With the recent snow of this past week, we have a few hacks to help making the taxing task of shoveling a little easier for you.
1. Spray Your Shovel with Cooking Oil
Snow sticking to your shovel makes an already arduous task even more obnoxious. Avoid it with this hack: Lightly coat your shovel with non-stick cooking oil to make snow slide right off. No more time wasted removing snow from your snow remover.
2. Lay Out a Tarp Before the Snow
The day before an expected snowfall, lay a tarp on your walkway. When the snow finishes falling, just pull out the tarp, and voilà: an instantly cleared walkway.
The technique requires a tarp, firewood, and twine as well as some prep work. Pre-storm, use firewood to weigh down your tarp — you don’t want it flying away in the wind! — and tie the twine to both the tarp and to a shovel standing upright in your yard. You’ll use the shovel to pull out the snow-laden tarp.
Although this method might be faster than shoveling, it does require manpower. After all, a cubic foot of snow can weigh between 7 and 20 pounds. So don’t get too ambitious with the size of your tarp or you might not be able to pull it once it’s full of snow.
3. Make a Homemade De-icing Cocktail
De-icers make snow removal easier by cutting through the tough ice with a shovel. But an easy solution should be easy on your property as well. Many commercial de-icers are pretty harsh.
Commercial ice-melting substances — magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride (salt) — all cause damage to the environment, according to the University of Maryland’s Home and Garden Information Center. They can also damage concrete sidewalks and driveways, which mean hefty repair costs later.
A better solution: Make your own de-icer using rubbing alcohol or vinegar.