How to Neutralize Road Salt

Nick Davis

Road salt, an ice-melting substance, is often part of a sand mixture spread over roadways before or after an ice or snow storm. 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 neutralize road salt and remove it from your vehicle before it can cause any damage.


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

  1. 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 centers.

  2. 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.

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

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