Ahh salt. We all love to salt our food, and in fact our bodies have to have some salt in order to live, especially to replace what we lose through perspiration and urination. But did you know that salt is useful for a lot more than just making a bland dish divine? Read our 25 amazing ways you to use salt around the house, and try a few out today!
25 Household Uses for Salt
1. Absorb food stains.
If you spill a little juice on the table cloth or drop a little ketchup on your shirt, rub some salt in it to absorb the stain. Then put the item in the wash. You can also use salt to absorb spills on the carpet. Read more information about it here: How to Remove a Fresh Carpet Stain.
2. Clean pit stains.
These seem to be an inevitable part of life, especially if you have white shirts you love. Simply make a paste with salt and water, rub on the underarm area, and let it sit for at least an hour. Then wash as usual.
3. Relieve a sore throat.
Fill a cup with water, throw in a pinch of salt, and stir until dissolved. Gargle so your throat feels the salt but don’t swallow the water; simply spit it out. Repeat as necessary.
A saltwater gargle is just temporary relief. But it’s very effective and since it’s all natural it is very safe, though young children may have a hard time gargling very well.
4. Keep cut flowers fresher.
Garden Guides outlines why this is the case. First, adding salt in the water kills bacteria, it encourages water uptake, and it feeds the flower with key nutrients that are typically missing from tap water alone. Here’s more information about using salt to make flowers last longer.
5. Absorb oil spills.
Salt has the amazing ability to pull liquids into itself. So the next time your car leaks oil onto your driveway or in your garage, simply pour salt on it. Then, just sweep it up. The salt will absorb it making it easy to sweep away. For more information, see how to clean up oil spills.
6. Clean stainless steel.
Stainless steel is great as cookware and durable sink material, but it can be hard to clean. It needs an abrasive that is strong enough to scrap film off but not scratch it. Salt is a perfect solution.
Simply mix salt with some baking soda and you’ve got a great stainless steel cleaner. Follow the link for a photo tutorial on Nature’s Nurture: Stainless Steel Cleaner.
7. Dust silk flowers easily.
Fake flowers have a way of collecting dust; it can be tedious and not very effective to dust them with a feather duster or wash cloth. To make it easier and to do a much better job, place the dusty flowers in a brown paper bag with salt; then shake!
The salt will wipe away the dust, and according to How To Clean Stuff, you can reuse the salty bag again later. Here are the directions to cleaning silk flowers with salt.
8. Douse flames.
To make a fire, such as in a fireplace or a campfire or even a grease fire, go out faster, douse with salt. Since it gets rid of the flames faster, you’ll haves less soot to deal with. The salt also helps the ashes and residue gather so clean up is easier. Keep in mind baking soda is the best bet for a grease fire, but for small grease fires the salt can suffocate the flame.
9. Remove watermarks from wood.
Leave a glass of water too long on wood furniture and it could leave a watermark, which can be hard to get rid of. Try this Water Stain Remover from Do It Yourself: mix salt and oil together, then rub it on the watermark. Wait for 20 minutes and then remove with a cloth.
10. Freshen up dish sponge.
After repeated use, dish sponges tend to get a little grimy. To make it last a little longer, and give it a good clean, put about two cups of water in the sink, add ¼ cup of salt, and mix. Drop the sponge in overnight, and it should be clean by morning. Read more about it on LifeHacker here: Remove Burned Grease and Food Gunk from Sponges with a Salt Water Soak.
11. Deodorize shoes.
Live Well Network gives a great tip for taking the stink out of shoes: Running Shoe Deodorizing Tips. Grab a napkin or coffee filter, and fill it with salt and baking soda, then tie the top. Place in shoes overnight and presto! No more smell.
12. Natural ant deterrent.
Forget the harsh chemical pesticides; to keep ants at bay, the safest home remedy is to create a line of salt as a barrier. The ants won’t cross it. Check out the info at Organic Facts: Home Remedies for Ants.
13. Remove baked on food.
Even using a strong scrub brush, baked on food can be nearly impossible to remove. Next time this happens, pour some salt on the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes; then pour on a little more salt, grab a lime wedge, and scrub it.
The salt will act as an abrasive and absorbent, taking the yucky food with it and leaving your cookware clean. Read more at About: 10 Green Tips & Tricks to Cleaning Burnt Stainless Steel Pots & Pans.
14. Make shelling hard-boiled eggs easier.
Adding a bit of salt and vinegar to boiling water will make your hard boiled eggs much easier to shell. Read the step-by-step instructions at AllRecipes: Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs.
15. Clean your iron.
Depending on what is stuck to your iron, there are many methods to clean it. For general dirt and grim, salt works great.
Follow the instructions on Top Cleaning Secrets by turning your iron onto its highest setting (turn off the steam feature), then run a cloth with salt on it over the metal place of your iron. The salt will absorb the dirt and gently scrub the metal. Here’s a link to the instructions: How to Clean a Steam Iron.
16. Exfoliate your skin.
Dead skin easily builds up unless you exfoliate; salt as a gentle, all natural way to make your skin glow. WebMD says to make sure to use sea salt, plus a few other things, to make a scrub to use on your skin, though not every day. Here’s a link to Exfoliating Facial Sea Salt Scrub.
17. Unclog your tub drain.
No need to buy a bottle to help that drain clog. Try the all-natural way. Angie’s List says to pour boiling water down the drain, then salt to break it up. Here are instructions: How to Clear a Clogged Drain.
18. Clean stained coffee cups.
Even throwing coffee cups in the dishwasher can’t always remove coffee stains; a quick cleaning method involves salt. Real Simple’s advice is to sprinkle some on a lemon peel and scrub the stained area. It’ll come right off. See more at All Natural Cleaning Solutions.
19. Prevent food from sticking in a pan.
Maybe it sounds crazy, but it works. Rub some salt on a frying pan before putting food on it and foods won’t stick. Try it! Read more here at Salt Works: Salt Uses Tips.
20. Freshen up your cutting board.
The Kitchn offers this quick and easy tip for making your wooden cutting board look new again: lemon and salt. Simply sprinkle salt on the board, then using a half a lemon, scrub the entire board. Let sit and wipe clean. Read more here: How To Clean a Wooden Cutting Board with Lemon and Salt.
21. Clean a cast iron skillet.
What’s Cooking America recommends starting with using steel wool to loosen the crud that’s on the skillet, then heating it on the stove with oil in the bottom. Next, add coarse salt and scrub it with several paper towels (you might want to wear gloves when doing this). Then clean as usual. You can find more information here: Salt Method for Cleaning Cast Iron.
22. Clean wicker furniture.
White wicker tends to yellow over time, especially if it’s outside. To make it look new again, dip a scrub brush in salt water and scrub it down. Then let it sit in the sun. No need to rinse. Repeat once a year for best results. You can find more directions here on Huffington Post: How To Clean Wicker Furniture With Salt.
23. Clean brass and copper.
Want to bring new life to your brass and copper? Cut a lemon in half and pour some salt on it to use as a scouring pad. Then rinse. For more instructions and demo photographs see Apartment Therapy’s How To Clean Brass Using 2 Natural Kitchen Ingredients.
24. Test egg freshness.
Dr. Oz says to test how old an egg is, put two teaspoons of salt into a cup of water, then carefully drop the egg in it. A fresh egg will sink to the bottom, and an older egg will float to the top. That’s because air increases inside the egg as it ages.
25. Keep bright colored clothes from fading.
What’s great about using salt is that you already have it in your house and it’s all natural! Organic Authority says to put ½ cup of salt into the regular wash cycle to keep bright clothes from bleeding some of their color out. This works especially well with new clothes that haven’t been washed yet. Read more here: 4 Natural Ways to Keep Colors Bright.