You were out of town and you’ve come home to discover that your driveway is covered with frozen snow. After attempting to use your snow shovel to remove it, you soon realize that frozen snow isn’t as easy to clear away as is freshly fallen snow.
How does snow become frozen? The process starts when normal snowfall remains on the ground until either you remove it or temperatures rise and it begins to melt. If temperatures drop back down below the freezing point, the remaining snow then freezes and becomes what is known as frozen snow.
So, how do you eliminate this icy white stuff? Leaving it in hopes of another warm day can pose a hazard to your safety. Here’s how to shovel, melt, and remove frozen snow for good.
Shovel the Snow
The first thing you should try is simply to shovel it, especially if you only have a small amount to deal with. Here’s an easy household hack to keep snow and ice from sticking to the shovel and slowing you down: Spray the shovel blade with some cooking oil. Even if you have a large amount of frozen snow to deal with, this trick will make shoveling the white stuff much easier.
However, if you’re still finding the job slow-going, here’s another easy hack to try in addition to the cooking-oil spray: Wear socks over your shoes. It may sound and look silly, but this trick will give you better traction on the icy surface.
If you’re not having any success with your shovel, there is probably too much frozen snow to remove in this way. But don’t fret, just move on to the next tips.
The next thing to try is melting the frozen snow. While it helps to have ice melter, a professional grade mixture that you can purchase at the hardware store, you can make do with items you likely already have in your home.
First, try spraying the snow with hot water. This usually does the trick, but don’t forget to apply a salt and sand mixture to all remaining puddles to make sure they don’t freeze once temperatures drop again.
If you don’t have a hose for hot water, another at-home solution is to pour a mixture of vinegar and water over the snow. This combination is a natural de-icer, and it works really well on frozen snow. If you’re all out of vinegar and hot water but you’ve got a well-stocked liquor cabinet, a little bit of vodka sprayed over the ice will also do the trick since vodka has a lower freezing point.
Take a Proactive Approach
The best way to prevent frozen snow is to be proactive about it. When flurries begin, lightly shovel sidewalk and driveway surfaces every hour or two. If you’re unable to keep to this schedule, then, before they start, cover exposed ground surfaces with plastic tarps. Once the snow stops falling, all you have to do is remove the tarps and you’ve got crystal clear pathways.
Frozen snow is inconvenient and can even be dangerous. The tips above will help you shovel, melt, and remove frozen snow with ease.