CINCINNATI – The days spent at Ace Hardware in Oakley were loaded, as pitchers and bags of fondant were washed away.

Client Amanda Baker stated that it has been a long time since she did not need to use it, because of the warm winter that reigns until now.

"I did not even think about it," she says, "I think we still have it from last year … maybe."

Ace director John Doucleff said the good news was that prices had not risen this year and that the products were much better at melting ice and protecting pets.

This is a case where you do not want to go cheap. The problem with rock salt, the cheapest fudge, is that it becomes ineffective below 20 degrees and is bad for dogs and cats because of its stickiness.

"The new products do not dry your dog's legs, they are cracked and bleed," he said.

His best seller is

a product called Qik Joe,

a mixture of calcium chloride, which is stronger and safer than sodium chloride, more commonly known as rock salt.

It is similar to the best selling

Prestone driveway heat.

Both products boast an efficiency up to 20 below zero.

If you have dogs or cats on the outside, he suggests

Safe step

. It is now almost as effective as the most powerful melters, but will not cause any pet problems.

Which type is the best?

If you buy melted ice cream, you will probably find a range of confusing choices (unless the store only has one of the two bags).

Based on the results of three separate comparisons "Do not waste your money" in recent years, here's what we found:

  • 1st place: calcium chloride granules ("Prestone Driveway Heat", "Fire and Ice", "Qik Joe", others).
  • 2nd place: Ecological melts ("Safe Step", "Morton Pet Safe", others).
  • 3rd place: rock salt, a good value for money but just not effective below 15 degrees.

Of course, if you wait too long, the stores are perhaps among the best founders and you will have to take what you can get.

And if they are completely out, a Morton table salt carafe can also be used on slippery markets.

As always, do not waste your money.

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