Everybody is familiar with pepper’s lighter-hued mate and its uses in and on dishes. But you may be surprised to learn that salt also has a wide variety of uses outside of the kitchen. From killing ants to polishing metal, salt may just be your new go-to item for many fixes around the house.
Uses for Salt
Read on to discover more of the lifehacks that salt can be used for, whether it’s for health, beauty, or cleaning.
1. Copper and Brass Polish
Rather than buying expensive cleaning products specific to the metals, you can simply mix equal parts salt, vinegar, and flour. Then apply to tarnished copper or brass with a soft cloth, rinsing with warm soapy water. Voila, the shine is back!
2. Remove Watermarks on Wood
As much as you can encourage your guests to use a coaster, sometimes they just don’t listen. When you end up with a ring or watermark on your wood, simply mix 1 teaspoon of salt with just enough water to make a paste, then apply to the watermark using a soft cloth.
3. Remove Red Wine Stains
With this new trick, the worst thing about a wine spill on carpet will truly be the forgone wine. If you’ve spilled red wine, first dilute the area with some white wine, then clean the area with a sponge and cold water. Next, sprinkle the stain with salt and wait about ten minutes. Vacuum up the salt and the stain will be gone as well.
4. Treat Stings, Bites, and Itches
Applying a little bit of salt to a bee sting can help reduce inflammation and pain, while soaking a bug bite or poison ivy in salt water can help with itching.
5. Prevent Ants
If you see a steady line of ants headed straight for your door or window, lay a line of salt in their path and around the point of entry; they will be deterred from going over the barrier.
6. Deodorize Shoes
You may have heard of baking soda to reduce shoe stench, but a sprinkle of salt will work just as well in soaking up moisture and eliminating odor.
7. Freshen up the Kitchen
A smelly garbage disposal or refrigerator can stink up the whole house. To reduce odors from your garbage disposal, simply pour ½ cup of salt down the drain, then run cold water. With the water still running, run the garbage disposal to really get rid of all the lingering odors.
Mixing a handful of salt with about 1 gallon of warm water creates an excellent treatment to be used when scrubbing the shelves and drawers of your refrigerator; apply the mixture with a sponge.
8. Clean Glass
Salt not only works on dishes and cooking surfaces, but also more delicate servingware such as glass. If your glasses have lipstick stains or a foggy residue, mix in one handful of salt with a quart of vinegar and let it soak in the discolored glass overnight. Then wash as usual the next morning. You can also use this trick to clean coffee and tea stains from your mugs.
9. Remove Baked-On Food
Whether it’s on plates, pans, or the stove, add a little bit of salt to your (moist) hardened food area, then let the salt soak in. Wash off with warm soapy water. You can also apply some salt immediately to spills that land on your hot stovetop or oven.
10. Weed Killer
Combine 1 cup of salt and 2 cups of water, then bring to a boil; pour directly on weeds. You can also sprinkle salt on the weeds (as long as they’re not throughout your garden), then add a little bit of water to take care of those weeds.
11. Remove Sweat Stains
No matter how often you wash your white undershirts or bleach them, that pesky sweat stain under your armpits seems to persist. Salt is the answer to this dilemma: dissolve 4 tablespoons of salt in 1 liter of hot water, then apply to the garment with a sponge until it disappears.
The list of uses for salt could go on and on. Salt can also be sprinkled on salads to keep them crisp longer, or on cut fruit to help retain its color and texture. It can also be applied to grease stains on your clothing as soon as they happen to prevent permanent damage.
In addition, salt can also be added to your bath for an excellent skin conditioner or used post-bath as a natural exfoliator. Be sure to keep enough salt on hand for a quick fix for nearly everything around the house.