10 Great Ice and Snow Removal Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

Updated: Mar. 22, 2024

When it comes to removing snow and ice, there are some quick and easy tips to make your life easier. Here are 10 great snow removal hacks to try this winter.

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Use Cooking Spray

Snow shoveling is difficult work, especially when it’s the heavy, wet snow covering your driveway and sidewalk. To make it a little easier, spray some cooking spray on your shovel. It will help you move through the snow quickly and prevent it from sticking to your shovel. To avoid a mess, just remember to wipe the ice shovel tool down before you store it back in the garage.

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Benoit Daoust/Shutterstock

Set a Schedule for Snow Removal

When it comes to snow removal, one of the worst things you can do is to wait until it stops snowing. Instead, set a schedule to lightly shovel every one to two hours, depending on how long the snowfall is supposed to last.

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What To Know About Sandy Soil For Your Garden Gettyimages 539232242

Spread Sand Over Slippery Areas

Need some more traction when shoveling? Spread a little sand or kitty litter over the area where you’ll be working. The rough texture will help keep you from falling as you clear the snow and ice.

P.S. Take a look at some of the best heated outdoor mats for every kind of use outside your home, too.

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Ice melt

Make Your Own Ice Melt

We recommend being prepared for everything winter throws your way, but if you should find yourself snowed in without any ice melt or rock salt, there’s an alternative you can make with household ingredients. Combine 1 teaspoon of dish soap, 1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol and 1/2 gallon of water in a bucket and pour the mixture where you need it most.

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Make Shoveling More Comfortable

Who says snow removal must hurt your back? There are a number of options on the market now for ergonomic snow shovels. It won’t make shoveling the driveway any less tedious, but at least you won’t be so sore when you’re done.

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B Calkins/Shutterstock

Cover Your Driveway Before It Snows

If you don’t have a shovel handy and your electric snow blower isn’t working, try placing a plastic tarp over exposed sidewalks, walkways and even your car (these car snow removal tools might come in handy, too) when snow is anticipated. And when the flurries stop, just pull the tarp to uncover a clear path. For an upgraded version, you might consider snow melt mats, heated mats that you cover sidewalks and driveways with ahead of the storm.

Psst! Speaking of electric snow blowers, check out our list of the best electric snow blowers of the year.

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Use Your Leaf Blower to Remove Snow

Don’t put your leaf blower away for the season, put it to your advantage! Leaf blowers work great for removing light, fluffy snow.

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Elenathewise/Getty Images

Smart Snow Blowing

A snow blower can make quick work of a covered driveway, but you want to make sure you’re doing it correctly. The best method to snow blow your driveway is to start in the middle and throw the snow toward one edge of the driveway. Then, make a U-turn and come back down the other side and continue to alternate. This way you won’t have to adjust the chute as often and shouldn’t need a second pass.

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Use a Wet/Dry Vacuum to Remove Snow

Sure, you could try using your shop vacuum to suck up the snow and dump it in another location. But we recommend hooking your house up to the exhaust on your vacuum and turning it into a blower. Just point and blow the snow away.

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Use a Shovel Attachment

Add an ice shovel back-saver attachment to your list of best tools. There are several on the market that allow you to take your favorite shovel and make it better by attaching the removable handle in a spot of your choice to get a better hand position while removing black ice. It can help reduce back strain.