Chill wine, stop stains and soften feet! Salt's many surprising uses

Salt has many household uses beyond tasting great on food. Source: Pixels.

It goes hand in hand with chips and tomato sauce, while adding much needed flavour to almost all home-cooked meals.

But there are many more ways salt can improve your life.

From soothing stings to cleaning some of the toughest kitchen stains and outdoor areas, it’s a must-have for any household.

Thanks to their sharp edges, salt crystals are a great cleaning product, and they kickstart a powerful chemical reaction when mixed with acid. The mineral’s high absorbency levels also mean it can prevent food bacteria reproducing, and it’s perfect to have on hand to soak up liquids that could stain.

Here are some of the amazing ways you can use salt in and around your home:

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Clean stubborn stains from kitchen appliances

Getting rid of those difficult stains can take the fun out of cooking, and no-one wants to spend hours in the kitchen cleaning up.

A simple trick to help clean pots and pans is to fill a pot with water and add salt. Bring it to a boil and continue boiling for 20 minutes, before removing it from the heat and letting it cool.

This method is great on coffee and tea stains and just rubbing salt in will help to clean discoloured mugs, while pouring salt on a chopping board and rubbing it lightly with a damp cloth before washing can help loosen the stains and food residue, making it easier to clean.

Read more: 15 tips and recipes for cleaning with vinegar

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Stop grass growing between concrete or patio stones

No matter how much time you spend in your garden, you’ll always come across weeds and grass springing up where you don’t want them.

However, one way to stop the growth early on is to pour salt between the cracks in your concrete and paving stones, killing the stray bits of green instantly. It has the same effect on poison ivy, and adding salt to soapy water can prove a deadly mix for the summer weeds.

Prevent sticky residue from your iron

Ironing can be therapeutic rather than just a chore, but seeing a sticky residue left behind on your clothes is a nightmare.

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Running a dry, hot iron over some plain paper sprinkled with salt can stop the rough sticky spots forming on the bottom of your iron, and help clean it for future use.

Chill champagne or white wine

A fridge is your best friend when you have some time to prepare, but have you ever been caught out with no cold wine on hand?

By sticking a warm bottle in a bowl of ice, water and sprinkled salt, it can help speed up the cooling process to as little as 10 minutes.

Get the garlic and onion smells off your hands – and prevent all kitchen odours

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Garlic and onion are popular additions to any home-cooked meal, but they can leave a distinct scent on your hands for hours after.

But rubbing your hands with lemon juice and salt, before washing them again with soap, will get rid of the odour.

It’s great for other odours too. To help mask the smell from your bin, pour half a cup of salt directly in to keep fighting the decaying food scent. Similarly, sprinkling a little salt in canvas shoes dries up moisture and helps remove odours.

Get rid of wine stains

There’s plenty of myths and tricks to help prevent wine stains, including pouring white on red – which is hardly a go-to when you’re rushing to leave the house!

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But if the stain is on your clothes, place the stained areas of the fabric on top of a pile of salt on a flat surface, while blotting the other side of the fabric, can help prevent a stain being produced. Leave the item of clothing to dry, before rinsing them with cold water.

Read more: 6 amazing benefits you get by using lemon balm

Soothe a sore throat and stuffed nose

Salt is likely the last thing you want to taste when you’re feeling under the weather, but it can help reduce symptoms such as a sore throat and stuffed nose straight away.

Gargle with half a cup of warm water and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, ensuring it hits your throat and around the painful area.

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Meanwhile, you can sniff the salty solution too, by bringing drops up to your nose on your finger one at a time. It helps loosen everything up, before blowing your nose.

Soften your skin and soothe sore feet

It’s long been known to help clean an open wound, and now salt can help smooth your skin too – just simply mix it with your bath water, lie back and relax.

By adding salt and baking soda to a basin of water, you can also enjoy a foot spa after a long day.

Prevent frost building up on window ledges

You’ve seen salt being spread on roads to prevent frost in some of the harsher winters, but adding a sprinkle of table salt to your window ledges can help prevent them freezing up, and therefore prevent damage. Washing them each year with salty water helps the process too.

Other than salting your food, what do you use the wonder mineral for?