We all most likely use salt in our daily lives to season various dishes. But, you can also use it around the house to make tasks a breeze to complete. Here are 10 brilliant uses for salt you should try soon!
Clean hidden dirt off a wreath.
You’re finally ready to display your favorite spring wreath. The only problem? When you pull it out of storage, you notice a layer of dust. The quick way to clean it from all crevices: Place the wreath in a large paper bag with 1⁄2 cup of salt, then shake. As you move the bag, the salt granules will knock any dust and debris loose, so your wreath looks beautifully welcoming!
Rid a vase of residue.
The clear vase you snagged at the thrift store will look great in your kitchen, but it has some grimy-looking cloudy streaks. The save: Scrub with a paste made of one teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of white vinegar. The salt scours away residue while vinegar dissolves cloudiness-causing mineral deposits.
Chop garlic cloves, stick-free.
You love the flavor that garlic adds to your pasta dishes — if only the cloves didn’t always stick to your knife as you mince. Rather than having to stop and wipe the blade clean, try this: Roughly chop the garlic and sprinkle with just a pinch of salt before continuing to mince. The salt grains absorb any sticky juices (without leaving an overly salty flavor) so you can chop with ease!
Nix a flea problem — fast!
Argh! Your pup’s fun day at the park ended with an icky f lea infestation. To keep the critters from thriving in your carpet, sprinkle salt over it liberally and let sit overnight; vacuum thoroughly in the morning. The salt acts as a dehydrating agent to kill fleas and their eggs. (Note: Be sure to empty the canister in the outside garbage to prevent a reinfestation.)
Ensure greens get clean.
To nix grit from foods like spinach or leeks, reach for salt! Simply dunk the greens in cool water; add a few tablespoons of salt. Let sit for three minutes to allow the dirt to settle, then rinse and dry. The coarse salt will work into every small space where sand and dirt can hide, ensuring it all washes away.
Fix a clogged drain in no time.
Stuck with a slow-draining sink before a dinner party? Mix two tablespoons of salt with two cups of seltzer and pour down the drain. Wait one minute before running the hottest tap water for 10 seconds. The combination of abrasive salt and fizzy seltzer will dissolve the blockage.
Outsmart messy stove-top splatters.
You love frying up potatoes, but could do without the greasy mess that usually ends up on neighboring pots and pans. What can help: Add a pinch or two of salt to the cooking oil before you start. The small granules will weigh down the oil and keep it from splashing all over the stove top.
Deodorize smelly shoes overnight.
The more comfortable temperatures have made it easy to enjoy a daily walk. The downside? The extra bout of exercise has been leaving your sneakers smelling funky. To nix the stink, pour a small handful of salt into two coffee filters. Then wrap a rubber band around the top of each to close, and set one sachet in each shoe before going to bed. The absorbent salt will soak up the smell, so by morning your shoes smell fresh again. Aah…that’s better!
Quickly make drinks cold.
While prepping for your gettogether, you realize you forgot to put the six-pack of soda in the fridge. The quick save: Put the cans in a large bucket, fill with ice and top with 3⁄4 cup of salt. Then pour in enough cold water to cover the cans’ sides. Salt water has a lower freezing point than regular water, so its temperature will quickly drop, cooling the drinks in about 10 minutes.
Lift stubborn sweat stains.
If a white shirt in your laundry pile has those yellow perspiration marks, try this before tossing it: Dilute four tablespoons of salt in one quart of hot water, then dip a washcloth in the liquid and gently scrub the spots until they disappear. Launder as usual. The sodium granules break down pigments so they wash off with ease.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.