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How to neutralize road salt

Updated February 21, 2017

Road salt, an ice-melting substance, is often part of a sand mixture spread over roadways before or after an ice or snowstorm. The mixture offers traction to your vehicle's tires, but can lead to rust formation on the undercarriage of your vehicle. Rust can also form on any area of your car that the road salt touches, and is even destructive to farm equipment and other metal machinery. To stop the rusting process, you can neutralise road salt and remove it from your vehicle before it can cause any damage.

In a bucket, mix 2 tbsp of baking soda, dolopril limestone, or granular gypsum with 1/2 cup of automotive wash and 1/2 gallon of water. Wear latex gloves to keep your hands dry. Stir the mixture with a sponge. Dolopril limestone and granular gypsum are available at hardware and home improvement stores as well as garden centres.

Apply the mixture to the undercarriage and any other areas of your vehicle containing road salt or a salt/sand mixture. Scrub the vehicle thoroughly to remove road salt.

Spray your vehicle with water to remove the road salt and cleaning mixture.

Once the vehicle is clean and road salt-free, dry it with a large towel.

Tip

You can also use a garden sprayer attachment to apply a neutralising agent to road salt build-up. Fill the attachment with the cleaning mixture, connect the garden sprayer attachment to your hose, then complete Steps 2 through 4.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda, dolopril limestone or granular gypsum
  • Automotive wash
  • Water hose with sprayer
  • Bucket
  • Latex gloves
  • Sponge
  • Large towel
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About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.