Will Antifreeze Melt Ice?

Antifreeze is like a miracle liquid that unclogs your car’s system when it’s completely frozen up. But will antifreeze melt ice if I pour it directly on the road or anywhere else? Let us find out!

Paying attention to your engine’s pipes and systems is important. It becomes even more imperative during and immediately after the winter months since the liquids inside the engine can freeze.

Many methods are put into place to deal with this situation. Antifreeze or engine coolant was commonly added to water and engine lube in automobile cooling systems, preventing damage to radiators. 

However, the same has now been replaced by long-life engine coolants. This is because of their property of lowering the freezing point of water. However, is this property enough to melt ice? If I add antifreeze to frozen water, will it melt?

This article answers questions surrounding the thawing, freezing, melting of ice, and whether antifreeze can melt ice. 

Will Antifreeze Melt Ice

What Kind of Water Pipes Freeze and When?

Texashelp says water pipes’ potential of freezing and bursting increases when the outside temperature drops to 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Here is the list of pipes that are utterly likely to freeze:

  • Outdoor hose bibs
  • Water pipes in basements
  • Swimming pool supply lines 
  • Water pipes that run against the exterior walls


Also read: What to do if your antifreeze is foamy?


What Is the Best Method for Melting Snow and Ice?

According to achr news, you can classify systems that melt ice in three segments:. 

  • Class 1: systems let snow accumulate during snowfall and then melt it many hours after it stops snowing. Their heat delivery is 80 to 125 Btu/sq.ft.
  • Class 2: systems are used where keeping the path clear of snow, even if the pavement is wet, is important. One can use these systems in commercial areas, and they deliver 125 to 250 Btu/sq.ft. 
  • Class 3: systems are meant for instances where you want no snow to accumulate and ensure that the surface remains dry. These are used for critical traction, such as sloped ramps, pavements, and helicopter pads.


You might also like to read: How Long Does It Take Antifreeze To Circulate?


Will Antifreeze Melt Ice in Pipes?

Does antifreeze melt the snow? No, antifreeze is meant to prevent freezing of the pipes and not thawing already frozen pipes. 

What Liquids Will Melt Ice?

Sodium chloride liquid brine is known to melt ice quickly. The mixture is a solution of one-quarter parts of sodium and 3-quarter parts water and. As the liquid brine dries, it leaves a dry salt coat that reacts and prevents ice from getting stuck on any surface.  

What Will Instantly Melt Ice?

A salt-based ice melt is considered the most convenient and best approach for melting ice, particularly in winter. wikiHow suggests alternative methods for melting ice. These include using rock salt atop the ice. 

Products that happen to be exothermic deicers, particularly those containing magnesium chloride and calcium chloride, are effective in all weather conditions. 

Will Antifreeze Melt Ice

Ice Melt Safety

One can spot the exothermic term mentioned emphatically on most ice melts. Also, do not forget to wear safety gloves when dealing with this ice melt. One should avoid applying ice melt in thick layers since this makes the product ineffective. 

Instead, it is suggested to carry out ice melt application in thin layers before, during, and after the snowfall. Ensure even yet thin distribution on the surface. Put the second layer when some snow has accumulated and another atop when the snow has stopped. 

Users should also avoid the application of ice melt to porous surfaces such as roofs and brick since this can lead to salt buildup in the material, which can cause long-term structural damage. It is generally safe to use ice melt on concrete and wooden surfaces. If the use of ice melt to brick is unavoidable, quickly remove the salt once the ice melts. 

When To Use Liquid Ice Melt vs. Solid Melt?

Liquid ice melt is a proactive approach to ice and snow management. It is most effective when used as a pretreatment and is best used before the winter season hits. 

Solid ice melt is as effective as liquid melt when applied before, during, and after a snow event. Also, solid ice melt can be used at any time, unlike its liquid counterpart, which is best used when the winter season is approaching. 


You might also like to read: What Does Antifreeze Smell Like?


Can You Use Antifreeze on Your Driveway?

Does antifreeze stain driveways? Garden guides answer that antifreeze can leak from a container or the engine and stain the driveway. However, since antifreeze is water-soluble in nature, one can easily clean it with ordinary tap water and regular detergent. 

Stubborn stains can be dealt with automatic dishwasher detergent. Make a concentrate with powdered detergent and water or directly pour liquid detergent atop the stain. Scrub over the area with a brush and let it stay overnight. Rinse and repeat as required. 

How To Thaw a Frozen Pipe After a Storm?

Here’s how one can thaw a frozen pipe after the storm. 

  • Inspect all faucets in your house. It is likely for more than one pipe to be frozen. 
  • Keep the faucet open. Doing so will allow ice to melt as water begins to flow.
  • The frozen portion of the pipe can be heated. One may use an electric hair dryer or even wrap the pipes with towels dipped in hot water. However, one must always ensure that no electrical cords come in contact with the pipe in any case. Also, avoid using open flame devices since they release carbon monoxide fumes into the air. 
  • If all efforts of locating the frozen pipe seem to go in vain, call a licensed plumber to help locate the frozen area. 

Will Antifreeze Melt Ice

Final Thoughts 

Antifreeze is meant for preventing the freezing of pipes and not thawing pipes that have already frozen. It will hence not melt ice. Ice is best melted by using a liquid ice melt or solid ice melt, depending on the need. 

If we helped you answer your questions associated with antifreeze, do consider sharing your thoughts in the comments section. Also, share the same with friends and family. We will be more than delighted. Thank you for reading the article!

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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