I visited four stores in Rochester, looking for Ice Melt, earlier this week - each one was sold out. The sidewalk spread is really hard to find right now. I've seen dozens of people complaining about the shortage on social media.

There are some alternatives that you can use in a pinch though. While searching on Tuesday I was told that water softener salt doesn't work quite as well as ice-melt but it does work. (Get the Crystals - not the Pellets) I ended up trying it and it did an OK job.

Chemist professor Fred Schaefer told WPVI-TV that regular table salt or kosher salt will also work in a pinch. I assume he's talking about for a small area like the entry to your house. Using table salt on your sidewalks and driveway would end up being quite expensive. You can also use fertilizer which contains urea - a compound that is proven to be an ice melter.

If you're just looking for traction use sand or kitty litter.

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