What’s the difference between rock salt and de-icing salt?

Published : 26/11/2019 - Categories : Default

We thought it would be useful to provide a guide on the differences between the two types of salt before you make an order. 

Brown rock salt

Brown rock salt, typically known as ‘grit’ or ‘road salt’, is deposited from lorries during the winter evenings as a safety precaution to prevent cars or pedestrians from slipping on the tarmac. This type of salt lowers the freezing point of water, which breaks the bond between the ice and road.

Brown rock salt is also referred to online as Halite (the mineral form of sodium chloride).


It’s freely available. Brown rock salt is extremely easy to source, as it’s derived from mines across the country. Supply is never limited, which is worth keeping in mind if you need to get your hands on large amounts. 

It’s often cheaper. As it is easily sourced, brown rock salt is far more affordable for companies, governments and domestic customers who need to cover large areas such as pavements or workplace premises.


The residue. One of the biggest downfalls of rock salt is that it can leave behind a murky deposit. As well as looking unsightly, this can make its way into your home via the bottom of your shoes. 

White de-icing salt

Unlike brown rock salt, white de-icing salt is derived from the evaporation of seawater rather than mines. It’s considered a much cleaner alternative.


It works in much colder conditions. For those who experience particularly bad winters, de-icing salt can work in temperatures of -25 Fahrenheit. It not only forms a grit solution but also generates heat as part of the melting process.

It’s safer. This type of salt is ideal if you plan on using it around the home. It’s regarded as much safer for plant life, pets and children. Just be sure to read any labels before purchasing.

It’s purer. Unlike brown rock salt, de-icing salt doesn’t leave behind a dirty residue.


It’s slightly costlier. But it’s still a worthwhile investment if safety and aesthetics are your top two priorities.  

Whichever option you choose, we highly advise ordering your salt solution before the peak of winter to ensure you are stocked up for icy weather conditions. 

Find out more about our Winter Products range, or order brown rock salt or de-icing salt online

Share this content

Add a comment

 (with http://)