20 uses for salt around the house
Much more than a seasoning, salt is one of the most important substances on the planet. Did you know that those little white crystals have over 14,000 different uses, from the making of plastic, paper, fertiliser, glass, polyester and rubber to household soaps, dyes and bleach? Neither did we!
The good news: we don't have to set up a factory at home to enjoy more of salt's useful benefits, from cooking and cleaning tricks to expert garden care and a healthier, more beautiful you. Cheaper than chips and kind to the environment, grab yourself a tub and let's get salting...
Salty tricks for the kitchen
1. Adding a quarter teaspoon of salt to a pan of water will allow it to boil at a higher temperature, thereby reducing cooking times and saving energy.
2. Hardboiling eggs? A pinch of salt in the water will make the shells peel off more easily.
3. If you're preparing a batch of potatoes for later, place them in cold, gently salted water to stop browning.
4. Add a few grains of salt to your cup of black coffee to counteract bitterness and enhance the flavour. (Yes, really! Try it!)
5. Keep lettuce and other salad leaves crisp on a hot day by seasoning the salad with a light sprinkle of salt before serving.
6. A smidgen of salt in cream makes for easier whipping. Similarly, adding a tiny amount of salt to egg whites will make them beat faster and higher.
Why you need salt in your cleaning cupboard!
7. To clean burnt food from your pans, soak the marks with a mixture of lemon juice and salt for half an hour. Rinse, then sprinkle a little salt into the base and rub with a damp cloth or kitchen towel. The burnt food will lift away!
8. Disappear tea and coffee stains from your best china by rubbing with salt.
9. Remove bitter tastes from old coffee percolators and express pots by filling with water, adding four tablespoons of salt and boiling as usual.
10. A well-salted solution of boiling water poured down the sink will help keep away nasty odours and cut through any grease build-up in the drain.
11. Using piles of salt to absorb fresh red wine spills is a classic stain removal trick, but did you know that you can also use salt to tidy up spills in the ovenwhen something bubbles over? Taking care not to burn yourself, sprinkle salt over the base of the oven and continue cooking. Once the oven is cool, clean out the salt and it should bring the food spill with it!
Salt has a place in the bathroom cabinet too...
12. Sore throat? Painful gums? Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and gargle for rapid relief and a kickstart for the healing process.
13. Soothe tired or puffy eyes by bathing them gently with a solution of a teaspoon of salt in a pint of warm water.
14. Been on your feet all day? Relax and energise them with a salty foot bath. A couple of drops of your favourite essential oil will make this feel even more luxurious.
15. Banish rough skin from heels and elbows with a DIY salt scrub. Simply mix a handful of salt with olive oil or honey and apply gently in a circular motion. Rinse and moisturise for super soft skin.
But that's barely scratching the surface of what salt can help with...
16. Stop new candles from dripping by soaking them for a few hours in a salt solution and then drying well before use.
17. Stinky canvas shoes can be deodorised with a sprinkle of salt. Leave the salt inside the shoes overnight and then hoover out in the morning.
18. Keep a pot of salt near you when barbecuing meat. If the drippings catch light, a handful of salt will extinguish the flames without cooling the coals.
19. Add a pinch of salt to the water of cut flowers for fresher blooms for longer.
20. Stop weeds from colonising patios, pathways and driveways by sprinkling salt into cracks.