Shoveling snow for hours isn't the most exciting activity, but it's necessary for keeping your walkways safe and clear.
You don't have to dread snow removal, though, if you practice some new techniques this season. Turn it into a quick and easy exercise by using some tactics that might've slipped past your radar.
With the snow cleared, you can spend your time relaxing with a hot drink instead of struggling with a snow shovel.
1. Kitty Litter
Don't have any salt lying around to put on your driveway? That's no problem — use kitty litter instead. Kitty litter is a known substitute for salt, and it works with similar effectiveness. Lay it down in an icy area and let it work its magic.
Because it's darker than salt, it absorbs the sun's heat faster, melting the ice in a shorter time. You can also pour some litter into a sock and use it to defog your car windows before work.
Kitty litter also works well if your car is stuck and needs traction. Throw it around your tires to absorb the ice's moisture. Always use the non-clumping kind — for both snow removal and traction. Keeping a container of it in your trunk also weighs down the vehicle, which can prevent you from getting stuck in the first place.
2. Snow Tarp
Laying down a tarp is a quick and easy way to remove snow from your car if you're running late for work. Who has time to spend scraping at ice and snow? Pull the tarp off your vehicle in one fell swoop, and you'll instantly have a clean ride.
You can use any tarp you already own, though some brands have created car covers for this specific purpose. The cover accumulates all the snow that would otherwise end up caked on your car's exterior, and it's sturdy enough to not slip off under the weight of it.
You might already have some farm machinery on hand, so why not use it for this purpose, too? Consider employing a telehandler for difficult and dangerous spots, such as the roof.
Working so high up always poses a falling risk, even if you're familiar with roof work. This hazard becomes more prominent when you're surrounded by snow and ice — one slip can spell injury.
A telehandler can push snow off your roof using a push or plow attachment, reducing the time you would've taken with manual methods. In no time, you'll have a clean roof, which removes the risk of a cave-in from the snow's weight. Those falling snowflakes are festive, but not when they're in the middle of your living room.
4. Rubbing Alcohol
Fill a bottle with rubbing alcohol — or any other spirits you have on hand — and spray it on icy areas like windows. This substance works surprisingly well as a de-icer, and many people already have it in their cabinets.
Wipe it dry after spraying, and you should have a smudge-free, sparkling clean window after. Try this tip on your walkways by mixing alcohol and water in a bucket and pouring it over the iced-up areas.
5. Leaf Blower
A leaf blower can be a life-saver if you don't have a snowblower handy. Because it's handheld, you can use it to get into the tricky crevices and corners that collect snow. It's best to use it after a light snowfall when the snow isn't too heavy — otherwise, you might need a plow or shovel.
Always use ear protectors when operating a leaf blower, and use caution with electric models. Leaf blowers don't work as well on wet snow, and moisture could get inside the unit. Use a GFCI outlet if you plan to operate your machine in wet conditions — this will safeguard you against electrical shock.
6. Wet/Dry Vacuum
A wet/dry vacuum might be what you need to blow away or suck up snow. It's made for wet conditions, meaning there's less chance of any electrical incidents happening — though GFCI outlets are always recommended.
Ideally, you'd use it like you would a leaf blower, but you might also use it to suck up small sections of snow. It can be an excellent solution if you don't feel like bringing out the shovel to clear the porch or patio.
Beat the Cold With Smarter Snow Removal
The holiday season is hectic for many, but you can cross snow removal off your list of things to do. These methods can help you clear your walkways quicker than usual, leaving more time to deck the halls with your loved ones.
See which techniques work best for you and make them a part of your holiday tradition.