60 Clever Uses for Salt—That Don’t Involve Cooking
From relieving rashes to removing stains to restoring household items to their original luster, salt does more than just season food.
Put out a grease fire
A bucket of water is not necessarily the first thing you should grab in a fire; if you are dealing with a grease fire, water can actually cause the flames to spread. Instead, douse them in salt or baking soda, or quickly cover with a metal lid instead, per Food Network. Never combine these common household items or you could start a fire.
Use as a natural mouthwash
Store-bought mouthwash can contain toxic chemicals and other artificial ingredients. The all-natural alternative? Salt. Stir 1 teaspoon of cooking salt with 1 teaspoon of baking soda into half a cup of water, then gargle the mixture. The salt behaves like a disinfectant, killing off bacteria that causes bad breath. There are at least 12 things your bad breath may be trying to tell you.
Keep cheese from molding
Salt’s dehydrating powers can actually help slow the growth of mold on cheese. To reduce food waste (and save money on groceries), dip a paper towel in a mixture of 2 Tbsp. salt and 3 cups of water, and then wrap it loosely around your cheese before refrigerating. Now, avoid this other sneaky ingredient that’s hiding in your shredded cheese.
Chill beverages fast
Warm soda, beer, and wine can spell disaster for any party host. But if you have salt on hand, chilling those beverages won’t take long. Place the bottles and cans in a bucket of ice water and mix in a handful of salt. Once the salt works its magic, the beverages will be cold in no time. Here are some additional ways to quickly chill a bottle of white wine.
Give your lawn a boost
Perhaps the grass on your lawn has seen better (read: greener) days. For an inexpensive fertilizer, mix two tablespoons of Epsom salt and a gallon of water in a spray bottle, and apply it to the grass. Epsom salt contains magnesium, which boosts a plant’s production of chlorophyll—the pigment responsible for their green hue. Too keep your yard looking good, here are 18 things to never do to your lawn.
Relieve a sore throat
The next time you wake up that telltale tickle, mix some table salt in a glass of warm water and gargle for 30 seconds to ease the pain. It’s not just an old wives’ tale—salt can actually flush out mucus and other irritants that cause a sore throat, research shows. Here are 15 more DIY gargles to ease sore throat pain.
Prevent dye from bleeding
A new item of clothing won’t run in the wash if you soak it in salt water first. Combine ½ gallon of water with 1/3 cup vinegar and ½ cup salt, and then leave your garment in the solution for one hour. Rinse it off until the water runs clear. Now, learn how to whiten your laundry without using bleach.
Test for rotten eggs
Not sure about that weeks-old egg carton sitting in the back of the fridge? Place an egg in a bowl of saltwater. If it sinks, your batch is fresh. An egg that is rotten, on the other hand, will float. And next time you’re hard-boiling eggs, try this trick for perfect peeling every time.
Protect your garden from pests
While chemical-filled pesticides can protect your garden from snails and slugs, they also pose a danger to animals and young children. For an all-natural repellent, roll the seeds in table salt before covering them with dirt. The pests will steer clear long enough to give your seedlings a fighting chance. For thriving mature plants, DIY one of these nontoxic pesticides.
Ward off fleas
Like snails and slugs, fleas are not fans of salt. If your pup is scratching up a storm, bathe them in a salty solution instead of water and soap. And it can’t hurt to wash the doghouse or pet bedding with saltwater, too. Salt will dehydrate the pests, protecting your four-legged friend from itchy bites. Learn how to tell the difference between bed bugs and fleas.