Salt has more uses than you could have ever imagined – it’s not just there to add flavour to food. Here’s how to stop fires, make cleaning products and freshen smells, plus 11 other ideas…
1. Extend the life of your broom
Before you use a new broom for the first time, soak the bristles in a bucket of hot, salt water for 20 minutes then dry.
2. Remove wine from carpet
Spilt some red wine on the carpet? While it’s still wet, pour some white wine on it to dilute the colour. Then clean the spot with a sponge and cold water. Sprinkle the area with salt and wait about 10 minutes. Press a dry tea towel and vacuum to finish.
3. Restore a sponge
Need to freshen up a sponge? Don’t just throw it out or let it get overly germy. Simply soak them overnight in a solution of about 1/4 cup salt and 1 litre of water.
4. Relieve stings and bites
Salt works well to lessen the pain of bee stings and insect bites. If you’ve been stung by a bee, wet the sting straight away and apply salt to lessen the swelling. For relief from the itching of mosquito and insect bites, soak the area in salt water, then apply a coating vegetable oil.
5. Deodorise your shoes
Canvas shoes can get smelly, especially in summer. Get rid of the odour and soak up the moisture by occasionally sprinkling a little salt in your shoes.
6. Stop ants in their tracks
If ants are coming into your home, stop them by sprinkling salt across the door frame or directly on their paths. Ants will find it too hard to cross.
7. Clean glasses
Did your dishwasher fail to remove those stubborn stains from your glassware? All you need to do is mix a handful of salt in a litre of vinegar and soak overnight. The stains should wipe off easily.
8. Erase tea and coffee stains
Easily scrub away these rings by sprinkling salt onto a sponge and rubbing in little circles over the ring.
9. Shell hard-boiled eggs easily
Shelling hard boiled eggs can be tricky, so add a teaspoon of salt to your water before boiling the eggs. The shell should come off in one piece.
10. Extinguish grease fires
If there’s a grease fire on your stove, toss salt on it to extinguish the flames. Never pour water on a grease fire as it will cause the grease to splatter and spread the fire. Salt can also help when the barbecue flames from meat drippings get too high.
11. Stain remover on the go
If you’ve spilt food or drink on yourself and aren’t able to clean it straight away, rub salt in the stain until it can be washed.
12. Kill weeds
Boil a pot of 1 cup salt in 2 cups water and pour directly on the weeds to kill them. Easy!
13. Dandruff treatment
Do you have dandruff that just won’t go away? The abrasiveness of ordinary table salt works great for scrubbing out dandruff before you shampoo. Grab a saltshaker and shake some salt onto your dry scalp, then work it through your hair, giving your scalp a massage.
14. Freshen your breath the old-fashioned way
Forget about mouthwash off the shelf – you can make it at home. Simply mix 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon bicarb soda into 1/2 cup water. Rinse and gargle.