30 Uses for Salt Everyone Should Know


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If you believe that salt is solely meant for cooking, prepare to be astonished! While it does indeed enhance the taste of your food, this affordable element has numerous applications beyond the realm of culinary pursuits.  Believe it or not, this basic kitchen essential possesses remarkable versatility – from neutralizing odors on your hands to extinguishing a potentially dangerous fire in a pan. It may even eradicate the unpleasant smell emanating from your worn-out sneakers.

cutting board

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Say Goodbye to Smelly Cutting Boards

Got an unpleasant-smelling cutting board in your kitchen that you’re contemplating getting rid of? Hold on for just a moment! I might have a remedy to revive it. Try generously sprinkling salt on it, then wash it using your usual soap to eliminate any harmful bacteria. Ta-da! No more smells!


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Fix an Ant Problem

If your place is anything like mine, springtime isn’t signaled by the first robin singing. No, it’s when I spy the very first ant snooping around the kitchen. To be honest, I have no issue with ants… when they stay outside where they belong. Once they start invading indoors, it’s time to fight.  Luckily, ants are no match for salt! Sprinkle it around all the areas you see them in, and they should quickly realize they need to head far, far away from your kitchen.


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Reduce Dandruff

Plenty of people struggle with dandruff. In fact, 1 in every 5 people have it. So while dandruff can be embarrassing, it’s actually more common than you think.  The treatment for it might be more common than you think, too. Try massaging a little bit of regular ol’ salt onto your scalp before you hop into the shower to wash your hair. It works wonders! A little bit of exfoliation can go a long way, after all. Of course, don’t be too aggressive.


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Absorb Grease with Ease

Grease is always a kitchen nightmare. It’s already difficult enough to clean as is — but if you let it harden, you could wind up scraping away at it for a while. Instead, take care of the grease problem with this simple solution that will save you plenty of time and elbow grease in the long run.  Salt can help you tackle the chore. Grease becomes way easier to clean when you put some salt on it first. The salt absorbs the grease before it hardens onto your surfaces.


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Clean Your Fridge

How often do you clean your fridge? Do you worry about using harsh chemicals in the same enclosed place you store your food? Try blending about half a cup of salt with two liters of warm water. Use that in a spray bottle or simply dip a sponge or towel into the solution. The salt will help eliminate any bad odors that have built up over time.  Be sure to follow up your scrubbing with a germ-killing cleaner for a final wipe-down. It’ll be easy since the salt will help you remove all the grime.


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Crack Nuts

Buying nuts that are still in the shell can save you a ton of money. Those ready-to-eat shelled nuts come at a higher price. However, it’s also less convenient to wield a nutcracker and crack each and every nut. Instead, try this nifty hack that’ll come with a lot less hassle.  All you need to do is stir up a glass of salt water and let the nuts sit in there for a few minutes. Take them out, and the shells should come right off.

Lipstick Stain

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Remove Lipstick Stains

Have you ever passed over a clean coffee mug because of a faded lipstick stain? Even if the mug is “clean,” is it really? Seems pretty gross, even if it’s your own lips that caused the stain. But at the same time, I really don’t want to throw away my favorite coffee mug. Luckily, salt can provide an easy solution to save your glassware.  Any glasses, mugs, or any other kitchen utensils stained with lipstick can be taken care of by rubbing some salt on the stain before washing.

fruits and vegetables

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Keep Fruits and Vegetables Fresh Longer

Fruits and veggies turning brown is natural, but those browning apple slices don’t exactly look appetizing. They say we eat with our eyes first, and who wants to reach for the stuff that looks like it’s already gone bad?  If you need to peel or slice fruits or veggies ahead of time, you can prevent the natural browning with salt. No, really! All you need to do is let the fruits or veggies sit in salt water. Simply wash them off when you’re ready to eat, and they’ll be fresh — and a lot less brown.

burnt coffee

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Improve Burnt Coffee

We all know that burnt coffee tastes terrible, but you might want to reconsider before you toss the whole pot out! Why? Because salt can help! Simply sprinkle a little salt in the mug and see if it makes your coffee taste better.  When you put salt into the coffee, it actually neutralizes the bitterness by blocking the taste buds responsible for it. Just don’t go overboard — anything more than a pinch will make the coffee undrinkable! If you’re crunched for time or running low on coffee grounds, this trick can be a morning-saver.

frost on windshield

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Melt Ice

Whether you’ve slept through your alarm, or just had a slow morning, I’m willing to bet this has happened on at least one occasion: you’re running late, but you step outside to find your windshield covered in ice. Instead of spending tons of time scraping all that ice away, speed things up with some good ol’ salt.  All you need to do is stir up some salt water (make sure it’s cool or cold so your window doesn’t explode) and wipe it onto the windshield. Let it sit, and the ice should start melting away.

pan fire

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Tame a Pan-Fire

Kitchen fires are really scary, and for good reason. Any fire can be extremely dangerous if not taken care of immediately, and can even lead to the entire house burning down. That’s why it’s incredibly important to tame a pan-fire before it gets out of control.  You should always keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen, of course. But salt can also be a good solution for taming a pan-fire. If the flames are still in the pan, just shake a ton of salt onto it. The salt will help tame the blaze.


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Remove Melted Substances From Iron

What’s worse than having to iron a bunch of clothes? How about when something accidentally melts onto your iron. Now you have an iron that will smear a gooey, burnt mess all over your nice clothes — making that dreaded chore even worse.  Here’s how to fix this: turn the iron on as high as it can go. Throw some salt on a bit of newspaper, then lay that on the ironing board. Run the hot iron over the salt, and the melted gooeyness should come right off.

Wicker chairs

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Make Wicker Furniture Last a Lifetime

We all know that salt can preserve foods, but did you know it can also preserve some of your furniture? Here’s another wild trick that will have you running to the store for more salt.  Wicker can fade over time. After all, it’s just made out of woven plant materials, and it’ll take a beating after a while. To prevent this, every few months, dip a brush into salt water and rub down your favorite wicker furniture. It will look brand new all over again!

coffee maker

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Clean Your Coffee Maker

Coffee pots are notorious for getting that nasty brown stain collecting at the bottom. Perhaps you left it on too long with only a dribble of coffee in it… or maybe you just use your coffee pot as often as I do. Either way, salt can help that coffee pot look like new again.  Just put some salt water in it and let it sit for a while. Wash it out as usual, and it will look clean as a whistle! You can also spring some salt on tough stains and use a sponge to do some scrubbing.

soap bubbles

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Reduce Bubbles

For those of us who wash our dishes by hand, we can get a little overzealous with the dish soap. I tend to squirt a bunch of soap into the sink and then walk away while it fills with hot water, and I can’t be the only one who does that.  If the bubbles start getting crazy, salt can help prevent them from overflowing your sink and dribbling onto to the floor! Just sprinkle a bit of salt on the water to calm those bubbly bursts.

copper bottom pots

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Restore Copper Bottom Pots

Copper-bottomed pots look amazing when you first buy them, but it doesn’t always last. I know for me, I finally felt like an adult to have a set of nice-looking pans. Unfortunately, that only lasted about a week until they started looking pretty drab.  As you may have guessed by now, a little salt can fix you right up and make your pots and pans look great again. Just add some salt to some vinegar and use a sponge to make your copper-bottomed pots look new again.

bright towels

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Keep Bright Towels Bright

So you bought some bright towels, but you know there’s no way they’ll stay bright after a few uses, right? I’m pretty sure this is one of the biggest reasons my mom would never buy anything other than white towels. But to be honest, I really like having bright, cheery colors.  To keep your towels bright, this is important to do the first few times you wash your bright towels: Pour a couple cups of salt into the washing machine. Bright towels will stay bright and fresh for a shockingly long time.

red wine stain

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Remove Red Wine Stains

We’ve all spilled wine, and we’ve all cringed thinking about how that stain is never going to go away. It’s one of the biggest downfalls of red wine. Fortunately, you don’t have to throw things out or just deal with permanent stains on things anymore.  Pour a little water on the stain, sprinkle some salt onto the water, and let it sit for about fifteen minutes. Then, take a fresh sponge or towel and rub the area where the wine was spilled. The salt will help lift the red wine!

boiling water

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Boil Water Quicker

Ever stand there hungrily looking at water in the pot, just trying to will it to boil? Well, you can’t use the Force, but you can at least use some salt to speed up the process a bit.  Put some salt in the pot of water, and it will start bubbling way faster than plain water alone. Although salt will technically raise the boiling point of the water, it also lowers the water’s specific heat — aka the amount of energy needed to change the temperature — which means the salt water will heat up faster.

sweat stain

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Remove Pesky Yellow Sweat Stains From Shirts

How many white shirts have you thrown away in your lifetime after they developed those yucky yellow sweat stains? I think just about everyone is guilty of it. Those stains are nearly impossible to remove, and no one wants to wear those stains out in public. Instead of tossing them, try using salt to remove the stains.  Put a generous helping of salt into hot water, and throw the shirt in it. Then just scrub, scrub, scrub away. After that, throw them in the wash to clean off the residue. Voila! A perfectly white shirt to stain all over again!

dirty pan

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Clean Those Pans

Whether you’re working with a burnt pan or just a hard-to-clean pan that’s riddled with food remnants, salt can help you ditch the mess. Simply scrub your pan with kosher salt (larger crystals are more abrasive) first before jumping in with traditional dish soap.  The salt will remove all the sticky food remnants so that when you use water and a sponge, the rest will come off easily. One caveat, though! Don’t use this trick on Teflon pans. Scratching up your Teflon pan is not part of our amazing salt tips.


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Clean Kitchen Sponges

We often use sponges to clean dishes, but what about cleaning the sponge? After all, they get really grungy and gross as we scrub all those pots and pans. Bacteria can build up in your sponge, and who wants to wash dishes with extra bacteria and old food?  To give your sponge a quick refresh between washes, soak them overnight in this salty solution: 1/4 cup of salt per quart of water. This can help keep your sponge clean and extend its life a little — although it’s still a good idea to ditch old sponges every week or two.

grass stain

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Get Rid of Grass Stains

Kids and grass stains go together like peanut butter and jelly. It seems like whenever you spend money on new clothes, the little ones deploy fresh plans to ruin them — and often, those fresh plans involve fresh grass stains.  You don’t have to keep throwing out your kid’s clothes just because they had a fun time playing in the yard. Instead, squeeze a slice of lemon on the stain, along with a large helping of salt. Let it sit, and then wash as normal. Later, grass stains!


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Make Your Hands Smell Like A Million Bucks

Just like with pots, pans, refrigerators, and coffee makers, your hands can accumulate some strange smells. The last time I made curry, it took so much scrubbing to get the smell off my hands. I mean, I love curry, but I don’t want to smell like it for days after.  Using a homemade salt scrub will magically get your hands back to normal. Just wash your hands, and then give them a vigorous scrubbing with salt. It will help remove all the excess dead skin cells on your hands, and the smell will disappear with them.

Colorful decoration artificial flower

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Keep Fake Flowers Looking Real and Beautiful

Artificial flowers are a great way to liven up a space, even if you weren’t blessed with a lot of natural light or a green thumb. Unfortunately, artificial flowers can start looking old and dusty after a while, and dusting all those surfaces and crevices isn’t exactly easy.  Try throwing them in a bag with a bunch of salt and shake it like a Polaroid picture. That will wipe away all the gunk and have them looking gorgeous again. Just make sure you shake them out well, preferably outside.

smelly shoes

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Smell Shoes Just Need Salt

It’s a good thing our feet are so far away from our noses because shoes STINK! Even a new pair starts getting a bit rank after a short time.  Here’s our super salty tip: salt can get rid of those shoe smells. Fill a coffee filter or a dryer sheet with two tablespoons of salt and tie it with a rubber band. Throw the satchel in your shoe and let it sit overnight. The salt will help soak up any odor-causing moisture in your sneakers.

sore throat

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Soothe a Sore Throat

Sore throats are a pain in the neck, pun intended. But whether you’re trying to avoid medicine yourself or you’re helping a kid who is too young for medicine, salt is an excellent natural remedy.  Gargling a simple mix of salt and warm water can help soothe a scratchy throat. Salt pulls mucus out of your swollen, inflamed tissue and can help relieve discomfort. The Mayo Clinic recommends mixing 1/4 to 1/2 of a teaspoon of salt into 4 to 8 ounces of warm water. Stir until the salt dissolves.

dirty tub

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Dirty Tubs Only Need a Little TLC

Literally, just put salt on a grapefruit, and you have the best tub cleaner in the world. You don’t even need a sponge; just scrub with the grapefruit. As an added bonus, grapefruit and salt won’t just scrub away soap scum — it will actually help kill nasty germs.  Grapefruit is a natural antimicrobial substance. And, of course, our new favorite product, salt, kills bacteria by essentially sucking water out of them. Neat, right? (Regardless, it’s still a good idea to bust out the big guns and do a deep cleaning with traditional bathroom cleaners.)

rotten eggs

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Rotten Eggs Are Not Allowed Here

Some of us enjoy farm-fresh eggs that don’t come with expiration dates printed on the box, while others have a habit of forgetting the eggs they put in the fridge. Depending on the week, I am both of these people.  If you need an egg for a recipe but are unsure if the egg is still good or not, there’s a simple way to test it before cracking open a potentially rotten egg. Just put that thing in a glass of salt water. If you see the egg float, it’s NOT good for eating.

clogged pipe

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Clean Your Drains

We flush a lot of stuff down our drains. Bits of food, strands of hair, dandruff, dirt… All kinds of nastiness can clog up a drain. And plumbers definitely don’t come cheap! But hey, trust me on this: those chemical drain cleaners are NOT good for your pipes.  Before you call the plumber, we’ve still got a trick for you to try! Mix some salt, baking soda, and vinegar, then pour that down your clogged drain and wait. Many times, it will clear right up!