Salt is an important item on your kitchen shelf, right? Did you know that it has almost fourteen thousand uses besides adding flavor to food? No? Neither did I, until I did the research. I already knew that salt repels bacteria – this is why it is used as a preservative on most food. A 10 per cent salt solution (brine) prevents the growth of disease-causing bacteria. Now you know why back in the times when they did not have refrigerators, they rubbed salt on everything. You also know that salt water gargling soothes a sore throat. Figures, right?
So, without further ado, let’s look at some interesting ways to use salt:
- You can clean brass, silver and copper with a paste of salt and vinegar. Rub the mix on the metal with a soft cloth, rinse it off and buff it dry
- Clean your drain by pouring half a cup of salt and half a cup of hot water into it once in a while to get rid of stinks and grease build up.
- White marks on your furniture? No problem. Mix a teaspoon of salt and olive oil into a dry paste. Rub on white marks with cloth until the spots disappear.
- Greasy pans can be tackled easily by scrubbing them first with salt before rinsing with the usual soap
- Cutting boards are a favorite place for bacteria to breed. Take a piece of cloth, dip it in salt and rub the cutting board with it to rid it of bacteria.
- When you rub your pan with salt, it prevents the food from getting stuck to it
- Zap your cleaning sponges in cold salt after you wash them.
- Sprinkle salt into your shoes at night and brush it out in the morning to get rid of stinky
- Repel moths and ants by spraying salt in the areas they frequent
- Colored clothes looking dull? Add half a cup of salt while washing colored clothes to brighten the colors. I remember we soak new colored clothes in salt water for some time before washing them to prevent them from running color. Salt is used to set dyes – so it acts as a fixative.
- Stains from mold and mildew? Scrub with salt and lemon juice and expose to sunlight. Then wash, rinse and dry.
- If there is sudden grease fire break out, cover the fire with salt. Never make the mistake of pouring water on the fire.
- When you have a sore throat, gargle with salt water. Also works for mouth sores.
- 2 parts baking soda and 1 part salt make a teeth and gum cleaner
- Need a quick homemade mouth wash? One part baking soda with one part salt – add a teaspoon of this to a glass of water and use as mouth wash.
- Pamper your feet by soaking them in a tub of warm water to which half a cup of salt is added. Rinse after the water cools. My grandmother used to recommend soaking feet on the sand at the beach (we lived in Mumbai). Same effect when the waves wash over. More fun than a tub, though!
- Dead dry skin problems? Exfoliate by massaging with dry salt. Avoid doing this on broken skin though. Or you’ll feel the effect of “rubbing salt on the wound”
- After you bathe, massage your wet body with dry salt to remove dead skin and boost your blood circulation.
- Cut flowers will stay fresh longer when you add salt to the water in the vase.
- You can remove blood stains on cotton or linen fabrics by soaking the stain in cold salt water and then washing in soapy water.
- To prevent the cut surface of apples and pears from going brown, soak them in mildly salted water to retain their color. You can also rub lemon on them.
Okay, so I’ve barely touched the tip of the 14,000 uses. But a good enough list to get going with, don’t you think? Enjoy!
Vidya Sury Vidya Sury is a Freelance Writer and Professional Blogger. She’s mom to a teenager who understands the importance of being healthy.