We love salt in cooking. It can enhance savory and sweet dishes alike (try a dash in your hot cocoa this winter). But when we started researching it as a go-to part of our green cleaning arsenal, even we were surprised at how versatile this simple seasoning is.
- Eliminate sticky residue from an iron: Not that many of us are ironing anymore, but when it's time to do it, we like the job to be as smooth and as pleasant as possible. Run a dry hot iron over plain paper sprinkled with salt.
- Clean your drain: Pour 1/2 cup salt down the drain with one quart of hot water once a week to keep your drains running smoothly.
- Remove dirt from vegetables: Rinse them in salt water.
- Chill champagne or white wine: Stick your warm bottle in a bowl of ice. Layer ice and salt up the bottle. Pour in cold water. Wait 10 minutes and voila!
- Get rid of ants: Sprinkle salt in areas where you have ants and watch them flee.
- Clean pots of stuck on food: Fill your pot with water and add salt. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cool.
- Keep your flowers fresh: Add a pinch of salt to fresh-cut flowers to help them last a little longer.
- Get the garlic and onion smells off your hands: Rub your hands with lemon juice and salt, rinse and wash with soap.
- Get rid of wine stain on a tablecloth: Blot the wine and sprinkle it with a thick layer of salt. Let dry and rinse with cold water.
- Mildew be gone: Mix lemon juice with salt to remove mildew from damp clothes and towels.
- Stain away: Remove stains from old tea and coffee cups by rubbing with salt moistened with water. Add lemon juice to remove rust stains. Also works on porcelain sinks.
- Clean your cutting board: Pour salt on your cutting board and rub lightly with a damp cloth before washing in warm, soapy water.
- Soothe a sore throat: Gargle with 1/2 cup warm water and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Unstuff a stuffy nose: Stir 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a 1/4 cup of warm water and sniff it up your nose (use your finger to bring drops of water up to your nose one by one), then blow.
- Fill up the holes your walls: 1 tablespoon of salt plus 1 tablespoon of corn starch plus 2 teaspoons of water makes a thick paste that can be used to patch up the holes in your walls.
- Wash your water bottle: Rinse your reusable water bottle with hot water and salt.
- Salt glow: Mix equal parts oil and salt and scrub your scruffy parts, paying special attention to your knees and elbows.
- Fleas away: Wash your dog in salt water to keep him free of fleas.
- Soften your skin: Pour a generous amount of salt into your bath water to smooth your skin.
- Sore feet: Add equal amounts of salt and baking soda to a basin of warm water for a soothing foot soak.
- Clean up spills: Eggs on the floor? Overflow in the oven? Sprinkle on some salt and clean up the mess quickly and easily.
- Purge the poison ivy: We've heard that three pounds of salt plus one gallon of soapy water equals a mixture that's lethal to this summer scourge.
- Kill the grass in the cracks: Pour salt in the cracks of your path or sidewalk, followed by hot water to kill those stray bits of grass.
- Keep your windows frost-free: Wash them with salt water and they'll stay clear all winter.
- Whiter ivories: A mixture of lemon juice and salt will keep your piano keys sparkling.
- Keep your line clothes from freezing: Add salt to the final rinse to prevent your clothes from freezing.
- Remove white spots on wooden tables: Whether caused by heat or water, eliminate white spots by rubbing them with a mixture of salt and oil. Let stand for an hour and then wipe off.
- Make your sponges last longer: Soak them in salt water.
Learn more about salt at The Salt Institute. Have some uses we haven't covered? Share them with us in the comments!
We love salt! Here are even more ways to use it around the house:
(Image: Pink Sherbert Photography, licensed under Creatve Commons)