Cleaning with Salt is Awesome!

Blog

Using Green Products Around the House

If you’re becoming more conscious about the products you use to clean your home? There are so many advantages of using natural cleaners including saving money and creating a healthier, non-toxic home.

Natural cleaners are effective and do a proper job in cleaning just as some of the more toxic chemical cleaners do, although sometimes I do use a shower cleaner for tile if things are looking scary. Isn’t it amazing to know that you can make salad dressings and clean your home with some of the same ingredients? I think that’s awesome.

Many store-bought cleaners are made with water, chemicals, and fragrance. Some fragrances can irritate allergies, and create skin sensitivities.

They can even be poisonous to pets and small children. Some of these store-bought cleaners have instructions to be in a ventilated room when using or to wear a mask. To me, this is very concerning.

Organic and natural cleaners are an option if you do not want to aggravate your allergies and you can rest easy knowing exactly what’s in your cleaning agent.

You can use salt in a few different areas of the house. I mostly use it in the kitchen but you can find a few uses in the laundry room as you will! Read on for your best tips on cleaning with salt.

Video

6. Extinguish kitchen fires

If a fire suddenly starts in one of your pans, water will not necessarily put it out, as it is likely that what’s burning is oil. Instead of using water, quickly open your salt jar and just pour it over the pan. The salt will prevent oxygen from reaching the fire and suffocate it quickly so that you and the kitchen won’t be harmed.

7. Clean Pots and Pans 

Did you burn your food and are now stuck with stubborn residue? The simplest way to clean it is by pouring salt over the pan and adding water. This mixture will help loosen all the burnt grime and after ten minutes you can wash the pan easily. You can also use this method on burnt oil in the oven.

Cutting Board Cleanup

When I cook I spend a lot of time at the cutting board and often chop items that tend to leave stains or odors; like beets, strawberries, onions and garlic. It is important to me to have my cutting board in tiptop shape so once I’m done cooking I simply get out my table salt and lemon and get to work. Spread a few tablespoons of salt over the cutting board, enough to get good coverage. Then take half a lemon and use it as a sponge and moving in a circular motion rub it all over the board, then give it a quick rinse and leave it upright (not flat) to dry properly so it doesn’t warp.

2. Floors and hard surfaces

We can also use the sanitizing power of salt to clean floors, tiles and hard surfaces, except marble, which is a more sensitive material and could be damaged. The salt gives these surfaces brilliance and it will allow you to have always shiny and bright floors. Add a handful of salt to 1.5 liters of hot water. For more stubborn stains, add a little baking soda as well. Used as a creamy compound, it also helps to clean the joints: fill a glass with half water and half coarse salt and mix to obtain a homogeneous mixture, pour it on a toothbrush and apply it on the joints that will turn white in a few minutes.

5. Stainless steel and aluminum

To clean the kitchen sink or aluminum shelves, mix

To clean the kitchen sink or aluminum shelves, mix a small cup of salt with lemon juice. Apply this soft paste to the surface with a soft sponge, rinse with a damp sponge and then dry with a clean cotton cloth. When you have to clean a burned pot, you can use salt, vinegar, a few drops of fresh lemon and a little flour to create a paste similar to a scrub to clean the pan. For aluminum, you can also use a mixture of hot water and baking soda, pass it over the surface and then dry with newspaper.

Other uses for salt

Dispelling excess detergent

If you use too much detergent some salt sprinkled on the suds will quickly dispel them without impairing their cleaning power.

Rust stains

Rust stains in laundry items may yield to a combination of salt followed by lemon juice.

Brightening and whitening

Salt can also be a help in the laundry for brightening clothes. Some people just add it to the detergent drawer of the washing machine, just as you would with any other laundry aid.

Here are one or two other uses for salt. I haven’t (yet!) tried all these, so I don’t know just how good they are. Some were suggested to me from my Squidoo page on cleaning with salt, others from readers of this site (Thank you!).

Salt uses in the garden

Salt is good for killing poison ivy. Spray it with salt water. Be careful of other nearby plants. Salting people’s land used to be a method of destroying their ability to live off the land – a hostile act of war: not something you want to inflict upon your garden!

Try salt on mosquito bites. It takes away the itchiness. Just wet the place of the bite and rub some salt in.

Washing up

Picture, right: no need to use gourmet salt!

Picture, right: no need to use gourmet salt!

Use it if you run out of washing up liquid.

Just sprinkle salt into the water and wash as usual. Rinse the dishes well. Salt is rather drying on your skin, so you may want to wear gloves or use a skin cream after using it.

You can also use salt as an emergency homemade detergent together with soap. See here for details of how to make this homemade detergent

The “grey water” from washing up using salt is not very suitable for using on your vegetables. It may be too salty for some plants.

General cleaning

Salt can be mixed with vinegar to create a good general purpose cleaner. Don’t use it on waxed surfaces, marble or linoleum because the vinegar may be too strong for the surface and cause damage. This vinegar and salt mix can be used for general cleaning about the house. Swab down surfaces and clean inside the fridge and cupboards with it.

It will also remove tea and coffee stains from cups and teapots, etc.

Glass and tiles will come up shining from washing with a salt and vinegar solution.

Oven and hob spills

Cover oven and hob spills with salt.

Let the mixture stand, then wipe up, adding water if necessary. The salt absorbs the liquids and helps lift them from the surface.

It is particularly good at absorbing grease and oils. If you have a gas cooker be careful to remove all the salt when you wipe up the spill. Salt residues may cause your gas burners to flare up with a yellowish flame when you next light the gas.

Cleaning pans

If you have cast iron pans, salt can be a great cleaner.

Just sprinkle salt around and wipe clean. If your pan is not burnt you can do this instead of washing it in water. It will help protect the surface and it will make it more like a non-stick pan!

You can also use salt with hot water. Rinse the pans afterwards and coat with a thin layer of oil. A pastry brush is ideal for this.

You can also wash other types of pan using salt. Enamel pans and ceramic pans respond well, as does stainless steel. I would not use it on non-stick surfaces as you are likely to damage the finish.

Burnt pans

Salt also helps with burnt pans. Add 3 or 4 tablespoonfuls of salt as soon as the damage occurs. I find this invaluable. (Not that I burn a lot of pans, you understand!) It saves a lot of time in undoing the damage, especially if you add salt straight away. Let it soak with a little hot water and then scour away the burnt-on food.

Cleaning metal

Salt can also be mixed with citrus fruit juice to make a handy cleaner for metals. Use lemon juice or lime juice and salt to clean metals such as brass and pewter. Just sprinkle salt into the empty squeezed-out lemon half and use it to rub down the metal. Rinse and buff to a shine with a soft cloth.

Make sure you rinse thoroughly, otherwise your copper and brass will turn green! This is just “verdigris” or copper salts and can be washed off.

Red Wine Spills

Red wine is wonderful, but if often results in us talking with our hands and spilling our wine on our clothes, tablecloths or carpets. If this happens there is a quick, salty fix.

  1. Blot up the stain with paper towel as quickly as you can to get the moisture out
  2. Dump table salt on top of the stain – be liberal!
  3. Let it dry – it may take a few hours or overnight
  4. After it’s dry dump the salt off the garment, vacuum it up or throw it in the wash

The stain should be gone and you can get back to your wine!

Using saltoutside

Take your salt shaker into the great outdoors – your plants will love it!

43. Keep your car windscreen frost-free in the Winter

This will save you SO much time in the morning!
This will save you SO much time in the morning!

Looking for a way to maintain your car during winter? Now here’s an easy-peasy solution to a problem we always face.

Salt actually decreases the temperature at which ice freezes, which is why it’s used as a de-icer on roads. Keep your car windscreen and windows frost-free by keeping a small cloth bag filled with salt and rub it across the glass every evening. In the morning, you’ll wake up to find your windows free from frost! 

44. Get rid of planet-destroying snails and slugs

If you’re new to gardening, you might not know that salt causes snails and slugs to shrivel up.

This is a personal choice and not for everyone, but if your plants are having pest problems, it’s an option worth considering.

45. Stop weeds from growing between your patio slabs

Are weeds making your patio look messy and unruly?

You can get rid of garden weeds with salt: just add 1 cup of salt to 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Then, pour it directly onto the weeds to kill them. A few hours later,  pull them out to remove them.

Alternatively, you can sprinkle salt directly onto slabs just before it rains.

46. Ant repellant

It’s not just slugs that don’t like salt – turns out ants really don’t like it either.

Block them from certain areas of your home or by the doorways by drawing a line with the salt. This should deter them from entering in a kind way, and is also non-toxic to humans and pets.

47. Instant pain relief from a bee sting

We hope you’re never unfortunate enough to get stung by a bee, but if you are, reach for the salt.

Douse the sting with water then cover with salt to relieve pain and reduce swelling. If it doesn’t improve or you start to show symptoms of an allergic reaction, seek medical help.

48. Make a quick pre-stain treatment when you’re out

Whoops!
Whoops!

If your clothing gets stained while you’re out and about – at a restaurant or theme park – and you don’t want to give your clothes a wash in the toilets, cover the stain with salt instead. It’ll soak up any grease and prevent the food from settling into the fibres of your clothes.

Next time disaster strikes, grab the salt shaker!

49. Ease an itchy mosquito bite

If you’ve been bitten by mosquitos and you’re not at home, ease the itchiness by soaking the bite with some salt water. Apply some oil after your salt rinse and it should provide some relief.

50. Stop poison ivy in its tracks

Another one of our fantastic uses for salt in the garden is using it to kill poison ivy.

All you need is 1kg of salt and 5 litres of soapy water. Pour it into a spray bottle and cover the leaves with the solution.

10. Clear clogs

Cleaning the bathroom and suddenly realize that your drain’s clogged? Here's what you need to do. First, remove any hairs stuck in the drain, then mix a quarter cup of baking soda and a quarter cup of salt. Pour the powder mixture directly into the drain, and then pour a half cup of vinegar quickly over it. The solution will begin to foam and release the clog within 15 minutes. Then just pour hot water into the drain to get rid of any powder residue.

Tags