Uses for Salt That Don't Involve Cooking

It’s likely that you have a shaker of salt sitting on your table or in your spice rack. It’s by far the most popular seasoning for several reasons. Salty is one of the five tastes that humans can distinguish — the others are bitter, sweet, sour and savory. Salt enhances our foods by essentially upping their natural flavors, but that’s not the only use for salt. Here are a few things you may not have known that salt is good for. 


KILLING POISON IVY: A strong solution of saltwater can kill an infestation of poison ivy plants. Apply a mixture of 1 cup of salt with 1 gallon of soap water to the leaves and stems with a garden sprayer. 


DETERRING ANTS: Keep ants from congregating in your garden by sprinkling ordinary table salt in areas where ants tend to father. This also works to keep them from coming into your house. Sprinkle salt across the path where they’re coming in and they’ll be deterred from crossing. 


SLUGGING SLUGS: Sprinkle slugs with a heavy dose of salt to kill them. Wait 5 minutes, then sprinkle them again. You’ll have a gooey mess to clean up, but the slugs will be gone. 


CONTROLLING CABBAGE WORMS: Cabbage worms eat garden cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower. To control them, dust their leaves with a mixture of 1 cup of flour and ½ cup of salt in the morning or evening when they’re damp with dew. 


REMOVING RUST: Make a paste with 6 tablespoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice. Use a dry cloth to rub the paste on the rusted area; then rinse and dry the area thoroughly. 


SOOTHING ITCHY SKIN: Soaking in a tub of saltwater can be a great itch reliever. Just add 1 cup of table salt or sea salt to your bathwater to help soften your skin. 


WHITENING YOUR TEETH: Don’t pay for expensive tooth whitener. Make your own with sea salt. It’s a natural abrasive, so it’s gentle at removing stains on your teeth. Just brush with it once a week. 


REMOVING WINE STAINS: Sprinkle kosher salt on the stain and let it sit for 2-3 minutes, then rinse with cold water. 


ERASING WATERMARKS: Make watermarks on wood disappear with a paste of 1 teaspoon salt and a few drops of water. Gently rub the paste onto the ring with a soft cloth until its gone. Follow up with a good furniture polish.