20 genius uses for salt: Clean your appliances, remove stains and more

Salt isn't just for your french fries. It can be used to clean appliances, take out stains and much more.


Alina Bradford

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1 of 20 Alina Bradford/CNET

Keep your stove clean

The next time a pot boils over, sprinkle some salt on the mess. When you finally get to cleaning up the spot, it will wipe right up with no scrubbing required.

cleaning pans with salt
2 of 20 Alina Bradford/CNET

Clean pans

Salt can be used as an abrasive to get grime off of pans in a cinch. The coarser the salt, the better it works. For greasy pans, cover the pan with salt and let it sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing.

Bamboo cutting board and iPad holder
3 of 20 Amanda Kooser/CNET

Freshen your cutting board

Get your wooden cutting board fresh and clean with salt and a lemon. Cut the lemon in half and dip it in salt. Scrub your cutting board with the cut side of the lemon and then rinse it. It will look brighter and smell great for your next cooking project.

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​Stop suds

If your washer or dishwasher ever overflows, you can get rid of the cascade of bubbles by sprinkling them with salt.

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Clear a drain

Clogs are easy to clear with this Earth-friendly solution. Pour 1 cup of salt, half a cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda down the clogged drain. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then pour a half-gallon of boiling water down the drain, followed by hot water from the tap. The clog will loosen up and disappear.

6 of 20 Alina Bradford/CNET

De-scum a vase

Instead of getting your hand stuck while trying to clean a vase, add one-third a cup of salt and warm water to the vase. Let it soak for 5 minutes, shake the vase for a minute or so and rinse. Your vase will be shiny and clean.

7 of 20 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

​Clean your coffee maker

Is your coffee bitter? Your coffee maker is probably dirty. Fill your pot with water and add four tablespoons of salt. Pour the mixture into the coffee maker and turn it on. Let the coffee maker run through its cycle and then run a pot of clean water through. Your coffee will taste awesome, and you didn't need to scrub a thing.

8 of 20 Alina Bradford/CNET

​Polish metal

Is your silver looking less than its shiny best? Give it a shine with some salt and aluminum foil using these simple directions for cleaning silver. Salt also works for copper and brass. Mix equal parts salt, flour and vinegar, rub on the copper or brass with a cloth, rinse and buff for a like-new shine.

9 of 20 Video screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET

​Keep safe

Don't throw water on a grease fire. Water will make it worse. Keep a box of salt near your stove in case of a flare-up. You can douse the flames with salt if you don't have a lid handy to smother the fire.

10 of 20 Alina Bradford/CNET

​Test an egg

Not sure if your eggs are fresh? Dissolve 4 tablespoons of salt in 2 cups cold water in a small bowl and place the egg in the solution. If it floats, it's bad and if it sinks it's good.

​Prevent splatter when frying
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​Prevent splatter when frying

Everyone hates getting splattered with grease when frying. Next time, add a couple pinches of salt to the oil to prevent splatter. Here are some more great frying tips.

12 of 20 Alina Bradford/CNET

​Make natural fibers look new and last

Make a salt water solution of half a cup salt to one gallon of warm water. Use it and a stiff brush to scrub wicker furniture and accessories clean. The mixture also makes straw brooms last longer. Just give your broom a soak for 20 minutes, then rinse.

how to prevent ice on your windows
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Free your windows from frost

If defrosting your windows each morning is the bane of your winter's day, make them frost-free with salt. The night before, wipe down your car windows with salt water. There will be no ice build-up in the morning.

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​Fix a grease stain

Did someone track in grease? Quickly clean it up by rubbing one part salt and four parts rubbing alcohol into the stain. This also works great for grease or oil stains on clothing. For clothes, sprinkle the spot with salt. The salt soaks up the grease or oil so that the garment can be cleaned more easily.

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​Clean your iron

Irons tend to get a rough or sticky coating on the bottom after a little use. You can clean your iron by sprinkling some salt onto some newspaper and running your iron over the salt a few times while on its hottest setting.

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Soak up nail Polish

Spill some nail polish? Don't freak! Pour a mound of salt on the spill and let it sit for around 10 minutes. The salt will congeal the polish and make it easy to wipe up without making more of a mess.

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Get rid of egg stains

To get rid of an egg mishap, dab your shirt with a napkin to get off the excess egg. Mix some table salt in a glass of water. Then, dip another napkin in the saltwater solution and dab your shirt. Rinse the shirt with cold water when you get home to remove the salt water. For more DIY stain removing tricks read more here.

18 of 20 Alina Bradford/CNET

Dust silk flowers

Dusty silk flowers can be cleaned in just seconds with salt. Dump one-fourth a cup of salt into a paper bag and add your silk flowers. Hold the opening closed while you shake the bag. The salt will knock off all the dust and your silk flowers will look like new.

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Wash away hard water stains

You can remove mineral deposits from your fish tank with salt. Just mix enough water into one-fourth a cup of salt to make a paste. Then, use it to rub away the stains. Just be sure to rinse the tank well before putting fresh water back in the tank.

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Peel eggs faster

The next time you boil egg, add a teaspoon of salt to the water. The shell will peel off much easier. 

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