11 Uses for Salt

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Salt is another household staple that offers a lot of uses beyond its intended one. You may already know that salt is a natural abrasive, which makes it good for scrubbing hard-to-clean surfaces, but did you know it can also soak up stains, treat canker sores and brighten laundry? Check out these and other uses for salt below!

sea salt in a wooden spoon 

11 Uses for Salt

1. Remove caked-on food from pots and pans. Soak 3 tablespoons of salt in enough water to cover the crusted-on food. After a thorough soak, the food should scrape off easily.

2. Treat fresh stains. Soak up coffee, red wine or other fresh stains from your carpet by pouring an ample amount of salt on the spot. After the stain and salt have dried, vaccum them up.

3. Make your own “scrubbing bubbles” cleaner. Avoid chlorine-based harsh scrubbers by making your own one-ingredient abrasive cleaner. Just wipe the countertop, bathtub or other dirty surface with hot water, pour on salt, wait a few minutes, then scrub with a rag, sponge or brush.

4. Make a natural oven cleaner. Cleaning your oven is one of the most arduous tasks. To save yourself hours of backbreaking work, try using salt. First, make sure the oven is completely cool. Next, wipe the bottom of the oven with a damp cloth. Then pour a generous amount of salt on the bottom of the oven and let it soak for 10 minutes. Wipe away whatever comes off easily with a damp cloth, then either scrape the remaining gunk with a scraping tool or repeat the process to loosen more baked-on food.

5. Clean your teeth. When combined with baking soda, salt makes a good dentrifice for cleaning teeth and gums. Mix three parts baking soda with one part salt. Dip your toothbrush in the mixture and brush as normal.

6. Make a natural exfoliant. Mix a pinch of salt with olive oil in your palm to create a natural exofoliant for your face. (Note: Because salt is abrasive, limit your use of salt exfoliants, and certainly never use daily.)

7. Treat canker sores, mouth ulcers and other wounds. Because salt is naturally disinfectant with anti-inflammatory properties, rinsing with salt water can help treat canker sores, mouth ulcers and other mouth wounds. A salt water mouthwash is also a good treatment for post-surgery tooth removal. Because long-term use of salt rinses can erode teeth, don’t use a salt water rinse for more than two to three weeks.

8. Treat a sore throat. A common sore throat treatment, gargling with salt water can reduce swelling and relieve discomfort from a sore throat by drawing out some of the water from inflamed tissues and cleansing the throat. Although a salt water gargle won’t cure your sore throat, it can help relieve symptoms.

9. Set and revive color in the wash. Hard water can cause brightly colored clothing to appear dull after washing. To keep colors vibrant, add a pinch of salt to the wash. Salt sets colors, which is useful for both preventing colors from fading and sealing them so they don’t bleed in the wash. Add a half cup of salt to the laundry cycle when washing colors.

10. Put out a grease fire. While water will feed the flames of a grease fire, salt will absorb the grease and help kill the fire. Be sure to douse, not sprinkle, the fire with salt.

11. Shell nuts easily. Soak walnuts and pecans in salt water for a few hours to make them easier to shell.

Image: Photo By Jiri Hera/Courtesy Fotolia