50 Clever Uses For Salt That You’ll Never Believe
Seasonings are a big part of every delicious meal, and no seasoning is more important than salt. Salt is the foundation of most seasoning, especially if you are cooking up any kind of protein, and since the introduction of the viral sensation, "Salt Bae," salt has been in the spotlight more than ever before. However, most would be surprised to learn that salt has many different uses even outside of the kitchen. If you are interested in seeing what salt has to offer, scroll through this gallery and find out some crazy uses for salt you may not have known about.
Making coffee less bitter
One of the lesser-known uses of salt is its use for making coffee taste a bit better without adding sugar or sweeteners. This is quite handy for those that enjoy their coffee unsweetened but want a less bitter taste, and a pinch of salt does the trick nicely.
According to research, the sodium ions in salt help reduce the bitterness in coffee so it is recommended that an eighth teaspoon of salt be added to ground coffee beans for the best results. This also helps bring out some of the flavors of the coffee as well.
Removing stains from rugs and carpets
Salt is actually quite effective at removing wine stains on rugs and carpets but the important thing is to act fast because these stains get harder to remove as time passes. The best time to act is when the stain is still wet, so run, don't walk, for the spice cabinet.
Some water or white wine should be poured on the affected spots before soaking up the stains with a sponge. The next step is putting some salt on the affected area and leaving it to soak in before cleaning it all up.
Utensils, like cutting boards and spoons, harbor a lot of germs if they’re not periodically sanitized, and this is bad news on all fronts. The good thing is keeping all those germs away can be done with the aid of salt and bleach.
A mixture of salt and bleach should be added to the affected utensils before scrubbing with a sponge or brush and rinsing with hot water. Depending on the material the utensil is made of, some lemon wedges can be added to the cleaning solution as well.
Refrigerators store a lot of food and groceries; from milk to fruits and vegetables, eggs, and more. The implication is they must be properly sanitized from time to time for healthy living, and to keep everything fresh.
That’s where salt comes in; it helps with the required cleaning that fridges need; it also attacks tough stains provided that surfaces are scrubbed with a mix of warm to hot water and some salt. The amount of salt required depends on the size of the refrigerator.
Sponges are indispensable because they’re used for cleaning kitchen utensils and surfaces, but they also require some cleaning themselves as time passes. The reason is they tend to soak up all the germs from dishes, utensils, and surfaces so they get grungy and eventually wear out.
To prevent this from happening, and to keep your sponges looking new and free from germs, use a solution of water and salt. For the best results, the sponge should be left in this solution for some hours before rinsing it off with hot water.
Removing wood watermarks
Wooden surfaces can lose some of their aesthetic appeal because of the watermarks left on them by bottles and glasses. Again, salt helps restore some of the lost beauty of these surfaces. The trick is to mix some salt with water to create a paste then dab this on a sponge or cloth.
The sponge or soft cloth should then be used to scrub and dab on the affected surfaces until the desired result is achieved. Some furniture polish should then be applied to complete the restoration if you are going for more of a new look.
Relief from bee stings
Thousands of people get stung by bees every year with varying results depending on each victim’s allergy to their sting. Salt, however, provides some relief from bee stings, and is a natural remedy for it.
Dabbing some salt on the area where you were stung helps reduce both the swelling and onset of pain as a result of the sting. Salt helps provide natural relief for what could be a really painful encounter, but those who are allergic to bee stings will require further medical attention.
Eliminating odors from sneakers
Sneakers tend to be quite comfortable but they also tend to get smelly really fast during the hotter seasons. The foul smell tends to stick around for a while and stinks up the whole shoe closet. The good news is the odor is caused by excess moisture from your feet so soaking up this moisture solves the problem.
Adding some salt to the shoes and sneakers soaks up the excess moisture nicely, and gradually eliminates the smell. You should pour just enough salt in there to cover up the entire base of the shoe so that the salt can absorb the moisture properly.
Relief from piercings
People get piercings to enable them to wear more jewelry but the thing is piercings require some treatment to prevent infections. Salt once again goes a long way in treating piercings and providing relief from them; the key is getting the mix right.
A quarter teaspoon of non-iodized salt and a cup of water should be mixed and then dabbed on the newly pierced area for relief and disinfection. Non-iodized salt is better because it doesn’t irritate the skin as much so just be sure to not use iodized salt as that may cause complications.
People tend to instinctively reach for some water while fighting a fire, which is bad news because water can cause an outbreak to spread. Things like salt, baking soda, or detergent do a better job of fighting fires than water.
None of these should be mixed as that is itself dangerous, they should be used independently for the best results. Salt is particularly effective when sprinkled over a grease fire and should be used before household items like baking soda.
Keeping cheese fresh
Salt is a powerful dehydrative, and this is good news for those that want to keep food items fresh naturally. The dehydrating power of salt means it can be used to keep cheese from molding by slowing down the growth of mold.
Two tablespoons of salt should be mixed with three cups of water then a paper towel should be dabbed in this mix before being wrapped around the cheese and placing it all in a fridge. This is a proven way of keeping cheese fresh for longer.
Killing bad-breath causing bacteria
Bad-breath-causing bacteria exist because toothpaste doesn’t always get to them in the mouth, so people use mouthwash to fight them. The problem with using processed mouthwash is they tend to contain all forms of chemicals that pose different threats to the body.
The good news is salt can be used to create a natural mouthwash that is more beneficial to your body. This is done by mixing a teaspoon of salt, one of baking soda, and a half cup of water before gargling it all in the mouth just like a mouthwash.
Keeping beverages cold
Everyone wants a cold beverage at any party they attend, and offering anyone a warm drink at a party tends to be bad news. However, this is where salt comes in once again; it helps get drinks colder faster.
Mixing some salt into the ice water before placing some beverages in helps them get chilled faster. The magic occurs once the salt settles into the ice and the cans and bottles get chilled in no time at all.
Making cheap fertilizer
To keep your lawns looking lush and green, and give them a significant boost, get some salt. Making a cheap fertilizer for your lawn to make the grass look nicer is a matter of getting a gallon of water, some Epsom salt that contains magnesium, and a spray bottle for applying the solution.
These should be stirred and then applied to the affected lawns to boost grass chlorophyll and restore their lush green color. Other types of salts might not give the desired result like Epsom salt, so be sure that's the kind you are using.
Caring for artificial and natural flowers
Some people opt for artificial flowers because they create an aesthetic appeal that is similar to natural flowers without the dirt and residue of natural flowers. Salt is quite handy for keeping both natural and artificial flowers in place and keeping them fresh, although the ideal salt type depends on the flower type.
Epsom salts work better for natural flowers once sprinkled in the vase water as it acts as food while in the case of artificial flowers, some salt should be placed in a vase with cold water, the salt will solidify, and hold the artificial flowers in place.
Removing lipstick marks
Lipstick stains tend to be quite stubborn and difficult to remove because some lipsticks were designed to resist water, which makes eliminating their residue more difficult. However, to get all those lipstick marks off your glasses, all you need is some salt and a sponge.
It helps to soak affected dishware in a mixture of soap and water, and leave it for a while before scrubbing and dumping it in a dishwasher so the stains can be completely removed. Salt is more effective than dishwashing liquids in this scenario.
Cleaning fish tanks
A home aquarium or fish tank provides a different kind of aesthetic appeal and is a proven stress relief for many. The problem with keeping fish at home is they must be kept in a tank, and these tanks get dirty and must be periodically cleaned.
Fish tanks certainly don’t have the same appeal when they get clogged with mineral deposits, but the fix is non-iodized salt. To effectively cleanse your fish tank of germs and vermin, simply empty its contents and scrub the tank with a sponge and some salt.
Maintaining towel color
It sucks to have a new towel and see its color fade off after the first wash, but this is the reality for people that have a preference for towels with lively colors as bright colors tend to fade quickly.
However, the good thing is this inevitable outcome can be delayed somewhat with some salt. It works by adding a handful of cups of salt into the washing machine along with the towels to help them maintain their vivid colors.
Maintaining brass ornaments
Old brass ornaments tend to look their age at the end of the day but there are ways to keep rustic-looking ornaments from looking too worn. A thick mixture of white vinegar, flour, and salt in equal proportions works some magic when applied to old brass ornaments.
The trick is to leave the thick paste on the ornaments for a bit before washing it all off and polishing it with a brush. When all of that is done, a soft cloth should be used to restore the original color.
One thing that no one wants is for their skin to go scaly or dry out but this is what happens to many people that fail to care for their skin like they should. Salt, however, helps remove the dead skin cells that are responsible for dry skin, which in turn boosts circulation and results in healthier skin.
The best time to apply salt is after a warm or hot shower when the skin is damp. Salt should be applied to affected areas and slowly massaged for the best results.
Ants can be a real menace around the house in the spring season which is a real issue for people that don’t like to see them on their shelves, walls, and tables where they don’t belong. The good news here is ants are quite simply no match for salt.
All it takes to get them out of a house is sprinkling some salt in all the regions where they roam. This creates an uncomfortable environment for them to explore and should result in a drastic reduction of their numbers in no time at all.
Lots of people struggle to keep their hair free of dandruff which is an embarrassing hair condition. However, beyond simply washing your hair periodically, get your hands on some salt; the trick is to massage some salt into the scalp right before a shower and wash.
It works by exfoliating the unwanted particles in the hair, and really does go a long way but the key is to not overdo it. The scalp requires some care, and the salt must be properly rinsed off after the treatment.
Nuts that haven’t been cracked yet tend to be significantly cheaper than the cracked ones but they require a different kind of commitment. While nutcrackers go a long way in solving the inconvenience posed by uncracked nuts, salt might be all you need.
Simply mix some salt into a cup of water and leave the nuts that are still in the shell in there for some time. Once you feel they’ve been in there long enough, get the nuts out, and removing the shells will be a breeze.
The winter season can spring up surprises for people on their way to work in the morning. Some wake up to find their cars submerged in ice and have to literally dig through it to get to work.
Rather than going through all that hassle though, get some salt to get the ice off quicker. Some salt should be mixed with cold water and used to scrub the affected parts of your car for the best results. Doing this should make most of the ice come off.
Removing iron stains
The only thing worse than accidentally burning some clothes while pressing them is getting those burn stains on them. These stains tend to leave a noticeable mess on clothes if they’re not removed quickly.
However, the fix is to turn on the pressing iron and set it on high before pouring some salt on a newspaper and running the heated iron on it. As long as this is done right, all the melted stains and residue should come off immediately.
Improving the lifespan of wicker furniture
Salt works some magic for food preservation but many people don’t know that it is also quite effective for preserving the lifespan of wicker furniture. Wicker furniture looks great and adds a layer of beauty to the house but they also tend to fade quickly because they’re made of woven materials.
However, the fix to making wicker furniture last for much longer is to mix some salt in water and use a brush to apply the mix. This will help the wicker furniture look new and last longer, while also keeping it strong enough to support objects being placed on top of them.
Cleaning coffee makers
Coffee makers sometimes have to work around the clock to provide everyone’s favorite black beverage, so it is important to routinely clean them. For whatever reason, coffee makers tend to have a difficult-to-eliminate black stain on the bottom, but again, some salt does the trick.
This is done by mixing some salt in water and letting it all sit for a bit in the coffee maker before washing with a sponge and dabbing with a soft cloth. Also, make sure the coffee maker is at room temperature while doing this, not only for your own safety but also so that the mix works as it's supposed to.
Not everyone fancies washing dishes with a dishwasher but the problem with washing by hand is using too much soap and getting bubbles all over the place. Once the bubbles become too much, you should get some salt rather than trying to battle the overflow with more water or your hands.
Simply add some salt to the crazy bubbles to get them to simmer down, and you’ll find that washing the dishes becomes easier as well. This is because while the salt is still around it will reduce the amount of bubbles that can form while washing.
Restoring copper-bottomed pots
Like other household utensils, copper-bottomed pots have a nice appearance when they’re new but this doesn’t last as time passes. They will inevitably look dull with usage, but again, some salt is all that you need to restore their original look.
Simply mix some salt and vinegar in equal proportion, stir and apply the paste on the affected surfaces, then scrub with a sponge to get your pots looking new once again. If the stains prove to be somewhat difficult, then let the mix sit on the surface for a bit before scrubbing off.
One of the lesser-known uses of salt is for improving lips that feel dry and or rough when touched. Dry lips need to be exfoliated because they have dead skin cells on them, and salt is a great exfoliator.
The trick is to sprinkle some salt on an old toothbrush and gently scrub it on dry lips for a couple of moments. Remember salt can be harsh on the lips so use gentle, circular motions and try not to swallow the salt while you’re at it.
Relieving sore throat
Sore throat is typically caused by swelling and increased mucus in the throat which can be quite uncomfortable if not remedied quickly. No magic wand is required here once again, just get some salt and mix it into a cup of water.
This saltwater should be gargled for half a minute before spitting it out to get some relief from the pain caused by a sore throat. Gargling some saltwater eases a sore throat, and also eliminates bacteria and irritants from the mouth.
Cleaning sink drains
The drains in your bathroom and kitchen sink tend to get clogged with dirt the longer you use them, and this causes dirty water to hover around and not go away quickly enough. Again, the fix is simply a mixture of baking soda, a cup of salt, and a half-cup of white vinegar.
This mixture should be poured down affected drains and left to sit for about ten minutes before pouring some boiling water down the drain until the clogged drains function like new. It also doesn't hurt to throw some ice in there after and turn on the drain to get any leftover residue off.
Fighting sweat stains
One glaring characteristic of old clothes is the visible brown sweat stains around the armpit region. This is because sweat stains can be difficult to remove, particularly with regular soaps and detergents; however, salt does the trick once again.
Simply mix some tablespoons of salt in hot water and mix thoroughly before applying to the stains with a sponge and scrub until the stains come off. The next step is to add some soda bicarbonate to the washing machine and wash the affected laundry to restore its original color.
Testing egg freshness
It is difficult to determine how fresh an egg is until you break it, and eggs don’t exactly come with a best-before date. However, whenever you doubt how fresh an egg is, and you don’t want to risk breaking it, you can simply add some tablespoons of salt to a cup of water.
The trick with this procedure is carefully dropping the egg into the water and then checking to see if the egg sinks or floats. An expired egg will float and a new one will most likely sink, letting you know which ones to eat and which ones to throw away.
Eliminating food odors
Food items like onions, fish, and garlic taste great when cooked right but then the process of cutting, shredding, and cooking them tends to leave you with odors that stick around for a while. The good news is salt once again helps you fight smelly hands.
What you need to do is wash your hands as you normally would, then rub them on a stainless steel surface before rubbing them with a little bit of salt to get those strong smells off. This may sound weird at first, but trust us, this really does help.
Cleaning salad leaves
Salad is an incredibly healthy, low-calorie meal, but preparing it can be a chore especially when the leaves are unwashed. The thing is unwanted dirt and residue tend to remain on spinach leaves regardless of how well they’re rinsed because there are lots of nooks for dirt particles to hide in.
The fix is mixing about two tablespoons of salt with water and soaking spinach leaves in the mix for a while. You should then swirl the leaves before rinsing with water to eliminate the dirt and you'll actually see most of the dirt come off.
Fighting weed growth
Unwanted weeds in your patio or driveway can ruin the aesthetics of the entire space but the good thing is you can use some salt to stop weeds from growing where you don’t want them. It is also a good chemical-free way to get rid of weeds, in case you have pets around.
Simply mix a cup of salt in two cups of water and mix in a pan until it boils. Once it boils, pour this mix directly on the unwanted weeds and plant growth to kill them before removing them with your hands; you can also sprinkle some salt on the weeds before it rains.
Providing relief from a mosquito bite
If you’ve ever got bitten by a mosquito while having some fun outdoors, you know how uncomfortable and obnoxious the itching can get. But rather than giving in to the urge to scratch the itch and leave yourself scarred, you should instead get your hands on some salt to get some relief.
What you need to do is mix some salt and water, and apply it to the bite region. Rinse off the mix, then add some oil to it as well, and you should feel the itchiness reduce immediately.
Sometimes home remedies can be just as effective as salon treatments for your nails, provided you have some salt of course. When you don’t have enough time to visit the salon for nail treatment, simply mix a tablespoon of baking soda, one of salt, and some lemon juice in a half cup of water.
Then dip your hands in this mix for about ten minutes before scrubbing and rinsing off to strengthen your nails. If you want your nails to look healthier and brighter as well, just dip them in some lemon rinds after the initial rinse.
Removing grass stains
At this point, you must know that salt is quite effective at getting tough stains off surfaces and clothes, and is even more effective than certain laundry products. Stubborn grass stains might make you reach for a stain-removing laundry product but you should resist that urge and apply a mix of salt and lemon to affected surfaces first.
The trick is squeezing some lemon juice on the grass stain before adding some salt to it and then rubbing with some lemon rind to remove the stains. Really makes you think twice about all the money you've spent on special laundry detergents.
Bet you didn’t know that salt is an effective natural repellant to several animals and insects including slugs and fleas. Fleas are a bigger annoyance to pets than they are to humans so if you find your furry buddy being bothered by fleas, simply mix some salt and soap and give your pet a warm bath in it.
Fleas also tend to hover around pet cages and beddings so these should be sprinkled with saltwater as well. Salt gets the fleas off by dehydrating them and essentially killing them.
Consuming certain foods like sodas, curry, and coffee that contain tannins cause teeth stains but the good thing is there are also foods that whiten them. Simply brushing the teeth with some salt occasionally fixes the problem, and results in a neater smile.
It works because salt is a gentle abrasive that eliminates teeth stains, and in addition to stain removal, it also creates an environment in which bacteria cannot thrive or survive. Salt also helps prevent gum disease and protects the teeth from potential infections.
Treating puffy eyes
Some people get puffy eyes from consuming excessive amounts of salt so it sounds strange to say salt provides relief from puffy eyes but it is true. Applying some salt to swollen eyelids provides relief as long as it is done right.
Just a half teaspoon of salt should be poured into a cup of hot water and stirred. Next is getting a soft cloth and dipping it in the mix before gently dabbing the cloth on the affected area to fix the puffiness.
Extending the shelf life of milk
As nourishing and refreshing as milk is, and as many uses it can be put to in the kitchen, milk is a highly perishable item with a short shelf life. However, the good news once again is that the shelf life and expiration date of milk can be extended.
This is done by simply adding some salt to the gallon or carton of milk and shaking it to ensure it’s well mixed. Just be careful to not add more than needed or it will change the taste of the milk, and can also make it harder to bake with.
Removing chimney soot
The chimney plays a crucial role in the house but no one enjoys cleaning their chimney because of the eternal buildup of soot that occurs there. With some salt, however, getting your chimney free of soot becomes much easier.
What you need to do is get a sufficient amount of salt and shake it all on the coals after your next fire; this boosts air circulation and fights chimney fires. You’ll know you’re doing it right when you see a yellow glow in the flames.
Rusty utensils in the kitchen are an undesirable sight but rather than tossing away your aging utensils, simply get some salt to get the rust off. What you need to do is to mix six tablespoons of salt with some lemon juice; a paste should be created with these ingredients.
Then rub on the utensils affected by rust with a soft cloth or some cotton balls, make sure the cloth or cotton balls are nice and soft to not scratch the utensils. Leave the paste on for a bit then rinse it off once it dries up to restore the original condition of the utensils.
Keeping fruits fresh
Milk and cheese aren’t the only food items that salt keeps fresh; it also helps prevent sliced fruits from turning brown. This is done by mixing a cup of water with an eighth of a tablespoon of salt and stirring for some moments before dipping the fruits, cut or uncut, and rinsing in fresh water.
The rinsing process is to remove the salty taste from the fruit once it's soaked in enough salt. This same procedure keeps other food items like potatoes fresh for longer as well.
Improving the lifespan of brooms
Vacuum cleaners don’t always do the trick, and that’s why several homeowners opt to have old-school brooms around to do their cleaning. Unfortunately, the bristles of old-fashioned brooms tend to pick up a lot of dirt as time passes and can get quite dusty as a result.
To keep dirty brooms looking fresh, and extend their lifespan at the same time, just mix some salt in hot water and soak dirty brooms in the mix for half an hour before wiping them clean. This will remove all the particles stuck on the broom that may fall off while you are sweeping.
Extending the lifespan of toothbrushes
According to experts, you should change your toothbrush twice a year but most people change them a lot more because their bristles get worn quickly, and prompt owners to replace them.
The fix for this is simple; just get some salt and pour it into a cup of hot water and dip your brush in it. Leave the brush in there for at least 10 minutes before rinsing it all with water to extend the lifespan of your brush for a few more months.