DIY Ice Melt Recipe – Dawn and Rubbing Alcohol Hack – Myth or Fact

Look at the picture. Anybody would definitely hope that this recipe will work. Obviously you would have to make more that just 1/2 gallon in order to dissolve all of this ice.

There is a video after the recipe. It shows the results on one person’s test. I do know that many ice melt products will not work if the temperature is too low. I have no idea as to the temperature restrictions for this particular hack, and whether or not there are any period. Just thought that I should mention that in some cases there are temperature requirements for some products to work. After you watch the video you can decide for yourself. Decide for yourself is what I usually say when I try to present both sides. I’m not meaning to be sarcastic or smug or anything, just that everybody has the right to decide whether or not to try something new that they find out about.

Icy Steps And Sidewalk - To Melt It

SIDEWALK ICE MELT: For icy steps and sidewalks in freezing temperatures, mix 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish washing liquid, 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and 1/2 gallon hot/warm water and pour over walkways. They won’t refreeze. No more salt eating at the concrete in your sidewalks.

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I Googled for any fails on the Dawn and Rubbing Alcohol Ice Melt recipe. Pinterest had this one:  from One Good Thing by Jillie

Try this very stupid idea and get your skates ready: For icy steps and sidewalks in freezing temperatures, mix 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish washing liquid, 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and 1/2 gallon hot/warm water and pour over walkways. They won’t refreeze. No more salt eating at the concrete in your sidewalks. 

Apparently this was a fail, the same as the video above.

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From networx.com:

We Tested It: Homemade Driveway Deicers

Posted by Philip Schmidt | G+ | Jan 13, 2012

Disclaimer: These solutions were tested only for effectiveness at melting ice. Some may be harmful to plants, animals, paving surfaces, cream-colored carpets and other things you might care dearly about. The idea here was to find out what works in a pinch. If you need to deice on a regular basis, I recommend that you find a good, environmentally friendly ice melt product, or forget the melting altogether and just use a bit of sand for traction—and take your shoes off before going in the house.

Rubbing Alcohol

The freezing point of standard 70-percent rubbing alcohol is -20 degrees F, so it works pretty well as a deicer. In fact, alcohol is used in many deicing products for car windshields. 

Windshield Washer Fluid

Works pretty well, as you might guess, given it’s normal purpose. Washer fluid contains a small amount of methanol, and most solutions have a freezing point around -20 degrees F. It quickly melts ice and stays slushy for a long time. However, this is toxic stuff, and even though there must be untold quantities of it going into our storm water systems each year, it can’t be a good thing to use heavily around the house.

On this website, even thought alcohol worked,  there was no mention of the combination of Dawn and alcohol together. I don’t know whether or not to count this as a fail, that being the case.

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from topix.com:

How to make homemade ice melt for steps, sidewalks (works great)!

FreezeOut

London, KY

#1 Jan 25, 2013
If this freezing rain has your steps, porch and sidewalk icy, this homemade ice melt will work great using items you probably already have.
3 INGREDIENTS:
1. One quart lukewarm water.
2. 3 drops dish washing detergent
3. 1 ounce rubbing alcohol

Mix all 3 ingredients together and pour into a spray bottle. Coat icy surfaces with this mixture and the ice will quickly be gone. If you don’t have a spray bottle, the ingredients can be poured on the ice.

Judged:  X for 76  a check mark for 72  and a light bulb for 4

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Tina

Barbourville, KY

#2 Jan 25, 2013
FreezeOut wrote:
If this freezing rain has your steps, porch and sidewalk icy, this homemade ice melt will work great using items you probably already have.
3 INGREDIENTS:
1. One quart lukewarm water.
2. 3 drops dish washing detergent
3. 1 ounce rubbing alcohol
Mix all 3 ingredients together and pour into a spray bottle. Coat icy surfaces with this mixture and the ice will quickly be gone. If you don’t have a spray bottle, the ingredients can be poured on the ice.

This works great. I did it this morning. I just put mine in a gallon jug and poured it over my porch and steps. Melted off in just a few minutes.

Judged:  X for 58   a check mark for 17

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I visited quite a few other websites, but none of them mentioned the dawn and alcohol mixture. From what I read, as long as the temperature was above a minus 20 degrees, alcohol would melt the ice. But there was no mention of adding the dawn to it. The tests that I copied from those done on the topix.com website gave the results of those that reported in on the judging. I included those numbers. I was only able to use the X mark as there was no symbol for a check mark, so I just wrote the words “a check mark for” and put the number beside it. As you can see there were way more X s than there were check marks.

My conclusion is that dawn and rubbing alcohol is a myth that only works in theory, and that it does not actually work in real life. If in the future, I find out that i was wrong, I will post the results that mad me change my mind. I have been researching this for a few days now to bring this post to you.