10 Surprising Uses For Kosher And Table Salt

From soothing skin to unclogging drains, a pinch of salt goes a long way.

April 20, 2017
11 Ways To Use Kitchen and Kosher Salt Around for cleaning and skin care
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When it comes to following a healthy diet, you probably try to shake the salt. But you may be short-selling the seasoning by keeping it shelved in the kitchen. Turns out, the tasty mineral serves many purposes around the house. Below, experts share a few of their favorites.  

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Use salt instead of harsh chemical bathroom powdered cleaners.
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Makes a heavy-duty bathroom cleaner

The aggressive chemical properties and tough texture of salt make it great for attacking tough-to-clean spots. “Salt can work better than a commercial cleaner when scrubbing down areas like the bathroom sink,” says Leslie Reichert, an eco-friendly cleaning coach and author of The Joy of Green Cleaning. “Just sprinkle it over the dirty area like you would a powdered cleaning scrub, and then wipe with a sponge to remove everything from caked-on toothpaste to soap scum.”

Related: 8 Surprising Uses for Epsom Salt


Kosher and table salt can be used to soften water for laundry, which makes detergents work better and cleans your clothes more efficiently.
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Softens hard water for cleaner laundry

Before you throw in your next load, add some salt to your laundry soap—it helps softens up hard water. “The softer the water, the better soap can work, so you can be more efficient about how much you’re using and actually save money,” Reichert says. Not to mention, your clothes will feel less rigid after coming out of the wash.

Related: Exactly How Often To Wash Your Clothes, According To A Stink Scientist

Kosher and table salt can help stop skin from itching.
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Soothes itchy skin

If you’re looking for a remedy to help you stop scratching itchy skin, this salt-based treatment works wonders, says Stephanie Tourles, a licensed esthetician in Orland, Maine, and author of Organic Body Care Recipes: Pour ½ cup kosher or table salt and ½ cup of baking soda into a tub of water (make sure the temperature isn’t too hot). Soak for 20 minutes. Ah, itch-free relief!

Related: 8 Plants That Repel Mosquitos Naturally 

Use salt to stop spilled wine from setting—sprinkle it in the spill, let it sit 10 minutes, then vacuum.
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Soaks up spills

Toppled over a glass of red wine? Pull out the salt, and sprinkle it over the area, Reichert says. It will absorb the liquid and prevent it from setting. Wait about 10 minutes, and then vacuum everything up.

Related: 7 Genius Cleaning Tips That Will Change Your Life


How to use kosher or table salt to get rid of ants in your home.
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Gets rid of ants

Pepper’s snow-white sidekick is great at chasing off that army of ants that have invaded. Here’s how: Boil water, adding a large amount of table salt to it, and then spray the mixture in areas infested with the insects, as well as across the frame of your door (or wherever you notice ants making their entrance), says Hans Plugge, a senior toxicologist with the American Chemical Society in Bethesda, Maryland. It’s believed that because ants breathe through their exoskeleton, the solution causes them to dry out.

Related: The Easiest Way To Rid Your House Of Ants 

How to use kosher and table salt to disinfect your refrigerator.
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Disinfects your fridge

“Mix together some salt and soda water and you can give your refrigerator a good scrub down without pulling out the chemicals,” Reichert says. Bonus: By disinfecting the area, it will also help get rid of any strange smells seeping from the produce drawer.

Related: How To Spring Clean Your Kitchen 

Use kosher or table salt to scrub greasy pots and pans.
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Makes cleaning cookware easy

If the issue is grease, add some salt to the pan and then wipe it down, Plugge says. Salt will soak up most of the greasy globs. If the problem is baked-on food on your cookware, add a heavy-handed dose of salt and some water. Let it sit until the food starts loosening up, and then wash with soapy water.  

Related: 18 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Cast-Iron Pans 

Use kosher or table salt to help remove stubborn stains from fabric.
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Removes stains

Those stubborn clothing stains—like underarm sweat patches that seem impossible to remove? Try this: Mix salt and water together to create a saline paste. Use it to scrub the dirty spots—the gentle acid helps lift the stain, Reichert says.

Related: How To Remove Winter Salt Stains From Pretty Much Anything

Use kosher or table salt to unclog blocked up sink drains.
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Unclogs drains

A combo of baking soda and salt packs a double punch on clogged up pipes—the salt softens the water and the baking soda removes the gunky buildup, Reichert says. After you dump the dry ingredients down the hatch, pour hot water or hot vinegar down the drain, and then flush with boiling water. 

An easy way to cure bad breath is gargling with salt and warm water.
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Freshens your breath

Tourles “old-fashioned” remedy to freshen breath: Mix ¼ cup of very warm water and ½ teaspoon of table salt. Stir until it dissolves and then gargle for 30 seconds. Spit it out. It clears out smelly bacteria from your throat. (Or, if you prefer a store-bought solution, here are the 7 best breath mints that aren’t packed with chemicals.)