By Michele Kadison
Salt has been a part of our history since the beginning of civilization. From sharing bread and salt to being an inherent part of economy and trade, salt has played a role in our lives through time, besides helping to bring out the flavor in our foods.
There are actually over 14,000 chronicled uses for salt, a fraction of which I will list here. From cleaning surfaces to removing stains, from dousing fires to melting snow and ice, salt makes an excellent alternative to chemical solutions.
Salt and White Vinegar
Make a paste with salt and white vinegar to restore the whiteness in enamel. Pour this solution down drains to remove odors and grease.
Use this paste to clean tarnished copper and brass.
Rub your fingers with the paste to get rid of onion smell after slicing.
Salt and Salad Oil
Make a paste to remove the white marks made by wet mug and glass stains on wooden tables.
Salt and Soda Water
Make a solution to clean the inside your refrigerator without scratching the enamel surface.
Salt and Lemon Juice
Moistening mildew and rust stains with this mixture will help to remove them. Put in the sun to bleach and then rinse and dry to see the difference.
Just Plain Salt
- If you want to keep ants and moths away, sprinkle salt in areas where they usually congregate.
- Fill your coffee pot with water and salt. Boil the solution and you will have cleaned the inside of the pot.
- Rub tarnished silverware with salt before washing to remove the stains.
- Place salt in a greasy pan and then wipe with paper to remove the residue before washing.
- Throw salt on a grease fire to smother the flames.
- Rub salt into your coffee or tea stains in mugs and cups and then wash to clean.
- Remove sticky spots on your stove burner by sprinkling them with salt while they are still hot. When they cool, remove the salty areas with a brush and stickiness will be gone.
- Soak sponges in cold salt water after you have washed them to give them a renewed life.
- Blot wine stains dry and cover them with salt, which will absorb the wine. Rinse with cold water, then scrape the salt off.
- Remove sweat stains by adding 4 tablespoons of salt to a quart of hot water and sponge the fabric until the stains disappear.
- Soak blood-stained clothing in saltwater. Launder in warm soapy water and then boil the fabric after it has been washed. (Only for natural fibers).
- Clean the inside of fish tanks with plain (not iodized) salt to remove the hard water deposits. Rinse well afterwards before returning your fish to their home.
- Clean hard water stains from the inside of vases by filling with salt water and scrubbing or shaking.
- Launder washable curtains and rugs in salt water to brighten up their colors.
- Put a dash of salt in your laundry starch to keep your iron from sticking and to give your clothing a fresh finish.
- Sprinkle salt on a piece of paper and then iron the paper to remove sticky areas from your iron.
- Dip a damp cloth in salt and then run over your wooden cutting boards to keep them clean.
- Throw extra salt in a washing machine that is too sudsy.
- Clean wicker furniture with a solution of salt water and a brush.
- Sprinkle the inside of your shoes with salt to remove moisture and odors.
Keeping Off the Ice and Snow
- Rub the inside of your windows with a sponge dipped in salt water to keep the glass from frosting up.
- Rub your vehicle’s windshield with a damp cloth bag containing salt to keep ice and snow from collecting
- Throw rock salt on your walkways and driveways to keep them clear of ice and snow.
There are over 600 species of Eucalyptus or Gum trees in existence. The oil is steam distilled from the leaves of certain species and has a multitude of uses due to its fragrant scent and its disinfecting and pest deterring qualities. Here are some ideas for using Eucalyptus oil in your home instead of toxic solutions.
- Add several drops to water and liquid soap. Shake and apply to surfaces in order to clean and disinfect them.
- Dilute a few drops with water to remove fingerprints from surfaces
- Place a few drops on a cloth to remove sticker and decal residue from glass
- Add an ounce of oil to a liter of water and use to disinfect your toilets
- Place a few drops on a mop to scent and disinfect tile and linoleum floors.
- Add 25 drops of oil to a solution of 1/4 cup of white vinegar and two gallons of water to disinfect and remove dirt from wooden floors. Rinse your mop each time in fresh water before dipping into the solution again.
- Add a few teaspoons of oil to your laundry to remove microbes and create a beautiful fresh scent for your clothing.
- Gently apply a few drops of oil to remove grease, ink, or paint from clothing.
- Add a few drops of oil to your old hanging fresheners to revive them
- In a spray bottle, place a half teaspoon of oil in a half liter of water and use as a bug repellant for your plants.
- Saturate a cloth with a few drops of oil to clean stainless steel.
- To freshen rooms, place about 15 to 20 drops of oil in a spray bottle. Mix with a half-teaspoon of vodka and two cups of water.