Salt has been a kitchen staple for years, taking pride of place on the dinner table. But did you know that the tasty seasoning can actually be quite useful in other ways around the house as well? From creative tips to mind-blowing tricks, here are 40 unexpected salt hacks that’ll leave you slack-jawed. You’ll never look at your shaker the same way again!
1. Removing wine stains
If our carpets were sentient, they’d probably wince whenever the wine glasses come out. “Please don’t spill the red!” they’d say. But should an accident happen, don’t panic. Dab the area with a paper towel before grabbing your salt shaker. From there, scatter it over the wet patch.
It should soak up the wine before it causes too much damage. After that, run your vacuum cleaner across the salt to get rid of it.
2. Treating dandruff
Struggling with dandruff? Well, this hack could be just the ticket. Sea salt is said to be a very effective tool for treating the condition. Prior to giving your hair a wash, rub some into your head.
This simple move should help exfoliate your scalp and allow your specialist shampoo to get to work. Awesome!
3. Making toothpaste
If your toothpaste tube is nearing its end, don’t rush out to buy a new one. Instead, you could save some money by whipping up a batch yourself.
Just stir a few helpings of salt and baking soda together before adding a drop of essential oil. Peppermint is probably the one to go for, if you want that classic minty-fresh feeling!
4. Unclogging drains
Does anyone like unclogging a blocked drain? It’s not the nicest of tasks. Mind you, this tip could make the job a lot simpler. To start with, stir a cup of baking soda and salt together, ahead of pouring in some white vinegar.
Then, drop the mixture into the plughole and walk away for a few minutes. At that point, tip a jug of piping hot water in there, too. That should dislodge the blockage.
5. Cleaning irons
When your iron’s soleplate starts to develop sticky patches, that’s bad news for your recently-washed clothes. Good luck getting the creases out with a clingy iron! But salt can be a big help here. Just shake some into a paper towel and run the plate over it.
Before you know it, the nasty goo will begin to coagulate into lumps. It’ll be gone in a matter of minutes.
6. Cleaning stained mugs
After multiple uses, coffee and tea cups will start to exhibit dirty marks. It’s a frustrating sight, to say the least.
To rid your crockery of the unsightly marks, grab a kitchen sponge from your cupboard and shake a bit of salt on it. From there, wipe the mucky parts of your mug in a circular motion and the stains should vanish.
7. Keeping flowers in place
It can be surprisingly tough to keep artificial plants in line — they’re pretty unruly as soon as they reach a vase. Yet a touch of salt will change that, folks. Drop some into an empty jar and pour cool water on top of it. After that, put the flowers in.
The mineral will eventually harden, which in turn holds the stems still. This method also works with real plants, so long as you go with Epsom salts.
8. Cleaning up cracked eggs
The next time you accidentally drop an egg on your kitchen floor, step away from the roll of Bounty. Instead, sprinkle a helping of salt over the shattered shell.
At that stage, leave it alone for a few minutes. The salt will cause the yolk to clump up, making it easier to clean.
9. Treating puffy eyes
Puffy eyes can be irritating: at their worst, anyone would think you’d just gone 12 rounds with Rocky Balboa! But should they flare up, pour some warm water into a glass. Then, add a bit of salt to it — around half-a-teaspoon.
Stir them together and dip a cotton pad in the container, before carefully dabbing your eyes. That’ll bring the swelling down.
10. Dealing with ants
Got an ant problem in your house? Well, listen up. To begin with, drop some water and salt into a spray bottle in the kitchen. Once that’s done, target the spots where the insects are coming in.
You see, ants don’t like salt… at all. A few squirts will create a barrier that essentially blocks them off.
11. Restoring sponges
If your kitchen sponge is starting to look a little lifeless and mucky, resist the urge to throw it in the trash. Why? Simple — you can spruce it up using a mixture of water and salt.
Just let the sponge sit in the water for a while, ahead of pulling it out. After it’s dried, you’ll be amazed with the results!
12. Making dishwasher soap
Running a little low on dishwasher soap? No worries — you can create a batch yourself with just three ingredients in the kitchen.You’ll need standard dish detergent, baking soda, and salt.
Drop them into your machine and you’ll be set. Think of the money you could save here!
13. Deodorizing shoes
Urgh, smelly shoes. That disgusting scent can quickly spread across every room in your house! But the following hack can eliminate it altogether.
Just shake a little bit of salt into your footwear before heading to bed. Apparently, the mineral will absorb the nasty odors in the hours leading up to morning.
14. Strengthening nails
If your fingernails are feeling a bit weak at the moment, fill a jug with warm water. Then, add a teaspoon of lemon juice, baking soda, and salt. After stirring it all together, leave your nails in the container for a few minutes.
Rub them over at the end, ahead of washing your hands. That should give each nail a welcome boost.
15. Removing mildew
Mildew marks are no joke. If you’re not too careful, they can leave your clothes in a bit of a mess. Don’t get stressed, though.
All you need to do is mix some lemon juice and salt together until it turns into “paste.” Apply it to the troublesome spots and leave it to harden. Those stains won’t stand a chance.
16. Preserving towels
Don’t you just hate it when your brand-new colorful towels start to lose their pop after a couple of washes? It’s infuriating! But guess what? Salt can actually preserve their color in the washing machine if you sprinkle some in beforehand.
And remarkably, that method can also work with your clothes as well: the mineral essentially locks the shades in place.
17. Cleaning fridges
We always wince a little when the time comes to clean the fridge. After all, it’s a pretty major job. Yet salt can make the task a lot easier.
Stir the mineral in with some water, ahead of dipping a kitchen sponge into the mix. Once you get scrubbing, you’ll notice that the grubby marks and iffy odors will quickly vanish.
18. Refreshing chopping boards
Is your chopping board looking a little worse for wear at the moment? Well, this trick could do it the world of good. When you next clean it in the sink, pour out some salt into a dish on the countertop.
From there, dab a wet cloth over the seasoning, before rubbing it into the board’s surface. That simple move should help no end.
19. Removing pan grease
Dried pan grease is absolutely disgusting. Not only does it look horrible, but it’s a real pain in the butt to clean as well. Yet water and salt can get the job done.
By leaving the mixture inside your pan for roughly ten minutes, the oily mess will disintegrate. Then, you can rub off the remnants in the blink of an eye.
20. Making mouthwash
Why splash the cash on mouthwash at the store when you can make your own? It’s pretty easy to do, so don’t feel intimidated. Just add a teaspoon of baking soda and salt to a glass of water.
If you want the mix to have a bit more flavor to it, feel free to sprinkle a dash of peppermint oil in there, too.
21. Speeding up cooking
When heating a pan of water, salt can speed up the process quite significantly.
The mineral raises the boiling point of water, making it more efficient as a means of transferring heat — so the food on the stove won’t take as long to cook. And saving time in the kitchen menas you've got more time for other things — like eating the results!
22. Keeping milk fresh
As soon as you pick up a milk carton at the store, the clock starts ticking. Can you beat the best-before-date? If it’s looking like a struggle, sprinkle a little salt in the container.
Incredibly, that’ll prolong its life by a couple of days. You see, the mineral absorbs the milk’s water molecules, which stops germs from developing at their normal pace.
23. Treating mosquito bites
Mosquitos make a lot of enemies during the summer months thanks to their bites. They’re the absolute worst! Don’t lose your cool over the irritating nips, though: this hack will quickly ease your pain.
All you’ve got to do is rub some salty water on the wound, ahead of spreading oil or lard on top. Sure it’s messy, but it works.
Attention all gardeners — this tip is sure to pique your interest. If you’re tired of dealing with annoying weeds in the yard, salt could very well be the answer. Heat it up in a pan full of water until the mixture is red hot.
From there, carefully tip it over each plant that’s invaded your garden. To borrow a phrase from Mortal Kombat, you’ll score multiple “fatalities” thanks to this weed-killing method!
25. Fighting windscreen frost
Have you ever had to scrape the ice off a car window on a bitterly cold winter morning? It sucks! There are few more frustrating ways to start the day.
But you can take preventative steps to stop the frost from forming. Yep, by applying salt to the windscreen at night, it won’t get cold enough to become icy.
26. Chilling white wine
Looking to chill a bottle of white wine in double-quick time? You’re in luck, then — this hack is just the ticket. Throw some water and ice into a bucket, before adding salt to the mix. After that, stick the wine on top, turning it ever so slightly.
The condiment softens the ice slightly to the point where it then sticks the bottle, cooling the liquid inside more quickly.
27. Removing poison ivy
If garden weeds are an annoyance, then poison ivy’s probably in the category just above them. No one likes these nasty plants!
Thanks to salt, though, you can rid your yard of them without much hassle: a mixture of “soapy” water and salt will get the job done. Say goodbye to painful stings!
28. Whipping eggs and cream
Beating eggs and cream together is deceptively hard work. It’s like going through a tough session at the gym! Yet one simple tweak can make a jaw-dropping difference here.
By sprinkling a little salt into the mix, you can whip up the ingredients much quicker. That’s all it takes: your arms will thank you!
29. Treating dry skin
If you’re searching for alternative methods to treat dry skin, when you next have a bath, don’t put any products or soap in the water. Instead, drop a helping of sea salt into the tub.
Apparently, that mixture will go a long way towards replenishing your skin. It’s got to be worth a try!
30. Removing sweat stains
Few things ruin a shirt more quickly than sweat marks. And that’s especially true for white items — they’re hard to ignore.
But don’t throw those shirts in the trash just yet: as it turns out, salt water can get rid of the stains. After soaking a kitchen sponge, carefully scrub the affected areas. Eventually, the discoloration will begin to vanish.
31. Easing sore throats
As we mentioned earlier, salt is more than capable of bringing puffiness down. And that’s not all. The mineral can also break through thick layers of mucus as well. So, it’s perfect for dealing with sensitive throats.
Just add it to some water before gargling for around half-a-minute. It should have a pretty immediate effect.
32. Making candles last longer
Before you have your next dinner party, drop all of your candles in a container filled with salt water. Let them sit for two or more hours. What does this do, then?
Well, the mineral seeps into each candle, and subsequently ups its melting point. So it’ll take longer for the wax to start trickling.
33. Cleaning fish tanks
If you want to get your fish tank sparkling again, then take note of this clever trick. Once you’ve got your aquatic friends out and dumped the old water, grab some “non-iodized salt” from the cabinet.
This will clear any “mineral deposits” stuck to the interior. Just scrub the stuff in with a kitchen sponge.
34. Sprucing up artificial flowers
While you obviously don’t need to feed artificial plants, you still have to care for them in other ways. For instance, they can get pretty dirty if you’re not careful.
To avoid that, drop a helping of salt into a disposable bag and put the flowers in after. Then, carefully move the bag up and down. A few minutes later, they’ll look as good as new.
35. Cleansing smelly hands
After slicing up ingredients such as onions and garlic in the kitchen, your hands aren’t going to smell particularly fresh. That probably explains why your family are keeping their distance in the other rooms! Don’t worry, though.
A solution made of vinegar and salt will get rid of the strong scents stuck to your skin. Make sure to give everyone the all-clear when you’re done!
36. Dealing with grass stains
At first glance, grass stains look like they’ll be a nightmare to tackle. How can you get rid of them? Thankfully, it’s not as challenging as you might fear.
Grab a lemon from your fruit bowl and squash it above the mark, showering the area in juice. From there, shake a bit of salt on top, ahead mixing the two together. The combination should bring positive results.
37. Making toothbrushes last longer
Disposable toothbrushes don’t have a particularly long shelf-life. Yet they can receive a boost before you even put them in your mouth.
Yep, by dropping an unused toothbrush into a sink full of water and salt, it’ll become sturdier and more resistant: you won’t need to replace it so quickly. One thing fewer to add on this week’s shopping list, right?
38. Cleaning brooms
How often do you wash your brooms at home? No judging! If it’s infrequent, this hack will be a major help. To start with, combine a bowl of warm water with some salt. Then, place your broom in the mix.
Leave it alone for roughly half-an-hour. From there, dry it off and rub the surfaces over: it’ll look brand-new.
39. Exfoliating lips
You don’t need to splash out on a chapstick if your lips become dry. Instead, try this. Pull a toothbrush out of your bathroom cabinet, before sprinkling salt over the bristles.
At that stage, gently rub the outside of your mouth until you’ve covered it all. To finish, just run some water across your lips.
40. Treating stained wood
Thank goodness for coasters: without them, there’d be stains on wooden furniture in every household! Mind you, that doesn’t mean that marks don’t still appear today. To deal with them, pour a bit of salt on the affected areas.
After that, give them a careful rub with a damp kitchen sponge. Eventually, the blemishes will disappear — and you’ll have hardly broken a sweat.