Good news, the ice threat is over. Bad news, brine on roads is a problem for your vehicle

As the threat of icy conditions on North Texas roads is slowly improving after the arctic blast, many drivers may be wondering how to remove the brine from their vehicles that was sprayed to help keep area roads from icing over.

What is brine?

Brine is a mixture of salt and water and it’s used in place of salt crystals on roads because it stays in place better. When rock salt crystals are spread on a road, a large percentage of them bounce and roll off to the side where they are of no help in keeping the road free of ice and snow. But when those crystals are dissolved in water before they are spread, they stay on the road longer and increase their effectiveness.

In many cases, brine is made with magnesium chloride. Magnesium chloride is a salt like the more familiar sodium chloride crystals or rock salt, but it melts ice at lower temperatures. Unfortunately, if rock salt is bad for your car, then magnesium chloride is worse.

Why is brine bad for your vehicle?

What makes brine so desirable as an ice-fighting road treatment also makes it harder on your vehicle. Brine not only stays in places on roads, but when kicked up by driving over pavement treated with it, it stays on the underside of your vehicle too.

Crystals of salt bounce off roads, and they also bounce off your vehicle. But brine coats every part of your vehicle’s underbody with two things that cause iron and steel to rust: water and salt. Either water or salt on their own is capable of causing rust of course, but the two combined are much more corrosive.

Rock salt remains a crystal until the humidity reaches 70 percent, which doesn’t happen much during the winter. But magnesium chloride dissolves when there is only about 20 to 30 percent humidity. The corrosive effects increase when the weather gets warmer.

How to save your vehicle from brine?

The best way to save your vehicle from brine is by going to a car wash. The water will wash all the chemicals off. Make sure to clean the underbody of your car and truck very well to get rid of the brine.

Also, use Salt Away or vehicle rust protection items. These tools can remove all types of salt from your cars and trucks. The sooner it is removed, the less damage it can cause.

Of course, Mother Nature is the biggest savior of your vehicle from the brine with heavy rainfall to wash it away from area roads. Let’s hope for some umbrella weather soon, North Texas.


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