We often get asked about the different types of commonly used de-icing winter salt. Winter salt primarily comes in two varieties - white salt and brown salt. At GRITIT we primarily use white salt as our main de-icing agent, due to white salt being slightly more effective, cleaner to use and more environmentally friendly than brown salt.
Brown Winter Gritting Salt
Brown salt is a mined resource and it gets its brown colour from the presence of impurities (often insoluble minerals), hence why a gritty residue is left behind. Brown salt is mainly used by local councils and the highways agency to spread on the roads as it’s cheaper than white salt.
Composition of brown salt
6% impurities (clays, sand, iron oxide etc).
Advantages of brown salt
- Marginally cheaper to purchase than white salt
Disadvantages of brown salt
- A non-sustainable mined resource that is not particularly environmentally friendly
- Site maintenance and clean-up is needed afterwards. Brown salt leaves behind a messy, gritty brown residue
- Causes staining, especially when trodden into buildings and vehicles, which is difficult and costly to remove
- High tendency to cause corrosion which accelerates the rusting of vehicles and the steel used in concrete.
White Winter Gritting Salt
White salt is much more sustainable than brown salt because it is collected from evaporated seawater. It’s more concentrated than brown salt and therefore is more effective as a de-icing agent.
Composition of white salt
99.99% pure salt
- White salt is sustainable and more environmentally friendly, as it’s essentially evaporated seawater
- It does not leave behind a messy residue after spreading
- It’s perfect for high footfall areas or locations where it may be trodden into buildings or vehicles, as it does not leave behind brown stains
- White salt gets to work faster than brown salt, as it’s 99.99% pure salt.
- Slightly more expensive than brown salt. But using white salt will often save you time and money in the long run, as you won’t have to clean up left-over residue or stains.
We are the gritting and snow clearing experts and our dedicated team is here to help build the right solution for you. To find out how we can support you or to obtain a free quote, please contact us today.