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23 Wonderful Ways to Use Salt

23 Wonderful Ways to Use Salt

That salt shaker you have in the kitchen cupboard offers you more uses than you could have ever imagined, well beyond the singular one we all know about of adding flavor to food. Learn how to kill poison ivy, stop grease fires, make an anti-bacterial exfoliant and a tired foot soak, and 19 other fun ideas!

Famously, salt provides an inhospitable chemical environment for most bacteria, including Salmonella, E. Coli, and it serves double duty against bacteria in that it also removes water from food and cells, making it harder for bacteria to grow without moisture. Hence the old-fashioned use of “salt curing” for the preservation of meats. A brine of 10 percent salt will normally prevent the growth of all pathogenic bacteria, which is the reason why meat-preserving brines were popular before refrigerators, and why a saltwater gargle is to this day recommended if you have a sore throat.

Salt is formed when acidic and alkaline materials combine and are neutralized. The resulting neutral pH is unique and offers many uses.

Because of its neutral pH, salt is also used purposely to kill off vegetation, and does a better or worse job at this depending on how sensitive the vegetation is to shifts in pH.

Salt also is a good non-abrasive scrubber and provides many uses in the home and for the body for this reason.

KITCHEN USES

  • Brass, Silver, and Copper Cleaner: Make a paste of salt and vinegar, scoop it onto a soft cloth, rub the metal, rinse, and buff dry.
  • Drain Deodorizer: Mix cup of salt with cup of hot water, and pour it down the drain periodically to eliminate odors and cut through grease buildup.
  • White Marks on Furniture: Combine a teaspoon of salt with enough olive oil to make a dry paste. Scoop some of the paste onto a soft cloth, and then rub into the white marks until they are gone.
  • Grease Cutter: Scrub greasy pans first with salt before washing with a detergent.
  • Deodorize Cutting Boards: Dip a damp cloth in salt and rub it into the cutting board.
  • Prevent Food from Sticking: Rub the pan with salt. This will also prevent smoking.
  • Refresh Coffee Percolators and Pots: Add 4-5 tablespoons of salt to and processing as if there was coffee in the pot.
  • Clean Sponges: Soak in cold saltwater after you have washed them.

HOUSEHOLD HINTS

  • Deodorize Shoes: Sprinkle salt into the shoes at night; brush out in the morning.
  • Drive Away Moths and Ants: Sprinkle areas the pests travel with salt.
  • Brighten Colors: Add a cup of salt to colored wash loads to enhance the colors. Note that salt is used to set dyes, so it works as a fixative.
  • Eliminate Mold and Mildew Stains: Scrub with salt and lemon juice, then set in the sun. Wash, rinse, and dry.
  • Put out Grease Fires: Cover the fire with salt. (Don’t use water on grease fires.)

ANTISEPTIC AND PERSONAL CARE USES

  • Sore Throat Gargle: Add 1 teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water. Gargle.
  • Teeth and Gum Cleaner: Pulverize salt with baking soda (1:2 ratio).
  • Mouthwash: Combine equal parts of baking soda and salt. Add 1 teaspoon to a glass of water, rinse out mouth.
  • Bathe Your Eyes: Make a salt solution of teaspoon of salt to 1 pint of water. Soak a soft washcloth in the mixture and lay it on closed eyes.
  • Puffy Eye Help: Use the mixture, above, on puffy eyes, but soak longer.
  • Foot Soak: Fill a pail of warm water to just the right temperature. Add cup or so of salt. Soak your feet for as long as it feels good, rinse.
  • Dry Salt Scrub: Exfoliate dead, dry skin, by giving yourself a massage with dry salt.
  • Removing dry skin: After bathing and while still wet give yourself a massage with dry salt. It removes dead skin particles and aids the circulation.

GARDEN USES

  • Weed Killer: Sprinkle salt along the cracks of patios where weeds are, sprinkle with water, then pull out the dead weeds and dead grass.
  • Poison Ivy Killer: Dissolve 1 cup of salt in 1 gallon of hot water. Pour onto the poison ivy. Note that fresh bright green shiny, poison ivy leaves are the most vulnerable to this solution.

Read more: Home, Household Hints, , , , ,

By Annie B. Bond

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

47 comments

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8:03PM PST on Jan 18, 2011

Gonna try some of this. I already scrub my pots with salt.

12:43PM PDT on Sep 5, 2010

I use salt to clean fresh puppy piddle from my carpets. It works beautifully and doesn't leave a stain or odor behind. Just pour regular table salt on the 'accident' until it stops absorbing and there is a white top to your mound. Leave for several hours, then scoop up the piddle stained salt mound into your dustpan and discard, then vacuum up the rest of the salt really well and Voila!! no stain, no odor, no sign that you puppy was ever naughty!! It's truly amazing. (of course, it only works on wet piddle....once it's dry then a professional carpet cleaner is your only hope)

Gainesville Dentist

9:28AM PDT on Aug 24, 2010

These were really wonderful tips. I'll definitely use many of them at home. Saved for future reference. Thanks.

9:31PM PDT on Mar 19, 2008

The instructions that came with my Netti Pot suggest a saline solution as follows: "mix 1/4 teaspoon of finely ground non-iodized Neti Pot Salt (or sea salt)or a slightly rounded 1/2 teaspoon of corsely ground (kosher) salt with 8 oz of warm water until the salt is COMPLETELY dissolved" hope this helps!
Cyhndi - www.myspace.com/liquidsage

8:05AM PDT on Mar 19, 2008

Again Annie you rock. Many people are not yet aware of those fantastic tricks but your wisdom in sharing it grows stronger week per week. Merci for making this planet better for all of us: I do not take that for granted.
Warmly,
Pascal Gillon BASc , Founder of infogatherer.com

7:26PM PST on Mar 3, 2008

thanks for all d great ideas...will definitely try out sometime...

2:25PM PST on Feb 24, 2008

Iodized Table Salt is a good way to clean the chimney. Just get a good hot fire going in the wood stove and through in a hand full, instead of Red Devil or some other chemical, and it will remove the creosote from the soot which lets the creosote burn in the firebox without the soot to hold it together and making a chimney fire out of it.

1:17PM PST on Feb 20, 2008

Jewel, to answer your question about my bath: I use equal parts of org. apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and epsom salt. Usually, about 1/2 cup of each. The girl who told me about it, thought it was about a cup of each, but after that bath, I wrapped up in a towel and laid down in bed. I woke up in the morning... all the lights were on and I hadn't even moved. My towel was still perfectly wrapped! So, do what works for you. Enjoy.

5:31AM PST on Feb 20, 2008

The home nasal solution for the neti pot needs non-ionized salt (organic-idea salt to put it simply). You can buy this salt in some health food stores, yoga shops, online or wherever you think they might sell it. Many cultures have nasal washes where you simply use lukewarm water and sniff it quickly in and out of your nose, but carefully though. The saline (salty) solution is used because it is more similar to our body water chemistry plus it cleans out the germs from our nasal passages.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasal_irrigation
Video from Himalayan Institute:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=j8sDIbRAXlg
And no, I'm not trying to sell it, but yes it is nice and it does work. It's like brushing teeth for your nose. If you have sinuses though, it might move it around from one nostril to the other and slowly unblock it. You can do it up to 4 times a day, but not before you go to sleep. Hope this helps.

5:25AM PST on Feb 20, 2008

Hi Anne ! I loved these tips on the uses of salt...wonderfully put together. Thank you.
Love all you Earth lovers
Rajee Seetharam

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