Salt is the world’s most common seasoning, but its uses go far beyond the kitchen. The coarse texture and its ability to soak up water make it a great substance for general cleaning and stain removal. Here are 12 ways you can use salt to make powerful, effective, and toxin-free household cleaners.
Remove stains from your butcher block or wooden cutting board. Pour salt on the area you want to clean, cut a lemon in half, and then use the exposed lemon to scrub the board or countertop. Leave the mixture to sit overnight and then wipe it off in the morning with a cloth and warm water. If you don’t have a fresh lemon, you can also mix lemon juice and salt into a paste for the same results. Be sure not to use lemon on marble counters, as the acidity can easily corrode the stone.
Clean cast iron pans. Cast-iron skillets can be difficult to clean without damaging the pan itself, but a salt scrub is a solution to this dilemma. Start by heating the pan on the stove and spraying a thin layer of vegetable oil. Once that’s done, pour a generous amount of salt over the pan’s surface, then use a paper towel to scrub the pan until it’s free of debris. If the paper towel doesn’t cut it, try using a ball of tin foil. After you rinse the pan and dry it well, spray it with more vegetable oil and rub it in with a paper towel.
Scrub your bathtub clean. Sprinkle your bathtub with kosher salt, then take a medium-sized grapefruit, cut it in half, and then use the exposed side to scrub the tub until it sparkles. Once it’s sparkling, rinse the salt and citrus mixture away.
Prevent shower curtain mildew. Keep mildew at bay by soaking your shower curtain in a gallon of water mixed with half a cup of salt for one hour once a month.
Unclog your sink. Hot water and salt can be ideal for small clogs caused by oil build-up. Pour around three cups of boiling water down the drain followed by two tablespoons of Epsom salt. Once you’ve let it sit for a minute, pour a couple more cups of water down the drain. For more toxin-free ways to clear up a clogged sink, click here.
Clean coffee stains from mugs. Nobody likes those dark rings that line coffee mugs. A little bit of salt and water will rid you of these stains in a jiffy! Wet the inside of the mug with some water and follow it with one tablespoon of salt. Scrub as usual and the stains should be gone. For more stubborn stains, rub in a wedge of lemon. Rinse with hot water and repeat until you’re satisfied.
Clean sweat stains from white shirts. Underarm stains are a common problem with white shirts, but getting rid of these stains isn’t as challenging as it seems. All you need is four tablespoons of salt and a liter of hot water. Dissolve the salt in boiling water, then use that solution on a sponge or cloth to dab at the stains until they disappear. The last step is to simply rinse and let the shirt dry.
Clean wine and other fresh stains. As soon as a devastating wine spill is detected, pour salt on the offending spot to potentially prevent it from staining at all. Similarly, with clothing stains, dab the spot with a towel and soda water, then pour a liberal amount of salt onto the stain until it’s completely hidden. Dump the excess salt and wash your clothing as you would normally.
Clean mason jars and hard-to-reach containers. Getting into the grooves and corners of a mason jar might be difficult for our hands to maneuver, but salt can get into those nooks and crannies quite easily. Combine a splash of white vinegar, hot water, and one-fourth a cup of coarse salt into the glass. Close the lid tightly, shake, and presto! The stains will be lifted easily.
Clean floors, tiles, and grout. The rough texture of salt can help get rid of pesky floor grime. Take a handful of salt and add it to one and a half liters of hot water. This solution is perfect for tile, grout, and other hard surfaces however, you should not use this on marble floors as the coarse salt will damage the marble.