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Magnesium Chloride FAQ: Everything You Need to Know

Magnesium chloride (mag chloride) is a popular choice for road maintenance, particularly for dust control and road stabilization. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you understand its uses and benefits.

General FAQs

What is magnesium chloride in layman's terms? Magnesium chloride is a type of salt that is commonly used on roads to keep dust down and to make the surface more stable and less prone to erosion. It's similar to table salt but has properties that make it especially useful for road maintenance.

How is mag chloride applied? Mag chloride is usually applied using a spray truck that evenly distributes the liquid over the road surface.

What are the benefits of using mag chloride for dust control and road stabilization?

Mag chloride effectively reduces dust by attracting moisture from the air, which helps keep the road surface damp. This reduces airborne dust, improving air quality and visibility for drivers. Additionally, mag chloride helps bind the particles in the road together, making the surface harder and more compact. This improves the overall durability of the road, reducing erosion and the need for frequent maintenance.

Can mag chloride be used on any type of road? Mag chloride is most effective on unpaved roads and gravel surfaces. It is less commonly used on paved roads, where different maintenance techniques are usually more appropriate. However, in our area, mag chloride is also used on paved roads for ice control.

Is there a minimum depth of road base needed to make mag chloride treatment effective? Yes, for mag chloride to be effective, it’s generally recommended that the road base be at least 4 inches deep. A well-prepared base helps the treatment penetrate and stabilize the surface more effectively.

Does mag chloride work in all weather conditions? Mag chloride works best in moderate weather conditions. Extreme rainfall or high temperatures can reduce its effectiveness, so the timing of application and appropriate moisture content is crucial.

How long does a mag chloride treatment last? A mag chloride treatment can last anywhere from 6 to 12 months, depending on environmental conditions, traffic volume, and the application rate. Typically, roads require annual reapplication to maintain optimal conditions. This is important and we encourage you to read our post "Long-Lasting Roads: The Risks of Skipping Annual Mag Chloride Treatment" for further detail.

Is it messy or muddy and how long does it stay that way? After application, mag chloride can make the road surface appear wet or slightly muddy, especially in high-traffic areas or during wet weather. This effect is usually temporary, lasting a few days to a week, depending on weather conditions.

Does the application make the surface hard? Yes, mag chloride helps bind the particles in the road together, making the surface harder and more compact. This helps reduce dust and improves the overall durability of the road. It does not reach the same level of hardness as recycled asphalt or asphalt roads.

Should I avoid driving my vehicle on it? You don’t need to avoid driving on a road treated with mag chloride. It is safe for vehicles, although you might notice a slight stickiness or dampness on your tires immediately after application. It’s always a good idea to rinse your vehicle occasionally to prevent any salt buildup. Magnesium chloride, like other salts, can accelerate the rusting process when it comes into contact with metal surfaces. It is advisable to wash your vehicle regularly, especially the undercarriage, to remove any mag chloride residue and prevent rust formation.

Is it environmentally safe and safe for animals to be around? Mag chloride is considered environmentally safe when used properly. It has minimal impact on plants and soil compared to other chemicals used for road maintenance. Additionally, it is generally safe for animals, including pets and wildlife, although it should still be applied at recommended rates to avoid potential issues such as runoff into water sources. We have additional information relating to the environmental concerns of mag chloride in our post "The Importance of Magnesium Chloride for Road Stabilization".


Mag chloride is a versatile and effective solution for road maintenance, particularly for dust control and surface stabilization. Understanding its properties and how to use it properly can help ensure long-lasting and environmentally safe road conditions. If you have more questions, feel free to reach out to us!


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