Welcome to Babble,
Sign Out

Get the Babble Newsletter!

Already have an account? .

10 Uses for a Box of Salt

Salt, one of the most natural and abundant substances on earth, is essential to good cooking. Inexpensive and accessible, it can also be pulled into service for a myriad of household uses, from keeping cheese fresh to chilling wine quickly. If you’re trying to cut back on your spending or strive for a chemical-free way to clean up around the house, here are ten great uses for a box of ordinary table salt.

  • Keep cheese fresh. 1 of 10
    Keep cheese fresh.
    Hard cheeses like Parmesan can start to develop mouldy spots before you use it up. To prolong its life, soak a piece of cheesecloth in a solution made up of 1 Tbsp. salt dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water. Wring it out and wrap it around your chunk of cheese before storing it in the fridge. (Source: Salt, Lemons, Vinegar and Baking Soda, by Shea Zukowski)
  • Scrub cast iron. 2 of 10
    Scrub cast iron.
    To remove tough cooked-on food from your cast-iron skillet, warm it over low heat, then scrub with a paste made with equal amounts of salt and vegetable oil. Wipe out with a paper towel.
  • Chill your wine quickly. 3 of 10
    Chill your wine quickly.
    Ever wonder why ice cream is churned in a mixture of ice and salt? Because a combination of the two is colder than ice on its own - salt lowers the freezing point of ice, creating an icy brine that chills a bottle of wine (or other beverages) down more quickly than time in the refrigerator.
  • Remove rust. 4 of 10
    Remove rust.
    Easily remove rusty spots from small appliances, utensils and such by sprinkling a teaspoon of coarse salt on the cut side of half a lemon. Rub on the rust spot until it's gone. (Source: Salt, Lemons, Vinegar and Baking Soda, by Shea Zukowski)
  • De-ice your windshield. 5 of 10
    De-ice your windshield.
    Salt has the same effect on icy windshields as it does on frozen walkways; make a solution of 1 part salt to 4 parts water; let it dissolve completely, then store in a spray bottle and spray on your windshield to make scraping it easier. Photo courtesy of stock.xchng
  • Exfoliate. 6 of 10
    After going for a facial last week at the Jasper Park Lodge spa, the aesthetician told me to make my own inexpensive exfoliator with sea salt and a mild oil, like canola or olive. Mix up a small amount in the palm of your hand, then use to slough away dead skin. Works on rough hands and feet, too. Photo courtesy of stock.xchng
  • Make your own no-drip candles. 7 of 10
    Make your own no-drip candles.
    Candles can be messy, but no-drip candles tend to be pricier. Turn any candle into a no-drip candle by soaking in a solution made of 1/3 cup salt and 2 cups warm water. Stir to dissolve, then submerge the candles - weigh them down if you need to keep them from floating. Leave them overnight, then let them dry completely before burning. (Source: Salt, Lemons, Vinegar and Baking Soda, by Shea Zukowski). Photo courtesy of stock.xchng
  • Keep lips soft. 8 of 10
    Keep lips soft.
    In the winter, lips can become rough and chapped. Mix equal parts salt and olive or almond oil, store in a small container and use in the shower to gently exfoliate your lips, leaving them smooth and soft! Photo courtesy of stock.xchng
  • Control barbecue flare-ups. 9 of 10
    Control barbecue flare-ups.
    More effective than water, a handful of salt on a barbecue flare-up will tame the flames (close the lid too) without soaking everything, making it easier to fire it up and start cooking again quickly. Photo courtesy of stock.xchng
  • Make your own air freshener. 10 of 10
    Make your own air freshener.
    No need to buy expensive potpourri - mix 1 cup coarse salt, 1/4 cup dried lavender and a few drops of essential oil, and store in a decorative bowl or potpourri holder - give it a shake once in awhile to keep it going, and when its aroma dissipates, use it in the bath! (Source: Salt, Lemons, Vinegar and Baking Soda, by Shea Zukowski). Photo courtesy of stock.xchng

Tagged as: ,

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Learn More.