One of the first things most of us do when embarking on a health kick is to try to reduce the amount of salt we eat. If you’re trying to lessen the salt in your diet but don’t want to waste the buckets of table salt sitting in your cupboard, here are some great, waste-free alternative uses for it…
Fresh Egg Test
Eggs are one of those things: you seem to either be constantly running out, or have the odd one or two that have been loitering in the fridge for an age. If the latter happens, you’re never quite sure if you should eat them or not. Salt provides an excellent way to quickly test their freshness. Add two teaspoons of salt to a bowl of water and pop in your eggs. If they float, they’ve gone off, and you shouldn’t eat them. If they sink, it means they’re still fresh.
Tackle Smelly Hands
When you’ve been cooking with onion or garlic, and your hands smell funky, wash them with soap and water then mix a quick combination of salt and vinegar and rub it over your hands. Rinse it off, and voila – an insanely simple solution to an irritating problem!
Pour salt water down your kitchen sink regularly and it will quickly deodorise the drain and prevent the buildup of grease.
Mix salt with vegetable oil to form a thin paste, and rub it on the white marks created on wooden surfaces by hot dishes and glasses.
If you have a greasy pan, sprinkle a good amount of salt over it and rub it with a paper towel before washing as usual.
Mix a little washing up liquid with some salt and use it to scrub stubborn tea and coffee stains off your mugs.
A combination of soda water and salt is an excellent way to wipe the inside of your fridge. It’s deodorising and will beautifully remove any mess without putting chemical-filled cleaners near your food.
Brass And Copper
Use a mixture of equal parts of salt, vinegar, and flour to form a paste. Rub it on any brass and copper items you have that need cleaning, leave it for an hour, then use a soft cloth to brush it off. Buff it after with a dry cloth for a sparkling finish.
An easy mix of salt and cream of tartar, with a splash of water, is a great way to remove rust. Rub it on, leave it to dry, brush it off, then buff it with a soft cloth. If you don’t have cream of tartar, you can use lemon juice instead.
Salt is also great for removing wine stains. Blot up as much of the wine as you can immediately after the spill, then cover the stain with a pile of salt. This will absorb the remaining wine. Leave it for an hour or two, then soak it in cold water for half an hour before washing as usual.
Drying Clothes In Winter
Add salt to your rinse when washing clothes if you intend to dry them on an outside line during winter – this will stop them freezing.
Saltwater is great for removing blood stains. Soak the item in cold saltwater, and wash as usual. If the stained item is made from natural fibres such as linen or cotton, you can also boil them following the wash for the best possible results.
Soak your new candles in strong saltwater for several hours, ensure they fully dry, and you will find they hardly drip when burned.
Arranging Artificial Flowers
Pour salt into the base of your vase, followed by a small amount of cold water. Arrange the flowers as usual – when the salt dries it will form a solid base that holds your flowers in place.
A genius use for salt for anyone with an artistic streak or children to amuse, mix half a cup of salt with a cup of flour, a cup of water, two tablespoons of cream of tartar, and two tablespoons of oil, and you have an awesome play dough.
Just sift the dry ingredients together, add the oil, and slowly mix in the water. If you want coloured dough, add a little food colouring. Cook it over medium heat until it grows stiff, then spread over wax paper to cool. Knead it until it’s the right consistency, and let your inner artist loose.
For more great tips on waste-free health, check out my post on alternative uses for sugar…