Got Salt? Us Neither

Published February 8, 2011

Rock salt crystals

Rock salt crystals (Glyn Nelson/Flickr)

My boss, who lives in Newtonville, was lamenting the fact that he couldn’t find rock salt anywhere this weekend — and the workers at Home Depot were jerry-rigging roof rakes to keep up with demand.

After hearing last week’s story by WBUR’s David Boeri, you would think there’s plenty to go around. There are 50-foot mounds of the stuff in Chelsea, and the trucks don’t stop trucking. But that’s the commercial end of the salt business. Retailers and their distributors can’t keep up with demand..

I called or visited six stores last night to see if they carried salt or ice melt forumla. Here are my findings:

  • Tags Hardware, Cambridge: Sold out, stock expected Tuesday.
  • Home Depot, Watertown: Sold out, restock unknown.
  • Lowe’s, Dedham: Sold out Sunday, restock unknown. Operator suggested a grocery store.
  • Which led me to… Star Market, Brookline: Jars of salt for sale at $7.99; no more bags left.
  • Star Market, Brighton: Out of stock. The sign for ice melt is still visible, but the display has been replaced with wiper fluid.
  • True Value Hardware, North End: “Tons of it.”

I informally polled my Twitter followers to find out if they have had any luck:

  • Katy Aronoff: “Not salt, but there’s shortage of roof rakes. People were lined up at Salem NH Home Depot on Fri for shipment that never came.”
  • Jeremy Marin: “Has anybody not had trouble? Local TrueValue told me they can’t even order more – not expected in warehouse ’til Fall. … Foodmaster and Shattucks (Ace) in Arlington had as of yesterday. Nobody has Calcium chloride though.”
  • Carissa O’Brien: I” found regular salt, and an organic calcium mix (for the roof) at Aubuchon Hardware, Maynard.”
  • Catherine Mather: “slim pickings at Home Depot Medford on Saturday, but I noticed a lot at Whole Foods Medford on Sunday.”
  • Margaret Felice said she found “plenty” at Home Depot in the South Bay shopping center.
  • @AndreaWBZ: “use kitty litter instead.”

Have you had luck? Tell us where you are able to find salt.