There is a simple mineral sitting on your kitchen counter right now that has a thousand uses … and you’re only using it to flavor your food!Table salt is incredibly versatile and it can solve a whole range of household problems. It’s easy to use, and is a whole lot cheaper and easier to find than other cleaning products. From removing red wine stains to softening your cuticles, you can rely on table salt to be the life hack you’ve been looking for.
1) Clean your sticky iron. Try laying a piece of wax paper on your ironing board and sprinkling it with salt. Turn your iron onto hot and then move it over the paper. The salt will make the sticky gunk on the iron fall away.
2) Removing wine stains from the carpet. We promised this one, so here it is: Blot the stain with a damp cloth first, and then pour a generous pile of salt on top of the stain, making sure to cover it all. Next? Walk away. Leave the salt for at least eight hours, and when you come back it will have drawn the liquid out of the carpet. This one works with most liquids, from red wine to coffee.
3) Chill white wine faster. While we’re on the subject of wine, salt helps you to cool your drinks faster than the freezer. Simply place your bottle of wine in a bucket with ice, water, and a handful of salt.
4) Run the dishwasher. You can make your own dishwasher soap using salt, baking soda, and regular dish soap. It’s cheap, there are no suds leftover, and it keeps your dishes fresh and clean.
5) Make a natural air freshener. Try this recipe for an organic air freshener without all the nasty chemicals. Scoop the flesh from half a orange, lemon, or grapefruit, and fill with coarse salt. If you like, you can add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance. This is a healthy, compostable way to deodorize your home.
6) Clean a cracked egg. Have you dropped a cracked egg on the floor before? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Next time, try pouring some salt over the egg for 10-15 minutes or so before wiping down. The salt will make clean up a breeze.
7) Remove coffee stains. We’re all guilty of letting our favorite mugs become stained with coffee rings, but those rings disappear if you scrub them with coarse salt.
8) Keep your laundry bright. Try adding one or two cups of salt directly into the washing machine when washing brightly colored towels for the first time. The salt will help to preserve the colors and keep them from running.
9) De-grease your kitchen sponge. Sometimes after cleaning a frying pan or a pot, the kitchen sponge can become covered in stubborn grime. You can leave your sponges to soak overnight in two cups of water and a good handful of salt, and in the morning the grime will fall away leaving your sponge clean.
10) Fix those smelly shoes. Try sprinkling a generous amount of salt into your boots overnight and shaking them out again in the morning. The salt acts as a deodorant to freshen up your footwear.
11) Heal dry skin and soothe acne. Salt contains moisturizing and healing properties that help with dry or itchy skin and even some skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Try adding a cup of sea salt to a warm bath and giving your skin a good soak. You can also mix up a homemade face mask of one part salt to two parts honey — it’ll calm the inflammation associated with acne breakouts.
12) Remove odor from your hands. Our hands can get a bit smelly when we’ve been fishing, or chopping garlic, for example. After washing thoroughly with soap, moisten your hands with water and then scrub them with a small handful of salt. Be careful if you have cuts on your hands — the salt will sting.
13) Give yourself a manicure. Try mixing one teaspoon each of salt, baking soda, and lemon juice in half a cup of hot water. Let your fingertips soak for at least ten minutes and then give them a scrub with a nail brush. Rinse with warm water afterwards. This treatment will work to soften your cuticles and strengthen your nails.
14) Soothe a bee sting. You should cover the sting with salt and then hold a wet compress to it. The salt will soothe the sting. (Note: If you are allergic to bee stings or if you experience any swelling or shortness of breath, seek medical attention immediately!)
15) Make your own exfoliant. You’ve probably heard of sugar scrubs, but a salt scrub is just as good for buffing away dead skin cells and leaving you with smoother, brighter skin. Try mixing the salt with a little olive oil to keep skin well moisturized.
16) Kill poison ivy. Mix salt with boiling water and spray onto poison ivy plant. Be sure the hot water solution goes down the stalk of the plant and penetrates the roots.17) Keep away the mold and mildew. Salt water keeps mildew from building up on your shower curtain. Run your curtain through the washing machine (if safe to do so), then soak it in the bath with water and a couple of cups of salt — it’ll stop the mildew from building up again. Try keeping a spray bottle of salt water in the bathroom and giving the shower curtain a spray once a week.
18) Prevent your clothes from freezing on the clothesline. Put a bit of salt into the final laundry rinse to prevent your clothes from freezing on the clothes line during the cold winter months.
Bonus tip: bad restaurants. Have you ever been at a restaurant, and your food has come out with a hair in it, or something else so off-putting that you send it back? Well here’s a good way to ensure that the next dish they bring you is actually a fresh one: Visibly sprinkle the dish with salt. You’ll know if you get the same dish back.
Salt is versatile, cheap, and free of toxins, and we almost always have it in the house. It’s a good idea to keep an extra box in the pantry just for cleaning — it can replace so many expensive products and it won’t release any nasty chemicals into your home. Next time you have stinky shoes or a red wine emergency, reach for the salt instead!