Salt is not just for seasoning or preserving food, it can be used around the house too.This is a guide about using salt.
When it comes to one product with the most household uses, vinegar makes a nice showing but table salt comes out on top. From cooking to cleaning, there's a large list of uses for the cheaply priced mineral. It's no wonder wars broke out because of it.
Salt is a versatile and frugal cleaning product. Compared to high priced, abrasive cleaners, salt is easily the better option for removing stains and odors from the house.
Instead of buying expensive products (for example, Weed Begone) to get rid of weeds and grass coming up in between patio blocks, carefully spread salt between the bricks and blocks. Sprinkle with water or wait for the rain to wet it down.
By Irishwitch from Aurora, CO
You can add a pinch of salt to your coffee grounds pre-brew to curb the bitterness in your coffee. You can slow sprinkle the tiniest amount of salt in your tonic water to to kill that harsh bitterness of quinine. Try it anything you find slightly overpowering in the bitterness department. You'll be pleasantly surprised!
Too many suds in your dishwater? Sprinkle a little salt on them and they will subside in no time.
Use salt to clean your cutting board. Just sprinkle a little on a wet cutting board and scrub. There usually is a shaker of salt handy in the kitchen, you don't have to just use it for food.
Spilled some grease? When you spill some grease on your counter or stove top sprinkle a little salt on it and it will be easier to clean up.
Salt for carpet stains. Sprinkle salt on carpet stains, let sit for an hour and vacuum the salt up.
Salt for perspiration stains. Make strong salt water by diluting 1 cup salt to each gallon of water and soak shirts with perspiration stains. Or if you don't want to use as much salt you can create a solution with 4 Tablespoons salt and 1 quart of water and apply this solution directly to the perspiration stain with a rag.
What are other salt uses? Post your ideas below!
If you are a bachelor, consider this: Buy a 4 liter milk jug instead of a 2 liter milk jug. Get your money's worth. When you open it, put a pinch of salt in it then shake. Your milk will last 2 weeks past the expired date. Take care.
By Julie from Dundurn, SK Canada
After cutting or chopping onions, wet your hands, sprinkle salt generously in the palm of one hand and scrub your hands together with the salt. Rinse with water and the onion smell will be gone.
Can salt be used to kill weeds, blackberry bushes, and grass in places you don't want it? (We have 6 dogs and prefer not to use chemicals/poisons from the store, to avoid any contamination to my babies).
Hardiness Zone: 7b
By Kim from Lusby, MD
I have used straight white vinegar with good success.
I live in an apartment and every rain season my weeds grow crazy (3ft) high or more. I have and big tarp, meant for use in the driveway for cars. I try to prevent them from growing with the tarp. So my question is how often and how much do I use salt for weeds? My backyard is 12ft by 30ft.
Enough salt will prevent anything from ever growing there. You could also use something like Round-Up to kill the weeds. Then sprinkle a pre-emergent like Preen to prevent any seeds from germinating. I have also heard that just pouring boiling water on weeds will kill them. Certainly a lot cheaper.
Will table salt harm my tomato and squash plants if I use it to kill the grass by my plants?
In a word...yes. You are much better off to use a hoe, or hand weed around the plants. It will take a little time, but is better for your plants and your garden (salt may prevent other things from growing for one or more seasons, depending on how much you use and how you apply it.) Once you weed, you can use mulch to discourage the weeds from coming back. That and a few minutes of hand-weeding each week will keep your plants looking great!
To help cut odors off your wooden cutting board, simply pour a generous amount of salt directly on the board. Rub lightly with a damp cloth. Wash in warm, sudsy water.
Q:I saw some of your member's advice about killing weeds and grass. I had a question about using salt. I have an area that is 8' x 24' and filled with pea gravel. I have a problem with weeds and grass growing in the area. I was wondering if anyone knows if I use the salt to kill it, will the salt effect a cedar elm and a Lady Banks rose I have growing on each end of the area. The weeds and grass grow in the middle area. The area slopes and the cedar elm grows at the top of the slope and the lady banks grows at the bottom of the slope.
Martha from Texas
A: Dear Martha,
I would advise against using salt to control weeds or grasses for two reasons. The first is due to the fact that over time, a build up of salt in the soil can harm your plants-actually stunt their growth. If your rose is down slope from the area you apply salt, you certainly risk eventual damage due to runoff. Secondly, salt is not effective in controlling many weeds anyway, especially grasses. I suggest you try boiling water or spot spraying with vinegar. These are both low-cost natural methods that have proven to be effective. Pouring boiling water over the grass and weeds will kill them, as well as any seeds near the surface. Because your area is 8' x 24', however, you might try spot spraying a 10% acidic vinegar solution for adult weeds or a 5% vinegar solution for young weeds. If you have trouble locating a source for 10% vinegar, you can increase the acidity of 5% vinegar (the kind found at grocery stores) by boiling it down to half its original volume.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. <a href="add.ldml">Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
I would suggest using a contact weed killer, like Roundup. Just dip a small paintbrush into the container, you may want to use protective gloves, or put your hand into a breadbag, to avoid getting the chemical on yourself, then brush the weed killer onto the grass and leaves of the weeds, it works by contact, and won't kill anything that it does not touch. Salt will leach into the soil, and may affect the roots of nearby plants. (08/17/2005)
By muskie nut
You use 1 part salt and 3 parts water. It hasn't killed any of my plants yet. You pour just enough on it so it doesn't run down hill. I would never use Round-up it is not too good to breathe it. (08/17/2005)
By Joyce wis
Run-off could very well damage the other plants, and once the soil becomes toxic it will be hard to clear. You can pour boiling water on the weeds themselves and it will kill them. Not as permanent a fix, but much safer and pretty easy. (08/17/2005)
Salt will destroy your paved driveway and surrounding streets. (08/18/2005)
When you open a new container of milk, put in a tiny amount of salt in it. This will keep the milk fresh much longer. The salt will settle to the bottom, so gently shake the container before pouring to distribute the salt evenly. You won't taste it!
Source: Given to me by a co-worker
By Judy from Syosset
So, "a tiny amount" is kind of subjective, it could vary a lot by who is measuring it. Do you mean just a couple of grains, or a pinch or what? Sounds like a good idea, but I don't want to make it undrinkable. (03/26/2008)
I just shake the shaker once. A few grains will do. (03/26/2008)
I believe everyone has had this happen. When chopping onions, my hands would have a strong odor of onions for hours, even after repeatedly washing them. The smell would still be there. One Christmas while chopping some onions for the dinner dressing, I told my mother, "My hands are gonna smell like onion all day!" She told me to put my hands over the sink and she poured a small amount of salt into the palm of my hand and she said, "Now rub it in as if you are washing them with the salt." I couldn't believe it, the smell was gone. Works great for garlic too. I wish I would have known this years ago.
By Tena Bean from Champaign, IL
Rubbing your hand on a stainless steel utensil works like magic too! (03/06/2007)
I've heard of rubbing lemon juice on hands. Thanks for the other suggestions! (03/07/2007)