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Spreading Salt - Be In The Know Before The Snow

Winter is approaching, so you are probably thinking about stocking up on the essentials, grit bins, spreaders and of course salt and grit. But did you know there is some science behind a good spread.

guide to salt and grit spreading

Most people think it is fine to keep your salt or grit in a pile in the shed or even just outside, however it becomes incredibly difficult to spread and almost useless if any moisture has gotten to it. So we’ve put together this quick guide to grit and salt and their spreadability ratings, so you know what to look for when buying.


The cheapest thing you can buy in winter to put on ice and snow. It is not intended to melt the ice or snow however, it is purely used to give traction and grip when vehicles drive over it. Grit has a high moisture content which makes it difficult to spread, although this does get easier when bone dry. 

SPREADABILITY: Average (when dry)


Road salt is very similar to grit in appearance but works in a very different way. This salt works by lowering the freezing point of the moisture around it, to work effectively however it needs to be crushed into the ice by traffic and dissolve. This brown salt however loses its effectiveness once temperatures hit more than -5, and if it gets to -10 then it is virtually useless.

SPREADABILITY: Good (when dry)


Processed white de-icing salt is a much higher purity grade than road salt. This means that it will not create that lovely brown slushy stuff we see that road salt causes. Processed salt is clean and leaves no messy or gritty residue; it’s also what we sell here at ESE Direct as we find it has the best results.

SPREADABILITY: Excellent (when dry)


Ice melts are relatively new to the salt spreading market; they are designed specifically to give a better performance for a range of temperatures. They also do not absorb as much moisture as salt which means they are a lot easier to spread and because they are not salt they are non-corrosive. You will find these are used outside of tube stations so that salt is not trodden onto the escalators which eventually cause breakdowns.


If you are still in need of salt and spreaders, you can view our winter maintenance range online. If you do have any questions please do not hesitate to call our technical sales consultants on 0808 163 3704.

Photograph of Laura Holland

Author Bio -

Social Media and Web Content Coordinator, Jan 2014 - May 2015