Salt lowers the freezing point of water. A mixture that is just 10 percent salt and the rest water will freeze at 20F instead of 32F. So by adding salt to roadways or walkways, we lower the freezing point of that ice which helps to melt it faster. If the ice is colder than 15F, then salt doesn’t actually have much of an effect.
Hope this helps!
When salt is placed on snow or ice, it dissolves into it and lowers the melting point of the water, so at the same temperature it will become a liquid rather than remaining a solid. The fact that salt water will not freeze as readily is one of the reasons that the ocean doesn’t freeze, and why we use rock-salt for making homemade ice cream.
Also, if the temperature is lower than about 15 degrees Fareinheit, there is no point in putting salt on the road because even salt water will freeze. In that case, sand will likely be used to give the roadway more traction.
The salt dissolves into the ice and lowers the melting point, causing it to liquify, making it more managable. But as skpennel said already if the temperature is low enough (15 degrees F) the water will freeze regardless of the salts dissolving.
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