June 20, 2014

Friday FISHER Fun: Three Unlikely Alternatives to Salt

Deicing alternatives have been a pretty hot topic this spring. Last winter was tough, and most cities depleted their entire salt supply. This means that salt providers are working overtime this summer to create a new supply. But, if we’re hit with another harsh winter, we could see another shortage and a price spike. Don’t fret – we’ve created a list of alternative deicing options to help you prepare for the coming winter.


Urea comes from nitrogen that’s extracted from the rich protein of mammal urine. It is often used in farm fertilizers because it’s a great source for nitrogen. How do they extract this, you ask? Well, they don’t. It’s made synthetically from ammonia and carbon dioxide. You can rest easy knowing no mammals were harmed in creating your urea.

urea salt alternative

Cheese Brine

Cheese brine is that cloudy liquid residue you get when you open a container of fresh mozzarella. In Wisconsin, they create a lot of cheese and must dispose of this salty liquid. They already wear cheese on their heads, so why not pour it on the road? What makes this product so interesting is that it doesn’t freeze until it hits 21 degrees below zero, which makes it even more effective than salt brine.

Cheese Salt Alternative

Beet Juice

Yes. Beet juice. Apparently, beet juice has properties that can help delay icing. When combined with less salty brine, it can lower the freezing temperature of the road, and help prevent ice from forming. Although, we’re guessing this will turn the snow, ice and white automobiles into a scene from Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat.”

Beet Juice Salt Brine Alternative

All kidding aside, there is serious potential for a salt shortage this year, and your company should stock up to stay ahead of the game. If not, you might be investing in a tasty combination of cheese and beets.