Many products are labeled “less harmful than rock salt”, but this is often a hollow claim when the product is 95% salt. Or how about, “contains no rock salt,” but the main ingredient is solar salt, a water conditioning grade of sodium chloride — SALT! So, beware of products with clever names and fancy graphics. Always ask for the
ingredients of what you are buying!
Salt/Sodium Chloride can be harvested from the earth as rock salt or harvested from the sea as solar salt. Rock salt usually contains more impurities that result in a gray or tan color. Solar salt is purer, white, and used as a water softener. Medium grade solar salt is almost always used in ice melt blends. So, a product can legally be labeled “no rock salt” or “safer than rock salt”, yet contains 98% solar salt. The thing to remember is that they are both sodium chloride. Whatever potential damage can be caused by rock salt is the same damage that can be caused by solar salt.
Another reason solar salt is used in blends is that a small amount of dye can easily change it from white to pink, blue, green, purple, or orange. Some buyers and end users like color. The contrast shows shoppers, employees and residents that the property manager has put out chemical.