snagged from Tracy Z.
Besides making foods delicious, it's believed there are more than 14,000 uses of salt, and our grandmothers were probably familiar with most of them. Many of these uses were for simple things around the home before the advent of modern chemicals and cleaners. However, many uses are still valid today and a lot cheaper than using more sophisticated products.
We thought you might like to share some of these fascinating applications of salt.
We make no guarantee about the results if you try any of them, but there must be something to them since they have been handed down over the years in many households. Most of these uses have stood the test of time.
The most familiar use of salt undoubtedly is in the kitchen and on the dining table. Salt accents the flavor of meat, brings out individuality of vegetables, puts "oomph" into bland starches, deepens the flavor of delicate desserts and develops flavor of melons and certain other fruits. No other seasoning has yet been found that can satisfactorily take the place of salt. But there are other uses around the home, too.
Salt is an excellent cleaning agent, by itself or in combination with other substances. A solution of salt and turpentine restores the whiteness to yellowed enameled bathtubs and lavatories. A paste of salt and vinegar cleans tarnished brass or copper. a strong brine poured down the kitchen sink prevents grease from collecting and eliminates odors.
Salt helps destroy moths and drives away ants. A dash of salt in laundry starch keeps the iron from sticking and gives linen and fine cottons a glossy, like-new finish. A thin paste of salt and salad oil removes white marks caused by hot dishes or water from wooden tables.
A box of salt is an important item in many bathrooms. In mild solutions, it makes an excellent mouthwash, throat gargle or eye-wash; it is an effective dentifrice; it is an effective antiseptic; and it can be extremely helpful as a massage element to improve complexion.
We offer these other tips:
Boiling Water - Salt added to water makes the water boil at a higher temperature, thus reducing cooking time. (It does not make the water boil faster.)
Peeling eggs - Boiling eggs in salted water will make eggs peel easily.
Poaching eggs - Poaching eggs over salted water helps set the egg whites.
Testing egg freshness - Place the egg in a cup of water to which two teaspoonfuls of salt has been added. A fresh egg sinks; a doubter will float.
Preventing browning - Apples, pears and potatoes dropped in cold, lightly salted water as they are peeled will retain their color.
Shelling pecans - Soaking pecans in salt water for several hours before shelling will make nut meats easier to remove.
Washing spinach - If spinach is washed in salted water, repeated cleanings will not be necessary.
Preventing sugaring - A little salt added to cake icings prevents them from sugaring.
Crisping salads - Salting salads immediately before serving will keep them crisp.
Improving boiled potatoes - Boiled potatoes will be given a fine, mealy texture by sprinkling with salt after draining, then returning them to the pan and shaking them back and forth quickly to get rid of the excess moisture.
Cleaning greasy pans - The greasiest iron pan will wash easily if you put a little salt in it and wipe with paper.
Cleaning stained cups - Rubbing with salt will remove stubborn tea or coffee stains from cups.
Cleaning ovens - Salt and cinnamon take the "burned food" odor away from ovens and stove burners. Sprinkle spills while oven and burners are still hot; when dry, remove the salted spots with a stiff brush or cloth.
Cleaning refrigerators - Salt and soda water will clean and sweeten the inside of your refrigerator. It won't scratch enamel either.
Extinguishing grease fires - Salt tossed on a grease fire on the stove or in the oven will smother flames. Never use water; it will only spatter the burning grease.
Improving coffee - A pinch of salt in coffee will enhance the flavor and remove the bitterness of over-cooked coffee.
Improving poultry - To improve the flavor of poultry, rub the fowl inside and out with salt before roasting.
Removing pinfeathers - To remove pinfeathers easily from a chicken, rub the chicken skin with salt first.
Cleaning tarnished silverware - Rub tarnish with salt before washing.
Cleaning copper pans - Remove stains on copper pans by salting area and scouring with a cloth soaked in vinegar.
Cleaning coffee pots - Remove bitterness from percolators and other coffee pots by filling with water, adding four tablespoons of salt and percolating or boiling as usual.
Removing onion odors from hands - Rub fingers with salt moistened with vinegar.
"Sweetening" containers - Salt can "sweeten" and deodorize thermos bottles and jugs, decanters and other closed containers.
Cleaning sink drains - Pour a strong salt brine down the kitchen sink drain regularly to eliminate odors and keep grease from building up.
Thanks Eduardo! Your list brought back a lot of memories my mom had taught me (and I'd forgotten).
I know when my mom was little (back in the early 1900's), they'd use a combination of salt and baking soda to brush their teeth. They didn't have commercial tubes of toothpaste back then.
Salt, combined with lemon juice is still the only way I know of to get rid of rust stains on white material (such as a cotton shirt). Make a paste of salt and fresh lemon juice and let it sit in the sun for 4-8 hours and the stain will be gone. No harsh chemicals needed...