A friend and I were having lunch, in a neighborhood restaurant, watching ESPN. The bartender had brought us our pints of beer and had put two cocktail napkins down in front of us. He sprinkled some salt onto each napkin and placed our beers on them. I asked “Why did he sprinkle salt on the napkins?” The bartender replied “It’s an old bartender’s trick. Condensation makes the glass stick to the cocktail napkin. The salt makes it so the glasses don’t stick.” I never knew that. I never thought about it. I’m not even sure if I’ve ever seen a bartender do that, but I most likely never payed attention. I told the bartender that was interesting. I’m pretty sure I’ve only used salt for two things; food and snow. The bartender talked about his wife was a salt fanatic. My friend said his wife was also a salt fanatic. Their wives use salt to clean all kinds of stuff in their homes. ESPN is recapping the big plays of the weekend games and we’re having a conversation about SALT. However, it turns out, salt is actually pretty amazing. And being the I have to understand everything kind of guy I am, I looked into it. Salt is cheap, and so am I. If this stuff cleans half as much as the say it does, I’m going to save all kinds of money.
I looked into it, and this is what I found out:
Salt works as an effective yet gentle scouring agent. Salt also serves as a catalyst for other ingredients, such as distilled white vinegar, to boost cleaning and deodorizing action. For a basic soft scrub, make a paste with lots of salt, baking soda and dish soap and use on appliances, enamel, porcelain, etc.
Clean sink drains.
Pour salt mixed with hot water down the kitchen sink regularly to deodorize and keep grease from building up.
Remove water rings.
Gently rub a thin paste of salt and vegetable oil on the white marks caused by beverage glasses and hot dishes, on wooden tables.
Clean greasy pans.
Cast-iron skillets can be cleaned with a good sprinkling of salt and paper towels.
Clean stained cups.
Mix salt with a dab of dish soap to make a soft scrub for stubborn coffee and tea stains.
A mix of salt and soda water can be used to wipe out and deodorize the inside of your refrigerator. This is a great way to keep chemical cleaners away from your food.
Clean brass or copper.
Mix equal parts of salt, flour, and distilled white vinegar to make a paste. Rub the paste on the metal. After letting it sit for an hour, clean with a soft cloth or brush and buff with a dry cloth.
Mix salt and lemon juice with just enough water to make a paste. Rub on rust, let dry, brush off and buff with a dry, soft cloth.
Clean a glass coffee pot.
Every diner waitress’ favorite tip: add salt and ice cubes to a coffee pot, swirl around vigorously, and rinse. The salt scours the bottom, and the ice helps to agitate it more for a better scrub.
Attack wine spills.
If wine is spilled on a cotton or linen tablecloth, blot up as much as possible and immediately cover the wine with a pile of salt, which will help pull the remaining wine away from the fiber. Soak the tablecloth in cold water for thirty minutes before laundering. This will also work on clothing.
Wine spills on the carpet.
First, while the red wine is still wet, pour some white wine on it to dilute the color. Then clean the spot with a sponge and cold water. Sprinkle the area with salt and wait about 10 minutes. Now vacuum up the whole mess.
Tackle mildew or rust stains.
Moisten stained spots with a mixture of lemon juice and salt, then allow the solution to naturally bleach the stain. Wipe clean with a moistened cloth.
Ease fireplace cleanup.
When you’re ready to turn in for the night but the fire is still glowing in the hearth, douse the flames with salt. The fire will burn out more quickly, so you’ll wind up with less soot than if you let it smolder. Cleanup is easier, too, because the salt helps the ashes and residue gather into easy sweepings.
Remove watermarks from wood.
Watermarks left from glasses or bottles on a wood table really stand out. Make them disappear by mixing 1 teaspoon salt with a few drops of water to form a paste. Gently rub the paste onto the ring with a soft cloth or sponge and work it over the spot until it’s gone.
Freshen your garbage disposal.
Is an unpleasant odor wafting from your garbage disposal? Freshen it up with salt. Just dump in 1/2 cup salt, run the cold water, and start the disposal. The salt will dislodge stuck waste and neutralize odors.
The list doesn’t stop there, but I’m going to stop there. That list alone will save a bunch of money. The cost to clean is cut to about 10 bucks a year. You can’t beat that. All these things are easy to do, and every bit of information I looked up always had the words “natural” and “eco friendly”. So, this is actually good for the environment as well. I’ve noticed differences in the cleanliness of my house. I’m sure you will too. Pepper must be jealous…