- Food and Cooking
101 Uses of Salt that Might Surprise You
Table salt, or in its cooler name Sodium Chloride (NaCl), has been used by human ever since the dawn of time. Not only does it enhance the taste of our food, but it can also enhance our life quality in many ways. It is the most useful simple chemical compound that can be use for cleaning, cooking, beauty care, and pests control.
Here are a few tips on how to put salt to its fullest potential in our daily life.
1. Disinfectant agent
- If you're really really in urgent for some soap to wash the dishes, you can sprinkle some salt all over the dishes you need to clean. Rinse them, and your dishes will be clean.
- To remove wine stains, cover wine-stained fabric with salt and rinse it with cool water after a few minutes.
- Don't give up when your cups, glasses, and maybe small plates are stained by coffee and tea. Mix some salt with vinegar, rub the mixture to your cups (with cloth or used toothbrush), and the stains will come off. Never tried it to remove coffee stains from my teeth, probably can work too.
- Salt and vinegar combo can also clean your stainless steel cutleries.
- If a pie, or casserole, bubbles over in the oven, you can put a handful of salt on top of the spill that will prevent smoke and smell. The salt will bake into a crust that makes the baked-on mess much easier to clean when it has cooled.
- Fill a 16-ounce (about half a litre) spray bottle with hot white vinegar and three tablespoons of salt. Spray the mixture onto the copper, let it sit for a while, then rub clean.
- To get a sparkling clean white shirt or socks, soak them in a salt+water mixture, and wash as usual.
2. A pinch of salt a day..
- Mix equal parts of salt and baking soda in water as a mixture for a refreshing and deodorizing mouth rinse.
- If you have cankers, abscesses and other mouth sores, rinse your mouth with a weak solution of warm salt water several times a day.
- The mixture of salt and warm water can also be used as gargle to relieve a sore throat.
- A pinch of salt in warm milk makes a more relaxing beverage and makes the milk fresh longer.
- A pinch of salt enhances the taste of tea, while a dash of salt in coffee will enhance the flavour and remove the bitterness of over-cooked coffee.
- To make the flowers stay fresh longer, add a little salt to the water in the vases.
3. Keep 'em away
- Washing your doghouse with salt water will keep the fleas away from it.
- Mix three pounds (around 1.3 kg) of salt with a gallon of soapy water (use a gentle dish soap) and apply to leaves and stems with a sprayer, while avoiding any plant life that you want to keep.
- You can use the same solution to prevent poison ivy growing in your yard, by spraying the mixture on the leaves and stems of the plant.
- If grass or weeds grow between the bricks or blocks in your patio, sidewalk or driveway, carefully spread salt between the cracks, then sprinkle with water or wait for rain to wet it down.
- Many people think that adding salt into the water will make it boil faster. It isn't true! But, salt does make water boil at a higher temperature, that will reduce cooking time. Salt in the water will also keep a cracked egg inside its shell.
- To remove pinfeathers from a chicken easily, rub the chicken skin with salt first.
- Add pinch of salt when beating egg whites or whipping cream for quicker, higher peaks.
- Soak fish in salt water before scaling; it will make the scales will come off easier.
- If you're in doubt about whether your eggs are fresh, add 2 teaspoons salt to 1 cup water and place the egg in the cup. A fresh egg will sink, while the old one floats.
- Keep a box of salt near your stove and oven, and if a grease fire flares up, you can douse the flames with salt. (Using water on grease fires will splatter the burning grease). While salt will act like a heat sink and dissipates the heat from the fire –-it also forms an oxygen-excluding crust to smother the fire.
- Most of us use lemon or vinegar to stop peeled apples and pears from browning, but we can also drop them in lightly salted water to help them keep their colour. It also works for cut apples and potatoes.
- Prevent mold on cheese (keep cheese fresh) by wrapping it in a cloth moistened with saltwater before refrigerating.
6. Beauty care
- Sprinkle or rub a little salt in canvas shoes occasionally, it will take up the moisture and help remove odours.
- Mix half teaspoon of salt in a pint (16 ounces/half a kg) of water and use the solution to bathe tired eyes.Mix one teaspoon of salt in a pint of hot water and dip some pads in the solution and use them on puffy eyes.
- After bathing and while still wet, give massage yourself with dry salt. It removes dead skin particles and helps the blood circulation.
- Mix one part fine salt to two parts baking soda and dip your toothbrush in the mix and brush as usual to make your teeth whiter.
7. Everything else
- Soak new candles in a strong salt solution for a few hours, then dry them well, they will burn longer and will not drip as much. You can even use the cheap dollar-store candle.
- One of the oldest tricks in the book is to lightly sprinkle rock salt on walks and driveways to keep snow and ice from bonding to the pavement and allow for easier shovelling/scraping. But don’t overdo it; as salt can damage plants and pet paws.
- If you have an aquarium or pond of fresh water fish, add a tablespoon for every five gallons of water to make your fish healthier (salt will kill germs and virus), avoid nitrite poisoning, and to balance out the acidity of the water.
- Freeze your soda or beer within a few minutes by putting the can in a bucket with salt water and ice, and put them in the freezer.
- Soak nuts in salt water over night to make them crack out of their shells easier.