Rock Salt Vs White Salt

When it comes to de-icing salt, there are two types available – Rock Salt and White Salt. But what is the difference? Which one will suit your needs best?

Both are equally as effective at melting ice and keeping us safe during the winter, but there are different benefits to each. Rather than flipping a coin, here is everything you need to know to about brown rock salt & white salt so you can make an informed decision. We hope the following will help you decide which salt will best suit your requirements!

Rock Salt

Rock Salt is what most people are familiar with – this is the brown salt commonly used by the highways agencies which you see getting spread by the gritters when the cold weather comes.

Where Does It Come From?

Rock salt is the common name for the rock Halite. It is extracted from underground mines across the world, and we still mine rock salt here in the UK today. Winsford salt mine in Cheshire is the UK’s largest salt mine, stretching four miles east to west, and 3 miles north to south –that’s a lot of salt!

Rock Salt is cheaper than White Salt so more cost effective, particularly when covering large areas.

Rock salt does leave a slight residue behind which can be brought inside in areas with a lot of people walking in and out. This means extra cleaning.

Commonly Used By:

Highways agency, local councils and car parks. This is the salt commonly spread as road grit.

White Salt

White de-icing salt is formed in sunnier climates by evaporating sea water, so for this reason is a bit cleaner and purer than the tradition rock salt.

Where Does It Come From?

White salt comes from evaporated sea water. As this requires warmer climates than available here in the UK, it is commonly sourced from salt plains in Spain or Egypt and imported via shipping containers.

White salt does not leave behind a dirty residue, so everywhere stays a bit cleaner! This is handy in areas with a lot of foot traffic in and out of buildings. Carpets are particularly susceptible to treading in salt during the winter months and so white rock salt is much easier to clean. White salt is also slightly finer than brown rock salt, meaning it is easier to handle and spread on the ground.

White salt is slightly more expensive, which can add up if you require covering very large areas.

Commonly Used By:

Schools, hospitals, airports and domestic properties that need to be kept clean at all times.

We hope that this helps you decide which de-icing salt is most suitable for you. If price is a key factor, then Rock Salt will do a great job at keeping you safe this winter. If you are de-icing an area with a lot of foot traffic in and out of buildings, you may want to consider going for the White salt as this will not only keep you safe, but also help keep things cleaner too!

White SaltBrown Rock Salt
PositiveNo leftover residue
Lower cost & effective
NegativeSlightly more expensiveLeaves a slight residue & more difficult to clean when tread indoors
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