You probably have a salt shaker on your table or in your spice cabinet. This is by far the most popular seasoning for several reasons. Salty is one of the five tastes that humans can distinguish (the others being bitter, sweet, sour, and umami, or savory). In this way, salt enhances our products, significantly improving their natural flavors.
Chemically, salt is NaCl, and for centuries it was a rare commodity. It was used as everything from currency and brine to food preservation. It is cheap these days and can be used for all types of non-cooking applications. Check out this handy list of unexpected uses for good old NaCI that are “worth their salt”.
In the garden
- Kill the poison ivy. A strong saltwater solution can kill poison ivy plant infestations. Apply a mixture of 1 cup (236 milliliters) salt and 1 gallon (3.7 liters) of soapy water to the leaves and stems using a garden sprayer.
- Scaring away ants. Keep ants from congregating in your garden by sprinkling common table salt in areas where they usually congregate. It also helps prevent ants from entering your home. Sprinkle salt on the road where they enter and they will not be able to cross.
- Slugs are slugs. Sprinkle a generous dose of salt on the slugs to kill them. Wait five minutes, then sprinkle them again.
- Fighting cabbage worms. Cabbage bugs eat cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. To control them, dust their leaves with a mixture of 1 cup (239 milliliters) flour and 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) salt in the morning or evening when they are damp with dew.
Equipment for active recreation
- Deodorize the fabric. Sprinkle salt inside canvas bags with a musty smell (or inside canvas shoes); seal the bags and let them sit overnight. Pour out the salt the next day and let the bags air out.
- Remove the rust. Make a paste of 6 tablespoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice. Use a dry cloth to rub the paste on rusty bicycle handlebars, tire rims or other outdoor gear. Rinse and dry the areas thoroughly.
Health and Beauty
- Peel the skin. Salt makes a great scrub for your skin and/or face. After showering, while your skin is still damp, sprinkle salt on your hands and gently rub it into your skin. Salt will remove dead skin and promote blood circulation. Sea salt is best.
- Soothe itchy skin. Soaking in a saltwater bath can be great for relieving itchy skin. Simply add 1 cup (236 milliliters) of table or sea salt to your bath water to soften skin.
- Cleanses and tones. Sea salt facials are all the rage, but you can make your own by mixing 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a small bowl. Massage the mixture onto your face and throat, being careful not to get it in your eyes. Afterwards, wash with your regular soap.
- Whiten teeth. Don’t pay for expensive teeth whitener. Prepare it yourself with sea salt. It is a natural abrasive, so it gently removes stains on the teeth. Just clean it once a week.
- Remove coffee stains. Add a mixture of 1 cup (236 milliliters) crushed ice, 1 tablespoon water, and 4 teaspoons salt to a coffee pot and stir. Rinse and wash as usual. Use the same method to remove stains from your favorite coffee cups as well.
- Deep cleaning of the oven and stove. It is difficult to remove sticky stains from the oven and stove. Make it easier by sprinkling the spill with salt. Let it sit until the filling is crisp and you can lift it with a spatula. You can also soak up spills on the stove by sprinkling them with a mixture of salt and cinnamon. Leave it on the spill for about five minutes and then wipe it off.
- Disinfect the refrigerator. Simply sprinkle equal amounts of salt and baking soda on a damp sponge and wipe the inside of your refrigerator.
- Remove wine stains. Sprinkle kosher salt on the stain and leave for two to three minutes, then rinse with cold water.
- Light up your brass. Restore the shine to brass and copper items by mixing 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of flour with enough vinegar to make a paste. Rub the paste on any brass or copper piece and let it dry. Wash with soapy water and polish to a shine with a microfiber cloth.
- Erase watermarks. To remove watermarks on wood, use a paste of 1 teaspoon of salt and a few drops of water. Gently rub the paste into the ring with a soft cloth until it disappears. After that, clean the furniture with a good polish.