It has been snowing a lot lately and I don't have a snow blower, so I have to shovel. Every time I shovel a row of snow, some of it gets stuck and I have to waste time banging it on the ground. This is a hassle and I would really prefer not to do it. Is there any hack to keep snow from sticking to a shovel, so I can shovel quicker and more efficiently?

  • Have you tried spreading salt around the snow? – Anthony Pham Feb 25 '15 at 22:45
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    @PythonMaster That only helps with melting ice. – michaelpri Feb 25 '15 at 22:48
  • Which makes it easier to shovel – Anthony Pham Feb 25 '15 at 22:49
  • @PythonMaster Yes it does, but I still get the sticking problem. – michaelpri Feb 25 '15 at 22:50
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    @DeltaEscher I don't see how salting a shovel would help. If the shovel were dry, the salt would just fall off. If the salt did stick, it would get pushed off with the first shovel-full of snow. – James Dec 30 '15 at 19:09

10 Answers 10

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Look at how other people have solved the problem of making snow slide off. Or rather, of making themselves slide off of snow. Meaning, wax that snow shovel like a pair of skis or a snowboard.

You can get serious and do it with actual ski wax, but auto detail wax would help as well. Even a quick Turtle Waxing will help.

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    If you don't have auto wax, you can use a candle and just rub it on as well. Did this on sleds a lot as a kid. – agweber Feb 27 '15 at 20:16

A great hack for this problem is to use non-stick cooking spray. This will do exactly what it does with pans, it will make the snow not stick. You just have to spray a generous amount of the spray on each side of the shovel. This works for both plastic and metal shovels. It might even work with shovels on the beach during the summer, so they don't get sand on them (not sure, haven't tried it). Extra Hack: Apply cooking spray to the bottom of a sled to make it go faster.

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    Alternatives: 1) Any other household oil-based lubricant like WD-40, sewing machine oil, etc. (will have the same effect) 2) Kitchen grease like Crisco, bacon grease, etc. (sticks to the surface better, so the effect will last a lot longer) Bonus: when used on metal shovels, all of the above hacks will also help to prevent rust! – RobotZombieLord Feb 25 '15 at 22:23

Don't use a shovel. There was a guy who made a video of himself rolling snow up like a carpet. Depending on the depth of your snow, this may not work for you.

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    I've had some pretty deep snow. Sadly, I don't think this would work for me. – michaelpri Feb 25 '15 at 22:35
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    Also depends on the type of snow - that works with wet snow but not dry snow. – pacoverflow Feb 27 '15 at 16:44

If you use a different type of shovel, more like a plow, and push it like a plow, there is never an issue of snow sticking. Hold at a slight angle while going down the driveway just like a big snowplow. If more snow, make narrower swaths. The plow type shovel still allows you to throw when needed.

Use this:

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instead of this:

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Snow sticks to the shovel because it melts on contact with the shovel blade. This can be most easily prevented by keeping the shovel outdoors, so it's cold before you start shoveling the snow. This will let the snow slide off the blade, without requiring waxing, oiling, etc. As a bonus, it'll work equally well with a plastic or metal shovel blade.

The only time this won't work is when the temperature outside is actually above freezing. If that's the case, you could try spraying the blade with ether-based engine starting fluid; it will evaporate quickly even in very cold weather, chilling the shovel blade so it doesn't stick to the snow as badly, but in these conditions, there really isn't much you can do -- even a waxed or oiled blade will stick some.

TL;DR Keep the blade cold, below freezing.

Spray Rain-X on to the shovel before shoveling.

The best cure is to use a decent car wax in paste form. Best to wax it when you first get the shovel but it works on old shovels just fine. I have done this for 50 years on metal and plastic shovels. I get a lot of snow where I live and I wax em at the start of the season. Works great on snow plows also, helps keep them looking good and keeps the pitting & rusting to a minimum. Ballistol gun cleaner also works in a pinch. Spray or wipe it on shovel let it set for a few hours and buff it. This will also last the whole season...

After 20 years of shoveling heavy wet snow here in Colorado, I have found one product that works great. I used Amsoil auto and motorcycle and 4cycle oil for years, and Amsoil sells a product called "Heavy Duty Metal Protector" or MPHD. It is meant as a motorcycle chain lube, but it really works on all types of snow shovels. It sprays on, and dries to a very durable wax like finish on metal and plastic shovels. In the fall I bring all 3 of my snow shovels inside and clean and dry them. I then spray a heavy coat of MPHD. In March, I may have to spray again lightly. The oil sprays like the dupont spray wear off the first time I use them.

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    Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. I've edited out the question at the end of your answer; questions should be asked as questions. – Daniel Griscom Nov 19 '16 at 22:54

Use a silicone based sex lube, simply spread it on the shovel ladle, and the snow will slide off every time.

I suggest you a method that I follow: I spray the shovel with a silicone spray when dry. It helped me to free the shovel longer than WD40.

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