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Salt lowers the freezing point of water, as will any solute that impedes the change in phase. When it does so, it affects the phase equilibrium, which has as many molecules melting as refreezing. Any ice and snow that melts cannot refreeze unless a much lower temperature is reached.

Salt is basically an impurity, which, when mixed with snow or ice, causes its freezing point to decrease so that the snow (which ought to freeze at 0°C) freezes at a lower temperature. and effectively causes the snow above that temperature to melt. If you live in an area with a cold and icy winter, you have probably seen salt used on sidewalks and roads to keep them ice-free. The salt works by lowering the melting or freezing point of water. The effect is termed 'freezing point depression'.

When you add salt to water, you introduce dissolved foreign particles into the water. The freezing point of water becomes lower as more particles are added until the point where the salt stops dissolving. For a solution of table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in water, this temperature is -21°C (-6°F) under controlled lab conditions. In the real world, on a real sidewalk, sodium chloride can melt ice only down to about -9°C (15°F).

Freezing point depression is a colligative property of water. A colligative property is one which depends on the number of particles in a substance. All liquid solvents with dissolved particles (solutes) demonstrate colligative properties. Other colligative properties include boiling point elevation, vapor pressure lowering, and osmotic pressure.

Sodium chloride isn't the only salt used for de-icing, nor is it necessarily the best choice (although it is usually the cheapest). Sodium chloride dissolves into two types of particles: one sodium ion and one chloride ion per sodium chloride 'molecule'. A compound that yields more ions into a water solution would lower the freezing point of water more than salt. For example, calcium chloride (CaCl2) dissolves into three ions (one of calcium and two of chloride) and lowers the freezing point of water more than sodium chloride.

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โˆ™ 2012-01-10 03:19:45
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Q: Why does salt melt snow and ice?
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Related questions

Will epsom salt melt snow?

Epsom salt will melt snow. A mix of Epsom salt and sugar will also melt snow but both are better at melting ice.


Can you use Magnesium sulfate to melt snow?

No. Although technically a "salt", Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt in it's Heptahydrate form) will not melt snow or ice.


Why does salt melt ice yet temp drops when placed in snow?

when salt is added to snow, it lowers the melting point of snow thus allowing it to melt at a lower temp. itself.


Why has salt been thrown on snow in snowfall days?

Salt is thrown on snow becuase it is The most effective Element to melt snow/ice


What melts ice better chalk salt or sugar and why?

salt couse when it snows people but salt on the streets to melt the snow. Also snow is ice. DI DI DI


Do ice cubes melt faster when salt is added?

yes they do melt faster like you know in the winter how you put salt out in the snow and it melts the snow,well that proves it


If you throw rock salt out on your porch will it melt the snow and ice?

No. I would think the purpose of the rock salt it to keep you from slipping on the snow and ice when you step out on your porch.


Is salt the same as ice melt?

no, but ice melt is a salt


Does salt melt with ice?

No That is why there is way too much salt o the roads after every snow storm.


Why does salt melt in ice?

Salt doesn't melt in ice. Salt lowers the freezing point of water. Which causes the ice to melt.


Do ice melt faster with salt or without salt?

Ice melt faster with salt.


Why is salt added to snow during winter?

Salt does not alter the temperature of the snow, but gets into the structure of the ice crystals, causing the water (ice remember is frozen water and snow is ice) to have a lower freezing point and so, it is used to melt ice and snow in the winter months.


Why do you use rock salt?

To melt the ice and snow and to give your tires grip on the road.


What does salt have in it to melt ice when it snow?

Salt. Sodium chloride. Any solute lowers the freezing point of a liquid.


What type of salt melts ice the fastest table salt rock salt sea salt or kosher salt?

Rock salt melts ice and or snow faster than any other salts. This is because they put special chemicals in rock salt... snow plows lay rock salt on roads and highways to melt the ice or snow.


What melt ice faster salt or sand?

Salt will melt ice faster.


Using the salt on snow?

If you sprinkle a large amount of salt over snow/ice it will cause it to melt and keeps it from refreezing. If the snow is extremely thick you may have to lay down several layers of salt.


How does fertilizer melt ice?

Fertilizer has salt in it, which would cause the ice to melt. When salt is placed on ice it reacts with it, causing it to melt.


Does sea salt melt ice?

yes sea salt can melt ice too


What happens when you put salt on snow?

The salt reacts chemically with the water in the snow, lowering its melting point. Depending on outside temp, this may be enough to cause the snow/ice to melt.


Will ice melt faster with sugar salt or the ice itself?

With salt because of the chemical salt has to make ice melt faster.


Will popcorn salt melt ice?

Yes, the salt on popcorn is common table salt, which can be used to melt ice.


Is rock salt the same as ice melt?

Ice melt and rock salt are both used to melt ice, but they are different things. The catalyst in ice melt is calcium chloride. Ice melt generates heat immediately when poured on ice.


Why is Deicer salt really good to melt snow?

Because salt has chemicals inside that can easily melt snow


What is in salt water that it can melt ice?

salt. salt melts ice.