15 Unexpected Household Uses for Table Salt

With so many useful applications both indoors and out, there should be a whole lot of (salt) shaking going on at your place.

By Savannah Sher and Michael Franco | Updated Jul 31, 2023 04:51 PM

A Super Scrubber, and So Much More

Unexpected Household Uses for Table Salt

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 Refresher

How to Clean Wicker

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.


Spill Saver

Cleaning Stove Top

When your pot bubbles over on your stove or in the oven, sprinkle some salt on the offending blob before it has a chance to cool. This will keep the mess from hardening, and will make it a lot easier to wipe away.


Banish the Bitter

Salt in Coffee

If you've left your coffee on the burner longer than you should have and it's gotten bitter, try adding a pinch of salt to your mug before pouring in the brew. The salt should make your cuppa a lot more palatable.


Weed Eater

Natural weed killer

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 Scrub

How to Remove Coffee Stains

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.


Bouquet Brightener

How to Clean Fake Flowers

You never want to put fresh cut flowers in salt water because you'll hasten their demise, but for artificial flowers, salt can help them look livelier. Simply put the faux blooms in a paper bag with about ¼ cup of salt, shake and—voila!—they'll look as good as new.


Smooth Out Your Iron

How to Clean an Iron

If something has melted onto the soleplate—the smooth metal bottom of your clothes iron—it can really put a "wrinkle" in your ironing. To remove the offending bump, sprinkle some salt on a newspaper, turn the iron on high, and move it back and forth over the crystals on the paper.


Sweeten Your Sneakers

Remove Odor from Shoes

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.

RELATED: How to Wash Shoes in a Washing Machine


Deice Windshields and Windows

Unexpected Household Uses for Table Salt

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

Unexpected Household Uses for Table Salt

If you’ve ever accidentally cracked an egg onto the floor or countertop, you know how hard the slimy whites can be to clean up. If you pour some salt onto the egg, however, it will magically make it easier to clean up with a rag or paper towel.


Clean Cast Iron Pans

Unexpected Household Uses for Table Salt

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.

RELATED: The Best Cast Iron Pans for the Kitchen


Remove Red Wine Stains

Unexpected Household Uses for Table Salt

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

Unexpected Household Uses for Table Salt

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.


Shine Silver

Unexpected Household Uses for Table Salt

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.

RELATED: The Best Silver Polish for Restoring Shine


Quickly Cool Beverages

Unexpected Household Uses for Table Salt

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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