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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Pacocha

Bagged or Bulk Salt?

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

Generally speaking, larger paved parking lot areas will be serviced using bulk material whenever possible.  Bulk ice melt material requires suitable dry storage (short/long term, on/off-site, etc.), 

Sidewalks, driveways, small parking areas, etc. are generally serviced by spreading a suitable non-clumping bagged ice melt



  • Pound-for-pound, the price of delivered bulk material is less expensive than it’s bagged material equivalent.

  • Available in large semi-truck quantities (20-22 tons per delivered load).

  • Can apply over large open areas quickly and efficiently.


  • Requires expensive equipment to move and load material.

  • Requires storage in a large dry dedicated bin or steel container to prevent material loss/run-off.

  • Prone to bulk salt material shortages (limited or non-existent local area supply) during on-going heavy winter weather seasons.

  • Price-per-ton of bulk salt increases rapidly (25% > 75%+/-) when material shortages are anticipated or finally realized.



  • Available to purchase in very small quantities (50 pound bag).

  • Plastic bag packaging keeps material dry and clump-free.

  • Bags delivered neatly stacked on a wood pallet (49-55 bags per pallet) and wrapped in plastic.

  • Less prone to material clumping or hardening if plastic bag packaging remains sealed.

  • Even during times of bulk salt shortages, bagged ice melt material generally remains available for purchase albeit at a higher price.

  • Amount of ice melt material used can be accurately quantified on a job-by-job basis.

  • Material remains dry until bags are opened to fill spreader at time of application.

  • Can stack and store pallets of bagged material indefinitely and without loss as long as material remains dry.


  • More expensive than bulk material equivalent.

  • Additional labor required to repeatedly lift, open and pour sealed bags into spreading equipment.

  • Need to dispose of discarded plastic bag packaging and wood shipping pallets.

Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. to discuss snow and ice management services needed at your local Chicagoland area property.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!


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