Creative Uses For Salt That You Never Realized

Posted: January 17, 2020 in Did you know?

It’s fair to assume that everyone has salt in their kitchen. As a staple spice, salt can be used to season nearly any food. But this popular spice has several other uses that most people don’t know about. For instance, have you ever thought of using salt to clean your coffee maker? According to Food Microbiology, salt is a powerful antibacterial and antiseptic. You can use regular table salt to clean many of your belongings and even to help out your hair. Read on for some amazing and incredible ways you can use salt.

Scrub Away Pan Grease

salt_usesSalt is both a scouring agent and a catalyst for other ingredients. By tossing it into cleaning recipes, salt boosts the deodorizing action of dishwasher soaps. Sprinkle some onto your grease-coated pan and scrub. The thicker the salt, the better it’ll clean. If you have an old cast iron skillet, try this trick without the soap. Coat the skillet with salt and leave it for about ten minutes. Then, grab a damp towel, sponge, or other cleaning tool and have at it. The salt should scrub away the grime.

Clean Your Iron With Salt

If you run your clothing iron over a stain, you may end up with gunk on your tool. Don’t transfer this mess onto your next shirt — clean it off with salt. Even if salt goes on the hot iron, it won’t melt. Salt has a melting point of 1,473°F, whereas clothing irons usually go up to 445 °F at the hottest. Because the salt won’t melt, it’ll scrub off any lingering residue. Sprinkle a sheet of paper with salt and rub your warm iron over it. After you run it a couple of times, turn off the heat, and once it’s cooled, wipe off the residue with a soft cloth.

Salt Alleviates Bug Bites

According to a 2006 study in Food Microbiology, salt is an antimicrobial that reduces bacteria. This property makes salt perfect for bug bites, especially mosquito bites. If your bug bite is itching like crazy, try this hack. Mix salt with a small amount of water. When we say small, we mean small; you want to mix the saltwater into a paste. Rub the mixture onto your bite. Alternatively, you can dampen the bug bite and gently rub salt over it. If you choose this method, opt for a fine salt that won’t irritate the bug bite further.

Clean Your Coffee Maker

The National Sanitation Foundation determined that coffee makers are the fifth filthiest item in a person’s home. Not only are they rarely cleaned, but they also attract bacteria by remaining moist and warm for long periods of time. For an easy clean, run saltwater through the machine. Fill the coffee pot with water and add four tablespoons of salt. Then run the coffee pot as usual. The salt will kill much of the bacteria, and it’ll remove the bitterness left from previous coffee batches. To eliminate the saltiness, run pure water through the coffee maker.

Save Your Bitter Drinks With Salt

adding_salt_coffeeChef and author Alton Brown recommends a peculiar method to neutralize the bitterness of coffee. Before you brew your cup of joe, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the grounds. This will lower the acidity in your coffee and make it taste sweeter. This trick has a biochemical basis. Salt’s ion Na+ interferes with the chemical that causes the bitter taste. You can use this same trick on a cup of hot chocolate or bitter tea. And if you end up with coffee stains on your mug, brush it off with saltwater.

Save Your Sponges From A Grimy Death

If your kitchen sponge has become dirty and gross, don’t throw it away just yet. Fill a bowl with salt water–about 1/4 cup of salt per two cups of cold water. Toss the sponge in and let it soak overnight. By morning, you should be able to remove most of the gunk. The salt should slowly replace all the space in the sponge, which pushes the dirt out. This trick may not work with some artificial sponges if they have large holes. If this is the case, run your sponge through the dishwasher instead.

Exfoliate Dandruff

Have you ever tried Epsom salt treatments? They work because salt is a natural exfoliator. And if you have dandruff, you need an exfoliator. Rub some Epsom salt through your hair and scalp to clear away the dead skin. Before washing, massage salt granulates into your dry or slightly damp hair. Rub it in for two to three minutes to thoroughly rub away the dead skin. Once you’re done, you can shampoo and rinse as normal. Depending on the severity of the dandruff, you can use this treatment two to three times a week.

Make A Natural Probiotic

Did you know that fermented cabbage (sauerkraut) is an excellent probiotic? It’s also very easy to make it at home. Here’s how to do it. First, take a head of cabbage and carefully cut the core out. Set the core aside. Next, pour about a tablespoon of finely ground salt into the hole. It will mix with the cabbage’s juices and start to ferment. Submerge the cabbage in water and leave it at room temperature for at least one month and up to six months. Once it suits your tastes, shred the cabbage and store in mason jars.

Salty Water Chills Your Drinks In No Time

If you want to chill your beer quickly, try this: fill a cooler with water, ice cubes, and salt. Don’t worry about overdoing the salt. Without shoving them too close together, place your beer bottles into the solution. They should chill within five minutes. If you want the science behind this hack, here it is. Every liquid has a “freezing point depression,” or a minimum temperature in which it freezes. Typically, water freezes at 32°F. But if you mix salt in water, it lowers the water’s freezing point. This is because salt’s ions prevent the molecules from crystallizing easily.

Extend The Life Of Dairy Products

921812262As weird as it sounds, salt is an ideal dairy preservative. Salt soaks up excess moisture and prevents mold from forming. To help your cheese last longer, soak a napkin in saltwater and cover the cheese with it. You can also keep milk fresh by adding a pinch of salt to its contents. The amount of salt is so small that you won’t taste it, although it should keep the carton fresh for about a week past its expiration date.

Keep Lettuce Crisp

Nobody likes soggy lettuce. If you want to keep your salad crisp, sprinkle some salt on top of the greens. It’ll flavor the salad and preserve your lettuce for a little while. After all, salt has preserved food for years. Here’s the scientific explanation: Salt draws water out of cells through osmosis. A little bit of salt will draw out enough water to keep your lettuce crunchy. If you add too much, though, it’ll remove too much water from the cells to keep them alive. This is how salt kills certain bacteria.

Prevent Cut Fruit From Going Brown

When fruit slices come into contact with oxygen, they gradually turn brown. You can preserve fruit’s color by submerging it in water, although this process alone opens your food up to bacteria. Fortunately, salt’s antibacterial properties make it very difficult for organisms to survive. If you want to prolong the life of your cut fruit, place the food in a large bowl, and submerge them in water. Add some salt and let it soak. You may notice the salt depositing into your fruit, which indicates that it’s re-saturated. Remove the fruit after five to ten minutes.

Salt Removes Red Wine Stains

Salt promptly absorbs water, which makes it great for soaking up stains. If you spill red wine onto the carpet, dump salt onto the wet stain and wait for 10 to 15 minutes. Then vacuum it up. Unlike other home solutions such as white wine, salt fully lifts the stain.  For clothing stains, sprinkle salt onto the red spot and wait at least three minutes. Rinse it with cold water. If the stain is still there, repeat the process until the redness disappears, then launder your clothes as usual.

Restore Stained And Yellowed Towels

After months of use, our linens can appear blotchy or even yellowed. Regular detergent doesn’t restore the color much. Salt can brighten the colors on fabrics, but only use this method for single-colored linens such as towels. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of salt into 1/2 gallon of water. Boil the towels in this mixture for one hour. Repeat until the linens look better. Alternatively, you can pour 1/4 cup of salt into one gallon of hot water and leave the towels in there for 48 hours. Rinse thoroughly and dry as usual.

Remove Lipstick Stains From Glassware

Lipstick stains are hard to remove from glassware. Because lipsticks contain emollients that are designed to stay on your lips, they’re hard to wash off of cups. A casual run through the dishwasher may not help, but salt should. Before you run these glasses through the wash, rub off the lipstick stains. Sprinkle some salt on a damp washcloth and use it to rub away the stain. If the spot remains, you can try the same method with rubbing alcohol. Then wash your cup in the dishwasher as usual.

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