The Difference Between Rock Salt and White Salt

The Difference Between Rock Salt and White Salt

When choosing de-icing salt, you will normally find that there are two types – Rock Salt and White Salt. To decide which one to choose, you need to know the difference between them and to find out which one will best suit your needs. 

They are both very popular and effective choices when it comes to melting ice and keeping surfaces safe during the winter, but they have their differences and their usages vary.

What Is White Salt?

When thinking about the white colour, it usually associates with hygiene, cleanliness and purity, and it is no different when it comes to white salt. White de-icing salt is considered as the cleanest, purest de-icing salt, so it is mostly used where cleanliness and hygiene are important such us in schools, retail outlets and hospitals. 

White salt also does not leave behind a visible residue that Brown Rock Salt can do and it may look more aesthetically pleasing.

What Is Brown Rock Salt? 

Institutions such as councils, schools, transport and highway agencies across the UK choose rock salt rather than white salt due to it being better for clearing large areas and helping to prevent ice and snow on roads, paths, driveways, car parks, etc. When clearing large areas, rock salt is a cheaper option than white salt which allows these organisations to clear big areas cost-effectively.

Granular brown rock salt is very useful because of its brown colour. When spread it is visible on snow, which makes it even safer to notice where it is safer to walk or drive.


Even though both salts are effective and can be spread manually or by using a mechanical spreader on paths, roads, car parks, etc, the main differences would be to decide whether you want salt that is barely noticeable, how much are you willing to pay and how big the area is that you need to melt the ice or snow. 

You can also use our Quantity Calculator to determine the amount of de-icing salt you may need.

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