm drinking water and aquatic life.

Soil Disruption: High salt concentrations impede soil health and plant growth.

Coastal Erosion: Salt exacerbates shoreline erosion, risking infrastructure and ecosystems.

Responsible Practices:

Targeted Application: Apply salt precisely to critical areas, not open spaces.

Temperature-Adjusted Strategies: Consider alternatives like calcium or magnesium chloride in colder conditions.

Abrasive Integration: Blend salt with sand or gravel for improved traction and reduced salt use.

Prevention: Regular snow removal and scraping can reduce the need for de-icing.

Alternative Solutions:

Sand and Gravel: Provide traction without melting ice in milder temperatures.

Organic Options: Wood chips, sawdust, and beet juice offer eco-friendly alternatives, though effectiveness may vary.

Heated Systems: For high-traffic areas, heated pavements eliminate the need for chemical de-icers.


Using bulk road salt responsibly is not only crucial for safety but also for environmental and personal protection. By following these guidelines from Kilgore Landscape and staying informed about best practices, you can maximize the benefits of bulk road salt while minimizing its negative effects. Take action today to ensure a safer and more environmentally conscious winter maintenance strategy. Choose Kilgore Landscape Center for your bulk road salt needs and pave the way for a safer winter season.