6 Ways to Clean Your Home With Salt

CC BY 2.0. theilr -- Table salt

Did you know ordinary table salt is a wondrous natural cleaning agent?

You've probably heard about cleaning with baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. But did you know it's possible to scour many parts of your home with salt? Ordinary table salt, which you likely have in the cupboard right now, is a surprisingly awesome cleaning agent that's entirely natural and safe. Cleaning expert Melissa Maker explains several ways in which to put salt to work in your home.

1. Scrubbing a sink: If baking soda doesn't have quite enough scrubbing power for your needs, mix it with table salt at a 1:1 ratio. That will get your sink sparkling clean in no time. Commenters on Maker's YouTube video said they use this to get rid of soap scum in the tub. A tip I saw on another green cleaning website suggests dipping a half lemon in salt and using this to clean around faucets; it will get rid of lime buildup and leave them shiny.

2. Cleaning a cutting board: Some vegetables like beets, carrots, and strawberries leave stains on a cutting board, while others, like onions and garlic, leave powerful odors that don't go away entirely with soap and water. Enter salt, which can be sprinkled over the cutting board and then rubbed into the board in a circular motion using a half lemon. Rinse and set upright to dry. You'll have a stain free, odorless cutting board.

3. Getting rid of stains: Salt is an effective stain remover. If you spill red wine, blot the extra liquid and cover liberally in table salt. Let it dry, then launder as usual. If you have stained ceramic mugs, sprinkle salt inside, rub it around with a half lemon, and rinse. This same technique works for stained stainless steel (it sounds like an oxymoron, I know), such as a coffee moka pot.

4. Cleaning cast iron: You're never supposed to do a metal scrub pad on cast iron because it will destroy the seasoning. Salt, however, can give abrasive cleaning power without ruining anything. Melissa Maker gives two suggestions: sprinkle salt into a dirty pan, and either (1) fill with water, heat over stove, and stir with a wooden spatula to loosen food bits, or (2) rub it into the dry pan until all food bits have been lifted. Dump out the now-dirty salt and wipe it with a cloth.

5. Laundry: This tip comes from another green cleaning source and suggests that, in order to get rid of perspiration stains, you mix 1/4 cup salt with one quart hot water and soak clothing until stains fade. Then launder as usual.

6. Cleaning your iron: If you see any gunky buildup on your iron, sprinkle salt onto a sheet of parchment paper and run your iron over it. This will release buildup. Let the iron cool and wipe it with a cloth.