Storm Center 7 Science Lab: Brine vs. rock salt

Rock salt vs. brine experiment

This week in the Storm Center 7 Science Lab with Jesse Maag, he explains the difference between brine and rock salt.

Timing is everything when it comes to preventing ice accumulation and deicing winter precipitation.

Brine, a mixture of roughly 23 percent salt and 77 percent water, is an effective preventative for snow or ice from accumulating on surfaces.

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Interestingly, if too much or not enough salt is added to the brine, its effectiveness rapidly decreases.

It is also important to note that brine is an effective preventative for ice formation, but not deicing.

The better option for deicing is rock salt.

Rock salt is most effective for temperatures above 25 degrees. However, rock salt can still melt ice at temperatures below 0 degrees.

Does your child have a weather question you want to see Jesse answer? Send an email to and you might see Jesse perform an experiment based on your question!