Magnesium Chloride (often refered to as MAG) is considered (by some) as the best total ice-melter that corrodes metal surfaces less, protects concrete from spalling more, is less toxic and environmentally safer than Calcium Chloride and Sodium Chloride (rock salt).
Magnesium chloride is very similar to calcium chloride. The major drawback to magnesium chloride is that it is only 48% active and needs to be applied at a greater rate than calcium chloride.
- MAG is less irritating to the skin.
- MAG corrodes metal surfaces less.
- MAG is safer around vegetation.
- MAG is safer on concrete.
- MAG is safer for use around animals and humans.
- MAG is environmentally friendlier.
- MAG is safer and tracks less than Calcium Chloride.
- MAG Brine is an effective road salt prewetting agent.
- MAG is an effective tennis court conditioner.
- MAG can be used for tire ballasting.
MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE (Flake)
Large, flat, clear to off-white flakes containing over 51% water of hydration.
Relative deicing speed
Starts about as fast as calcium chloride, but may become diluted and ineffective.
Lowest practical temperature
Down to 5° F.
Effect on concrete
Chemical attacks concrete at a "slow rate". Can cause damage from freeze-induced expansion pressures by increasing number of freeze/thaw cycles.
Effect on vegetation
Used as recommended, will not harm vegetation. However, magnesium chloride, on a percentage basis, contains 17 - 56% more chloride ion that other "salt" type deicers.
Leaves no powdery residue.
Manufacturer's recommended application rate
Flake magnesium chloride contains over 51% water. It starts deicing almost as fast as calcium chloride but may become diluted and ineffective. *"Slowly" attacks concrete chemically.