It’s no secret that the long, curved design of plastic snow shovels makes them ideal for removing snow build-up. There may be certain instances, though, where you need to remove snow, and there’s no shovel to be found. While you might be ready to throw in the towel and accept your snowy fate, you can use one of these alternative methods to clear your driveway.
How to Remove Snow without a Snow Shovel
Turn to Your Leaf Blower
In a pinch, your leaf blower can double as a snow blower. Leaf blowers work best on light, fluffy snow versus compacted snow. Turn it on and blow snow to the sides of the driveway, carving yourself a path.
Leaf blowers are most efficient when snow is only a couple of inches tall. If a significant snowfall is in the forecast, blow snow off your driveway after every 2-3 inches worth of accumulation.
Create a Melting Potion Out of Water, Dish Soap, and Rubbing Alcohol
While not a great solution for large driveways, you can treat compacted snow or icy areas with a mixture of water, dish soap, and rubbing alcohol. Start by filling a garden watering can or large pitcher with water. Then add ½ cup of rubbing alcohol and a tablespoon of dish soap. Slowly pour the solution on compacted areas to melt snow and ice.
Tip: Don’t pour warm water only on snow. It may temporarily melt it, but if temperatures are below freezing, the water will freeze on the driveway, creating icy patches.
Lay Down a Tarp Before it Snows
Save yourself the trouble of shoveling by laying down a tarp before it begins to snow. Then, clear off the tarp periodically to prevent it from becoming too heavy. Use this method for small driveways or to keep areas near your walkway snow-free.
Treat the Snow with Rock Salt
Rock salt can melt the snow on your driveway if temperatures are above 15°F. If they drop any lower, it loses its effectiveness. It’s best to treat driveways with salt before it starts to snow. The salt will change the snow’s melting point from 32°F to 15°F, keeping your driveway snow and ice-free.
Salt Smart says it only takes about 12 ounces of rock salt (the equivalent of a coffee cup full) to melt snow on a 500-square-foot area.
Sweep it Off with a Broom
When you’re out of options, head to your broom closet for a substitute snow removal tool. You can sweep off snow with a standard or soft-bristled push broom. Use this method for light, fluffy accumulation less than a few inches deep.