Using rock salt (sodium chloride) to keep walkways and driveways free of ice can harm plants and lawns because the salt builds up in the soil. Potassium carbonate is often recommended as a safe alternative. However, a scientific study in Austria shows that potassium carbonate can also have a detrimental effect on soil if large amounts are used.
The product raises soil pH, which is especially bad in soils that already have a high pH. Use potassium carbonate in moderation to prevent damage to lawn, landscape, or garden plants. Or eliminate the risk to your plants by using sand to provide traction on walkways and driveways.