More and more people are turning to non-toxic ways to clean and freshen their homes, and that’s a good thing. We love all-natural and organic cleaning products, especially when they’re super concentrated and put in compostable packages. But you don’t always have to reach for a commercial product, sometimes the stuff you need is as close as your salt shaker.
Around the house
- Be abrasive
Scrub that stubborn kitchen counter stain with some salt and a damp cloth.
- Don’t drip
Soak new candles in a strong salt solution for two to three hours to help prevent them from dripping when they burn.
- Sanitized sponges
Ban the icky stuff that causes stinky sponges by sudsing them up, rinsing them well then soaking them in heavily salted water for an hour or two.
- Skip the bleach
Dingy whites can be brought back to their crisp, white best without the use of bleach. Boil cotton or linen items in a big pot of water with a few tablespoons of salt plus a few tablespoons of baking soda.
- Kill poison ivy
It’s irritating, and it’s everywhere and nobody likes it. Three pounds of salt mixed with a gallon of soapy water sprayed on the leaves and stems of poison ivy will kill the stuff. Be careful, because it will also kill other plants it gets on.
- Extend broom life
Natural fiber brooms can last a lot longer with this old trick: soak them in hot, salty water before their first use.
- Winter windows
To keep frost from accumulating on the windows in your home and your vehicle, dip a sponge in salty water and run it over the inside and outside of the glass, then rub dry with a soft cloth.
- Chim-chiminey soot
A handful of salt thrown onto the flames in your fireplace will not only produce pretty, vivid yellow flames, it will help loosen soot in the chimney, preventing chimney fires and improving air flow.
- No freezing on the line
Add a little salt to the rinse water when washing a load of laundry to keep the clothes from freezing stiff on the clothesline. Soaking the clothesline in salt water will also prevent clothes from sticking to it in cold weather.
- Get rid of blood, sweat and wine
Blot up spilled wine and then pour salt on top to absorb what’s left, pulling as much of it out of the fabric as possible. Blood-stained linens can be restored in cold saltwater followed by a wash in hot, soapy water. To remove perspiration stains from clothing, dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of hot water and sponge it on.
In the Kitchen
- Ban the brown
Dip sliced apples (and other fruits) or potatoes into salted water to keep them from browning.
- Perk up that apple
Soak an older apple in mildly salty water to freshen it up and restore crispness.
- Remove unpleasant aromas
If your thermos or reusable water bottle smells a little stale, add salt and a little hot water, cap and shake then wash as usual. Voila! Fresh and clean.
- Get sparkling
Easily clean a glass coffee pot with ¼ cup of table salt and a dozen ice cubes. Just swish around, let it sit while you do the rest of the dishes, then rinse it out.
- No mess oven
Sprinkle salt on an oven spill or drip as soon as it occurs. Once it cools, you can just brush the salt, and the mess, away.
- Keep milk fresh
We’d never heard this one before… Sour milk is not a nice thing, especially if you don’t notice it until it’s already in your coffee mug. Prolong the life of your milk with just a pinch of salt added to a half gallon, shake to combine.
- Make coffee less bitter
If you let your French press coffee sit just a little too long and it’s taken on a bitter taste, you can improve the flavor and reduce the bitterness by stirring in just a tiny pinch of salt.
- Is that egg fresh?
If you just can’t remember, add two teaspoons of salt to a cup of water, and drop in the egg. If it’s fresh, it will float; if it’s past its prime it will sink right to the bottom.
- Douse the flames
If you have a small grease fire, dousing it with large amounts of salt will easily put out the flames. As much as we love the natural approach, if there is a serious fire – reach for the extinguisher instead!
All about you
- Be soothing
Throw ½ cup of Epsom salt into your bath for a soothing soak for tired muscles. Good ole sea salt instead will soften skin.
- Deodorize shoes
Keep your canvas shoes fresh and smell-free by sprinkling a little salt in them when they’re wet. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it out. Don’t try this trick on leather or synthetics – it will dry them out too much!
- Soothe a bee sting
Remove the stinger, wet the sting and immediately shake on a paste of salt and water. Let it dry, and it will reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- Sooth oral pain
A saltwater gargle will take the bite out of a toothache or ease the pain of a sore throat of canker sore. Dissolve two teaspoons of salt in 1/4 cup of warm water and swish it around in your mouth for at least 20 seconds, gargling if you have a sore throat. It will likely burn at first, but it works.
- Reduce eye puffiness
Seasonal allergies got you all puffed up? Obliterate the evidence by mixing a pinch of salt in a little hot water and applying it to puffy, swollen areas around your eyes with a cotton pad. The salt will help draw out the moisture and tighten the skin.
- Get glowing
Massage a mixture of salt and olive oil into your skin in circular motions, leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off. The massage increases circulation to your skin, the olive oil moisturizes and the salt buffs away dead skin cells.