[Updated] Surprising Uses of Salt


We originally wrote the surprising uses of salt post back when this site first started but looking back, there was so much more that could have been added that we decided to update the post for you here today.

We have not only changed the formatting to make it much easier to read but have also added many more uses that you may not have thought about.

Salt is much more than just a seasoning that you find on pretty much every dining table around the world. For thousands of years it has been used for everything from food preservation to seasoning. It was at times, a highly valued trade item and as such became a form of currency. But the uses of salt go far beyond just making your food taste better.

Stop Sliced Apples/Potatoes from Browning

You can stop your sliced apples and potatoes from browning by simply placing them into cold salt water once you have sliced them.

Frost Free Windows

Tired of your windows frosting up? Try rubbing your windows with a sponge that has been dipped in salt water and you won’t have to worry again.

Check the Eggs are Fresh

An easy little tip for checking that your eggs are fresh is to add two teaspoons of salt to a cup of water and Place your egg in the cup. If the egg sinks, it is fresh, if it isn’t, it will float.

Kill Poison Ivy

Add three pounds of salt to a gallon of soapy water and spray it onto the leaves and stems.

Put out Grease Fires

You should never use water on a grease fire. Instead, simply pour salt on top to smother it.

Bee Stings

Nobody wants to have to deal with a bee sting but if you are unfortunate enough, grab for the salt. Douse the sting with water and then cover with salt to relieve pain and reduce swelling.

Rust Remover

Add 6 tablespoons of salt to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix to form a paste and apply to the area with a dry cloth. Rinse and dry.

Fresher Milk

Did you know that by adding a pinch of salt to your milk, you can keep it fresher for longer? Don’t expect too much time to be added but you can easily add an extra day or two to the date by adding a pinch of salt to the bottle. This works on cream too!

Scaling Fish

Before descaling, soak your fish in salt water for easier removal of scales.

Deodorize Shoes

Get into the habit of deodorizing them every night by sprinkling a small amount of salt inside – it will soak up any lingering smells leaving them fresher in the morning. Just add the salt before bed and then brush it out in the morning.

Give Sponges New Life

It doesn’t take long for sponges to start looking grubby but instead of throwing them away, give them a new lease of life.

To restore your sponges and make them go further, soak them in a solution of 1/4 cup of salt per 1 litre of water. Air dry them or pop them on the radiator the next day and they’ll be good as new.

Clean Drains

To freshen up your garbage disposal, pour half a cup salt down the drain, then start the disposal while running cold water.

To open hair-clogged bathtub or shower drains, mix together one cup salt, one cup baking soda, and half cup white vinegar.

After pouring the mixture down the drain, wait 10 minutes, then pour half gallon of boiling water down the drain. Run hot water until the drain is clear.

Keep Mold Away From Shower Curtains

When you buy new shower curtains, wash them in salt water to ensure that no mold will grow on them.

Make Copper Shine Again

Mix a little salt with vinegar and flour and rub on the surface to make your copper shine like new.

Stop Candles From Dripping

Before using your new candles, soak them in a strong salt solution for a few hours. Dry them well and when you use them next you should notice they don’t drip and cause as much mess.

Deter Ants

It’s not just slugs that don’t like salt – turns out ants really don’t like it either. Block them from certain areas of your home or by the doorways by drawing a line with the salt. This should deter them from entering in a kind way, and is also non-toxic to humans.

You could also make a 1:4 ratio salt solution and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray where you like to prevent them from ever wanting to come back again.

Home Made Air Freshener

All you need is 1/2 a cup of salt mixed with 20 drops of your chosen essential oil (or use rose petals). Now you can have a naturally wonderful smelling room.

Clean Artificial Flowers

Keep artificial flowers clean and dust free using a little salt. Place your flowers into a paper bag filled with some table salt and gently shake. It will remove any traces of dirt and they’ll look spotless again.

Mouthwash

The problem with shop-bought mouthwash, most of them contain coloring and sweeteners that can actually damage your teeth.

Combine 1 teaspoon of cooking salt with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and half a cup of water. Give it a good stir before doing a rinse and gargle. You won’t be left with minty breath but it will naturally be fresh.

Salt Scrub

You can use this to remove dead skin and boost circulation. Whilst your skin is still damp following a bath, give yourself a massage with dry salt.

Softer Skin

Dissolve 1 cup of table salt i your tub and soak as you normally would. Your skin will be noticeably softer.

Kill Weeds

Weeds are messy and unruly but you can tackle them with a little salt. Just add 1 cup of salt to 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Then, pour it directly onto the weeds to kill them. A few hours later,  pull them out to remove them.

Alternatively, you can sprinkle salt directly onto slabs just before it rains.

Keep Your Wicker Looking Like New

Wicker can look pretty, but it’s not easy to look after. As it ages, exposure to the sun means yellowing is common. To keep it from discoloring, gently scrub your furniture every 6 – 12 months with a stiff brush dipped in warm salt water and let them air dry.

Clean the Fish Tank

Fish tanks don’t look so pretty when they’re dirty. You can remove mineral deposits found in fish tanks with the use of non-iodized salt. Just rub it into the glass using a sponge and rinse thoroughly with warm water.

Stop Towels From Fading

Bright colors are prone to running and fading, especially during their first few washes. If you’ve just bought some brightly colored towels then for their first few washes, add 1-2 cups of salt into the drum of the washing machine and it’ll help prevent any color-running.

Remove Grass Stains

If you have kids, you will probably have had to try and tackle grass stains on more than one occasion. Stop spending your money on expensive laundry products when all you need to banish them is lemon and salt.

Squeeze the lemon juice over the stain and then sprinkle on a generous layer of salt. Rub the stain, and it should lift.

Natural Dandruff Treatment

Maybe you have tried every dandruff treatment going without any luck, but have you tried treating it with salt?

When used as a pre-shampoo treatment, it works well at scrubbing out dandruff so you can properly clean your hair. Just sprinkle some into your scalp and give your head a 5-minute scalp massage then shampoo as normal.

Ease a Sore Throat

I’m sure you will have heard of this one before but will add it just in case. Salt is very good at reducing swelling and loosening mucus – no, it isn’t just an old wife’s tale. It can also help flush out irritants and bacteria that will be causing your sore throat.

Next time you wake up with a sore throat, pour some table salt into a small glass of water with it and gargle for 30 seconds to help ease the pain.

Refresh Your Chopping Board

After a while, your wooden chopping boards can start to look a little dull. Wash your chopping board as you normally would with soap and water, then, dip a damp tea towel into salt and use it to scrub your board until it starts to look brighter.

Watermarks on Wooden Furniture

Forgot to use your drinks mats? You may just be able to save your stained wood. If you’ve got a water ring on your coffee or dining table, sprinkle some table salt directly onto it and scrub it gently with a wet sponge. It should lift right out!

Red Wine Stains on the Carpet

The dreaded red wine on the carpet. Here’s an essential cleaning hack to remember in an emergency: pour water directly over the spill to dilute it a little then cover the stain with table salt. Leave it for 10 minutes, then vigorously scrub the red wine stain until you start to see it fade away.

Clean Your Pots and Pans

Salt is very good when it comes to removing stubborn stains from your pots and pans. The saltwater helps soften and lift food and grease. In fact, any kind of grease can be easily scrubbed away when you add a little salt.

Speed Up Cooking Times

It’s not just worth adding a pinch of salt to your saucepan of water for seasoning – it will also make the water boil at a higher temperature. This will, in turn, make your food cook faster. A great tip for when you’re cooking pasta and veggies – just be careful not to over-use the salt.

Keep Salad Nice and Crisp

Salad can very quickly go soggy and flat. Not what we need when trying to prepare everything for when the guests arrive. A quick trick to keep it fresh and crisp is to give it a sprinkle of salt to keep it from perishing. It won’t affect the taste too much and it’ll help keep the leaves crisp for at least 4 hours.

Remove Food Odors from Hands

Been dealing with garlic, onion and fish? If your cooking session has left you with stinky hands, you can remove smells with salt. Wash as normal then, rub your hands against something made from stainless steel, and finally rub your fingers with a pinch of salt!

Make Cheese Last Longer

If you have more cheese than you can possibly get through, try wrapping it in a light cloth that’s been soaked (then dried) in salt water. Keep it in the fridge as normal and it should last a week longer.

Who knew salt could be so useful? Do you have any of your own tips that you’d like to add? Let us know over on Twitter and we will get them added to the list!