Salt is an essential ingredient in the kitchen. It flavors main dishes and makes desserts light and flavorful.

Using salt in cooking is a must, but did you know that you can use salt for more than just cooking? Salt isn’t only for cooking anymore. It can be a cleaning solvent, deodorizer, beauty secret and more.

In the Kitchen

How many times have you been baking something and it overflows onto the bottom of the oven. The spill often produces smoke that tends to flavor what is cooking inside and no one likes smoky cherry pie. When this happens, just throw a bit of salt over the spill and it will not smoke. Let the oven cool and the mess should come off with a damp cloth. This also works with any spill on the stove top. Should a baking pan become encrusted with baked on food sprinkle some salt in and cover with a damp paper towel and let it sit overnight. It should wipe right off in the morning. Wooden cutting boards lose their luster after awhile. Rub them down with a sponge or cloth dipped in salt water to restore their color. Making bread or pie dough often leaves sticky lumps on the counter top. To get them off easily sprinkle a little salt on the area and they should wipe right off. To stop grease from spitting at you when making hamburgers or bacon, sprinkle a little salt in the bottom of the pan before heating it up. You can identify old eggs by filling a container with 1 cup water and adding 2 teaspoons salt. The eggs that sink to the bottom are good and the ones that float are not. Put a pinch of milk in a quart of milk to make it last longer and wrap cheese with a paper towel dipped in salt water and wrung out to prevent mold. Put it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Get Rid of Stains

Get rid of wine stains on carpet by using salt. Pour some white wine on red wine stains before they dry. This will dilute the red color. Dab the spot with a sponge and cold water and sprinkle the area with salt. Wait 10 minutes and vacuum. Grease on rugs and carpet can easily be remedied by mixing 1 part salt to 4 parts rubbing alcohol. Rub it, using some elbow grease, into the stain and rub in the same direction as the nap of the carpet. Watermark stains on wood are hard to get off. Make a paste with salt and some water and rub the paste onto the water ring with a soft cloth. Gently rub until the ring disappears. Enamel pans tend to become stained. Just soak the pan in salt water overnight and then bring the pan to a boil the next day. The stains should be gone. Tea and coffee stains are unsightly on cups and in teapots. Get rid of them by soaking in salt water or stuffing the spout of a teapot with salt overnight. Run warm water in them the next morning and the stain should be gone.

Cleaning

Copper and brass come clean with a paste of equal parts salt, flour and vinegar. Just apply with a soft cloth and rub then rinse with warm water and buff. Rub tarnished silverware with salt before washing to make them shiny. Restore wicker furniture scrub with a wire brush dipped in salt water. Let it air dry and any yellowing will disappear.

Keep Clothing Fresh

Put a half cup of salt in the washing machine when washing new washable clothing for the first time. This will lock in the color so it won’t fade or run. This works especially well with new towels too. If you spill something on your clothing at a restaurant shake enough salt from the salt shaker to cover it. When you get home, wipe off any left over salt and launder. Perspiration stains on clothing can be eliminated by dissolving 4 tablespoons slat in 1 quart hot water. Sponge the area with the solution until the stain goes away and launder.

Deodorizing

Sprinkle salt in canvas shoes when they start to stink and let them sit overnight. The moisture from your feet will be absorbed and the shoes will smell fresher. If you smell garbage in the garbage disposal, just pour in 1/2 cup of salt, run cold water and start the disposal. The salt gets rid of any stuck food particles and makes everything smell better.

Twart Insects

If you have an ant problem in your house and see a trail of ants making there way into the house from under a door, sprinkle salt in their path. Salt not only reportedly gets rid of evil spirits but also ants. Lick your finger and pour a little salt on it. Rub this salt into a mosquito bit to stop the itch and reduce swelling. Put salt on a bee sting to stop the pain and stop swelling, but if you are allergic, get to the doctor quick.

Salt in the Garden

Make a solution of 1 cup salt and 2 cups water and bring it to a boil. Pour right on any weeds that are growing in the cracks in your path or driveway to kill them. If you have a large area of weeds, spread salt over top of them and sprinkle with water. Slugs and snails literally waste away when introduced to salt. Sprinkle some salt under your primroses and other plants so the critters can’t get to them. They melt when the come in contact with salt. Clean flower pots sprinkle salt in and scrub all the dried up dirt and water deposits with a stiff brush and no water. It gets the pots very clean. Should you get poison ivy working in the garden, take a bath with 1 cup salt in it. It will hurt initially but it will stop the pain and itching and dry up any moist spots.

Salty Beauty Secrets

Salt is abrasive and will scrub dry skin cells from skin. Salt is good for dandruff too. Just shake salt into the scalp and work it through with your fingers. Wash and most the flaky skin on your head will be gone. Dissolve 1 cup regular salt in the tub and soak. Not only does this help aches and pains, it also makes your skin very soft. After bathing and wet, message the body with some dry salt to remove dead skin cells. Fresh breath by gargling with salt water, which also helps a sore throat. Make a facial from equal parts salt and olive oil massaged into the face and throat with upward strokes. After 5 minutes rinse and wash.

Other Uses

To give a broom or old sponge new life soak in a bucket of hot salted water. Soak 20 minutes and let air dry. Pecans will shell easily when you soak the nuts in salt water for a few hours first. Keep a box of salt near the stove. If a grease fire erupts, pour the salt on it to smother the flame and there will not be a ton of smoke. Clean the bottom of the iron with salt . Turn to high and sprinkle salt onto newspaper on the ironing board. Run the iron over it and your iron will become clean and smooth. Pour 1 cup salt, 1 cup baking soda and 1/2 c white vinegar down the drain and wait 10 minutes. Flush with 1/2 gallon boiling water and run hot water until a plugged drain starts to flow again. Rub your hands with salt to get rid of onion odor when chopping onions.

Salt isn’t just for cooking anymore. There are so many alternate uses for salt that they are hard to write in just one article. Always keep a couple of containers of salt in the house for its many uses.