A Super Scrubber, and So Much More
It's an integral part of every meal, but ordinary table salt can do much more than add flavor to your food. Effective for outdoor and winter maintenance, salt is also a household workhorse: It cleans, deodorizes, and even removes some stains. Here are 15 terrific reasons to buy salt by the sack.
Wicker furniture gets yellow with age. Brighten it again by dipping a brush in a solution of salt water and scrubbing the furniture. Let it dry in the sun and your wicker pieces will look as good as new. Likewise, if you have a new straw broom, soak it in hot, salty water for about 20 minutes before its first use to extend its lifespan.
Banish the Bitter
If you've got annoying weeds growing up between cracks in the pavement or along the lines in your patio, there's no need to buy expensive weed treatments, or spray your outdoor space with harsh chemicals. Either douse the weeds in a solution of 1 cup of salt boiled in two cups of water, or sprinkle the salt directly onto the weeds—the salt will be absorbed when it rains, and kill the weeds in short order.
Salt is a great cleaning aid. For a vase that has a ring of ick inside, rub with salt and then wash away. For mugs and cups with tea or coffee stains, sprinkle a little on a sponge and rub in a circular motion. Polish your brass and copper with a paste made from equal parts salt, flour, and vinegar.
Smooth Out Your Iron
Sweeten Your Sneakers
You may have seen advertisements for natural salt underarm deodorants. The same principle that helps salt keep smells at bay on your body will work in your sneakers too, because salt helps fight bacteria. Just sprinkle a little salt into your smelly sneakers or canvas shoes when they need to be freshened up.
Deice Windshields and Windows
Salt lowers the temperature at which water freezes and turns into pesky ice, so use it to your advantage. Rub windows in your home with a sponge containing salt water to keep them frost free. Keep salt in a sock in your car. When the temperature looks like it's going to dip, rub the sock over the windshield and you should be frost-free in the morning.
Clean Spilled Egg
Clean Cast Iron Pans
Anyone who has ever owned a cast iron pan knows that they’re notoriously tricky to care for. Luckily, one of the best solutions for cleaning them is probably already in your cupboard. Coarse kosher salt is an excellent abrasive ingredient that can scrape away stuck-on food particles from cast iron. Simply rub it into the pan using a gentle cleaning brush and allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing it with water.
Remove Red Wine Stains
Spilling red wine on a carpet, sofa, or your clothing can cause a panic, but don’t worry: Salt can come to the rescue. As soon as the spill occurs, sprinkle iodized table salt generously on the affected area and allow it to sit for a few minutes in order to absorb the wine. When all of the liquid has been absorbed, vacuum up the salt that’s left behind.
Patch Holes in Walls
The best product for patching up small nail holes and cracks in plaster and drywall is spackle, but in a pinch, salt can also get the job done. Windsor Salt recommends creating a paste using 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, and 5 tablespoons of water. After applying the mixture to the affected area, allow it to dry, and then sand and paint.
Genuine silverware requires regular maintenance, and while there are plenty of commercial products available that are formulated to restore silver’s original shine, salt can also be used to make a DIY cleaning solution that’s both affordable and eco-friendly. Mixing salt, baking soda, white vinegar, and boiling water creates an abrasive solution that will make silver look brand new.
Quickly Cool Beverages
Is there anything worse than reaching for a refreshing cold beverage only to realize you forgot to put it in the cooler or fridge? While soda can quickly be cooled with ice cubes, most drinkers don’t want to dilute their beer and wine with ice. While making an ice water bath works well, adding salt to the water will help cool the beverages faster since it lowers the temperature of the water. In about 10 minutes, your beverage should be good to go.
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