Tips & Tricks

How to: De-ice outdoor steps and walkways

How to: De-ice outdoor steps and walkways

Learn how to properly de-ice your outdoor steps and walkways. Author: Stacey Van Berkel

Tips & Tricks

How to: De-ice outdoor steps and walkways

This winter, transform your outdoor steps and walkway from slippery to safe with these helpful de-icing tips and tricks.


Fluffy white piles of freshly fallen snow can add to your home’s curb appeal, but winter loses its charm when billowy turns to slippery. Here’s how to de-ice your outdoor steps and walkways.


Problem: Icy walkway
1 To remove the bulk of the ice, chip away at it using a long-handled ice chipper. The one you normally use for your car will work just fine. The ice will be thinnest at the edges, so start there, working inward.

2 If any ice is too persistent to loosen with the chipper, melt it using boiled water. Just be sure to have an absorbent rag at the ready to wipe up the water immediately after. The last thing you want is for it to refreeze and add to your workload. Wear thick rubber gloves to avoid scalding your skin.

3 Ultimately, when it comes to ice build-up, the best defence is a good offence. In the future, to prevent snow from melting down and forming into ice, ensure your your walkways are shovelled regularly. To make the work less back-breaking, explore your local hardware store for an ergonomic shovel.


Get organized
If a bargain-sized bag of ice melter or traction aid is cramping the style of your front entrance, try placing it in an elegant lidded plastic storage bin like the Berkshire from Mayne ( Lowe’s, $178), which looks like an architectural feature. Keep a wood-handled scoop inside it for easy dispensing.


Illustration courtesy of Joanna Kim

Hold the salt
Rock salt has negative environmental and health effects that can’t be ignored. Try these green alternatives for fast slip-proofing.

(From top to bottom)
1 Eco-friendly
A volcanic mineral that provides instant grip for your soles, even in freezing rain. Traction aid, EcoTraction, $13.

2 Pet-safe
Pooch-approved and stops new ice from forming for days with an invisible barrier. Safe Paw Ice melter, Pet Valu, $17.

3 Fast-acting
A greener option from a trusted brand. Sifto Safe Step Ice melter, Canadian Tire, $8.


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Tips & Tricks

How to: De-ice outdoor steps and walkways