Mankind has been using salt for many centuries, in the course of which we've amassed many uses for this amazing substance—uses that go far beyond than just cooking. Here are a few of the more practical uses for salt:
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Test egg freshness
Add two teaspoons of salt to a cup of water, and drop in the egg. If it’s fresh, it will float; if it’s rotten it will sink right to the bottom.
Used sponges harbor a shudder-inducing variety of bacteria. To restore them and kill some of those germs, suds them up, rinse them thoroughly and then soak them in cold, heavily salted water for an hour or two.
Extend broom life
Natural fiber brooms can last a lot longer if you use this easy trick: soak them in hot, salty water before their first use.
Soothe a bee sting
Remove the stinger, wet the sting and immediately shake on a paste of salt and water. Let it dry, and it will reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Remove soot from chimney
A handful of salt thrown onto the flames in your fireplace will not only produce pretty, vivid yellow flames, it will help loosen soot in the chimney, preventing chimney fires and improving air flow.
Relief for canker sores
A saltwater gargle will take the bite out of a toothache and ease the pain of canker sores and sore throats. Dissolve two teaspoons of salt in 1/4 cup of warm water and swish it around in your mouth for at least 20 seconds, gargling if you have a sore throat. It will likely burn at first, but it works.
Clean smelly food spills
A little cinnamon in a pinch of salt will make dripped-on messes in the oven easier to clean, and prevent them from stinking up the house. Just sprinkle the mixture onto the drip soon after it occurs, while the oven is still hot. Once it has cooled, brush away the salt and the mess will come with it.
Keep clothes from freezing on the line
Add a little salt to the rinse water when washing a load of laundry to keep the clothes from freezing stiff on the clothesline. Soaking the clothesline in salt water will also prevent clothes from sticking to it in cold weather.
Keep milk fresh
Sour milk is the worst. Keep it fresh longer by adding a pinch of salt to the carton, pinching the spout closed and gently shaking to mix. Make coffee less bitter Over-brewed coffee that has taken on a bitter taste can be much improved with a tiny pinch of salt, which will also enhance the flavor.
Don’t you hate it when candles drip down as they burn, making a mess that’s practically impossible to clean? Prevent this from happening by soaking new candles in a strong salt solution for 2-3 hours.
Remove blood stains
Blood-stained linens can be restored in cold saltwater followed by a wash in hot, soapy water. To remove perspiration stains from clothing, dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of hot water and sponge it on.
Prevent sliced fruit from turning brown
Dip sliced apples, pears and other fruits susceptible to browning in lightly salted water to preserve their fresh look. If your apple slices have withered, salt water will also perk them up.
Keep windows frost-free
To keep frost from accumulating on the windows in your home and your vehicle, dip a sponge in salty water and run it over the inside and outside of the glass, then rub dry with a soft cloth.
Suck the stink-worsening moisture out of canvas shoes by sprinkling a little salt inside them and then wiping it out. Don’t use this trick on leather or synthetic shoes, as it could dry them out too much and cause them to deteriorate.
Give your skin a glow
Massage a mixture of salt and olive oil into your skin in circular motions, leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off. The massage increases circulation to your skin, the olive oil moisturizes and the salt buffs away dead skin cells.
Brighten yellowed linens
Boil cotton or linen items in a big pot of water with a few tablespoons of salt plus a few tablespoons of baking soda.