When you think of salt, a warm basket of french fries might come to mind. But thanks to its granular texture, salt has the power to do a lot more than season your dinner. When it comes to cleaning, salt is a natural (not to mention cheap) alternative. From getting out wine stains to deterring ants, here are 20 salt hacks that will help keep your house pristine.
For the Kitchen
Clean the kitchen drain: Pour a mixture of salt and hot water down the kitchen sink to deodorize and prevent grease buildup.
Freshen up the coffee pot: Add a cup of crushed ice, a tablespoon of water and a few teaspoons of salt to a room-temperature glass coffee pot. Swirl and rinse. The salt scours the bottom of the pot while the ice helps to agitate it for a better scrub.
Clean the fridge: Combine salt and soda water for a chemical-free fridge cleaner.
Clean greasy pans: Sprinkle a little salt on a cast-iron skillet and wipe with a paper towel. Check out our other cast-iron cleaning tips, here.
Prevent fruit from browning: Soak peeled apples and pears in saltwater for a few minutes. Let dry and store in an airtight container.
Save the oven: Casseroles tend to bubble over when baking, making a mess on the bottom of the oven. For easier cleanup, sprinkle a handful of salt on the spill. It’ll form a crust, making the mess much easier to clean once cooled.
For the Laundry
Brighten your laundry: Dip a washcloth in a strong saltwater solution, wring it out and briskly rub faded rugs and curtains to brighten the colors.
Remove bloodstains: Soak the stained fabric in cold saltwater; then wash in warm, soapy water. Boil afterwards.
Get rid of mildew: Moisten the mildew-stained spots with a mixture of salt and lemon juice. Set in a sunny spot for bleaching, then rinse and dry.
Get rid of sweat stains: Four tablespoons of salt added to one quart of hot water makes for the perfect sweat-stain remover.
Revive your iron: Sprinkle a pinch of salt on a piece of plain paper, then run the warm iron over it a few times to get rid of hard water and other stains. Unplug the iron and, once it has cooled, wipe with a clean cloth.
Remove wine stains: Blot the spot and quickly cover with a pile of salt. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then throw it in the wash.
Keep drying clothes from freezing in the winter: If you use an outdoor clothesline, put a pinch of salt in your final laundry rinse to keep the clothes from freezing.
For Everywhere Else
Remove rust: Combine water, salt and cream of tartar to form a paste. Rub the mixture on the rusted item, let dry, brush off and buff with a soft, dry cloth.
Deter ants: Sprinkle salt at windowsills, doorways and anywhere else you think ants might sneak in.
Polish copper or brass: Blend equal parts flour, vinegar and salt into a paste. Rub the paste on the metal and let sit for an hour; then clean with a soft cloth for a new shine. (Test on a hidden area of the item before polishing its more visible parts!)
Remove water rings: Make a thin paste of salt and vegetable oil and use it to gently buff out any glass rings on wooden tables. (Again, it’s a good idea to test this solution on a hidden part of the table before taking it to the tabletop.)
Keep flowers fresh longer: Add just a pinch of salt to the water in your vase to keep cut flowers fresh longer.
Kill poison ivy: Mix one gallon of soapy water with three pounds of salt. Apply mixture to the leaves and stems with a sprayer.
Who would have thought salt had so many uses? Looking for more chemical-free alternatives for cleaning around the house? Check our our 50 Clever Ways to Clean With Baking Soda.