Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
February 5, 2024 ·  7 min read

13 Uses for Salt around the Home

Salt can be used for more than seasoning your food, it’s a wonderful product for cleaning a multitude of surfaces in and around your home. In addition salt is inexpensive, readily available and offers a non-toxic cleaning option. In order to minimize the negative effects of using chemical cleaners many common household items can often be great substitutes. Items such as lemon, oil, vinegar, baking soda and salt are just a few of the multipurpose cleaning items you may have in your pantry.

Read: 7 Reasons You Could Be Craving Salt

Top 13 Everyday Uses for Salt

Salt shaker and salt in a wooden round bowl on a white background
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Since most cleaning products aren’t listing ingredients, you can learn something about the potential product hazards by looking for signal words on the label. Look for “signal” words such as Danger, Warning or Caution. These words provide some indication of a product’s toxicity. In general products labeled Danger or Poison are the most hazardous; a Warning label is considered moderately hazardous, and labels with a Caution label are considered slightly toxic. So let’s avoid the toxins and look at 10 different ways to use salt around the home.

Air fresheners

Displeased young woman with air freshener at home
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Air fresheners are full of toxic chemicals that are known to increase asthma, cancer and cause neurological damage. Opt for natural air fresheners instead: Herbal, floral, pine air freshener-Pour salt in a small bowl and layer with either flower petals, fresh herbs or pine needles. Citrus air freshener-Cut a citrus fruit in half, remove pulp and fill with salt. This lends a fresh citrus fragrance to the room. (1)

Carpet cleaners

Young Beautiful Woman Cleaning Carpet with Brush. Closeup of Girl wearing Protective Gloves Cleaning Carpet by spraying Cleaning Products and using Brush. Woman Cleaning Apartment
Credit: Shutterstock

Frequently have added fragrance and chemicals. Pass on toxic options and clean up a grease spill with items from your pantry. Mix up 1 part salt to 4 parts rubbing alcohol and rub it hard on the grease stain, being careful to rub in the direction of the rug’s natural nap.

Wood polish

woman restoring furniture
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Wood polish ingredients can vary, most have added chemical fragrance and propellants if you’re using an aerosol can. In addition they can contain poisonous ingredients and include hydrocarbons (such as waxes, oils, organic solvents).  Remove watermarks from wood– Remove them by mixing 1 teaspoon salt and enough water to make a paste. Gently rub the paste on the ring with a soft cloth until it’s gone. Restore the luster of your wood with a small amount of homemade polish. This is a simple recipe; to a spray bottle add ¼ cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of olive oil. Apply to furniture and wipe with a soft cloth. (2)

Read: Are Pink Himalayan, Sea, Celtic, Table Salt And Others All The Same?

Brass and Copper Polish

woman cleaning brass candle sticks with a yellow duster
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Brasso is a common metal cleaner used on a variety of metals including brass, copper, stainless steel, chrome, pewter, and bronze. It is also a flammable material that uses ammonia to clean. Ammonia is damaging to the respiratory system. Labelling also states to avoid contact with skin, clothing and eyes. Try this nontoxic option instead. Brass and Copper Polish: Use equal amounts of salt, flour, and vinegar. Mix the paste, apply to the surface, leave on for one hour and buff with a soft cloth. (3)

Clean Scorched Pots and Pans

Dirty oily burnt metal frying pan held in hand by male hand.
Credit: Shutterstock

Add 1 cup of salt and 1-2 cups of water to a scorched skillet or pot. Bring to a boil, then let cool. You’ll be able to pour out the scorched residue. Give it a quick rinse, and you’re good to go!

Coffeepot Cleaner

Young woman cleaning coffee pot or machine
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Many coffee pot cleaners such as Brew Rite don’t actually list their ingredients, but do suggest that you rinse out your coffee carafe with three full carafes of water before using again, which makes me nervous.

Remove coffee & tea stains from your glass coffee or teapot

The pot should be at room temperature before cleaning. Mix 4 teaspoons salt, one tablespoon water and one cup of crushed ice in pot. Swirl until clean and rinse.

Read: Why A Nutritionist Doesn’t Recommend Pink Himalayan Salt

Silver Polish

Vintage metal old blue kettle isolated on white background
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Good Housekeeping recommends Weiman Royal Sterling Silver Polish, as their top choice for cleaning silver flatware, silver trays etc. The MSDS sheet lists the main chemical as Triisopropanolamine which EWG rates as a moderate health concern, due to its irritant properties to skin, eyes and lungs. Opt for this simple version instead: Silver Cleaner/Polish: To start, line the bottom of a sink with aluminum foil and lay your tarnished silver on top. Top with a mixture of 4 cups of hot water with a tablespoon of salt and a cup of baking soda. Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.  For any tarnish that remains, make a paste of soda and salt and polish with a soft cloth and rinse clean. (4,5)

Prevent Oil Splatter

Man pouring cooking oil on the frying pan - Top View on a dark background
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Adding a few pinches of salt to hot oil in a skillet can help the oil from splattering while you’re cooking.

Pre-soaking stains

a woman's hand holds a stain remover to remove a dirty stain from clothes. dirty spot for washing and cleaning concept. High quality photo.
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Bleach is sometimes used to remove stains in clothes. However, bleach exposure can cause irritation in the eyes, mouth, lungs and on skin. Individuals with asthma or other breathing problems are particularly susceptible. In addition, if it comes in contact with the skin, it can burn human tissue. Rather than pre-treating with bleach or detergents remove yellow underarm stain with simple salt. Simply dissolve 4 tablespoons salt in 1 quart of hot water. Sponge the garment with the solution until the stain disappears. (6)

Fabric softener

Adding fabric softener to the washing machine
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Fabric softener is laden with fragrance and chemicals that are hazardous to your health. New jeans are often stiff, the easiest way to soften a new pair of jeans is to add a half cup of salt and wash with your regular detergent. In addition, adding ½ cup of baking soda OR ½ cup of vinegar to the wash will soften your regular clothes. (7)

Read: 6 Reasons To Take An Epsom Salt Bath + Why It Works

Clean scorched iron

Burnt dirty electric flat iron. Old iron on white background with clipping path. burnt iron for ironing. used dirty iron not suitable for ironing.
Credit: Shutterstock

Put down a sheet of wax paper, then sprinkle salt over it. Press your hot iron on the paper for a few seconds at a time.

Weed killer

Spraying organic, environmentally-friendly spirit vinegar onto the natural stone pavement (driveway, parking lot) to remove weeds and moss in an eco
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Round up contains glyphosate which the World Health Organization has listed as possibly carcinogenic. There are numerous other links to kidney disease, and cancer, as well as being 125 times more toxic than regulators admit.  Avoid the cancer-causing toxins and opt for homemade weed killers instead. There are numerous recipes for making homemade weed killers. (8, 9, 10, 11)

Recipe 1: Add 4 Cups of white vinegar and ¼ cup salt mix and pour into your sprayer. Don’t spray on your lawn. This is used carefully around plants or liberally in areas that are weed-only.
Recipe 2: Mix one cup of rock salt to a gallon of water. Allow the salt to dissolve. Spray on weeds. The salt prevents the plants from being able to absorb moisture and they will brown and die within a few days.
Recipe 3: 1 Gallon Vinegar, 2 C. Epsom Salt, 1/4 C. Dawn Dish Soap (Original Blue). Add all ingredients to sprayer. Spray in morning on hot day by dinner, plants are looking brown and wilted.

Poison Ivy

A clump of poison ivy growing on the forest floor along the trail in the woodland on a bright sunny day in summer
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The most difficult thing about getting rid of poison ivy is that the whole plant must be eliminated. If any of the roots survives, the poison ivy plant will come back. Many people use Round Up, but it will need to be consistently applied until the plant stops regrowing. Make your own non-toxic spray for poison ivy by combining 3 cups of salt, 2 cups of hot water, and ¼ cup of dish soap and spraying the leaves and branches. As with Round Up it may take 2-3 applications but will rid your yard of the pesky plant.

Keep Reading: This is Why You Should NEVER Put a Dorito in Your Mouth Again


  1. Ten questions concerning air fresheners and indoor built environments. (2016, November 05). Retrieved February 26, 2018, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360132316304334
  2. Furniture polish poisoning. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2018, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002788.htm
  3. MSDS Data Sheet-Brasso Metal Polish. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2018, from https://www.parish-supply.com/documents/0380008-01.pdf
  4. U. (2018, February 06). Top Shiners. Retrieved February 26, 2018, from https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home-products/silver-polish-reviews/a16482/best-silver-polishes/
  5. TRIISOPROPANOLAMINE. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2018, from https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706666/TRIISOPROPANOLAMINE/#.WpSbsOjwaUl
  6. Benzoni, T. (2017, December 05). Toxicity, Bleach. Retrieved February 26, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441921/
  7. E. (n.d.). Dont get slimed: Skip the fabric softener. Retrieved February 26, 2018, from https://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2011/11/dont-get-slimed-skip-fabric-softener#.WpScWOjwaUl
  8. World Health Organization Labels Glyphosate Probable Carcinogen. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2018, from https://www.ewg.org/release/world-health-organization-labels-glyphosate-probable-carcinogen#.WpSdb-jwaUl