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Uses for Salt: Cleaning Your House

Are you ready to be awed by salt's ability to clean a carpet? Salt is an extraordinary cleaning and deodorizing agent for your entire home. This article includes various recipes for homemade cleaning solutions that can hold their own against many of today's commercial products, as well as lending a hand on your household projects. So stock your cupboard with salt and get ready to tackle your home's toughest cleaning jobs. Let's start with the bathroom.

 

Sinks: Make a paste of turpentine mixed with salt to restore white enameled fixtures that have gone yellow. Use this on sinks, bathtubs, or toilets. Apply, let sit 15 minutes, then wipe with a damp sponge.

Magic Carpet Cleaners

Carpet stains are so tough. Salt is there to lend a hand.

Gravy: For a gravy stain on carpet, first remove as much liquid as possible by covering the spot with salt. This will prevent the greasy stain from spreading. Then follow the rug manufacturer's instructions. You may need a dry-cleaning solution or an enzyme detergent.

Grease: Remove grease spots in a rug with a mixture of 1 part salt to 4 parts rubbing alcohol. Rub hard, going in the same direction as the nap of the carpet, then rinse with water.

Red Wine: Immediately blot up all moisture from the spill, then sprinkle the area with salt. Let the stain sit for 15 minutes. The salt should absorb any remaining wine in the carpet (turning pink as a result). Then clean the entire area with a mixture of ⅓ cup vinegar and ⅔ cup water.

Revitalize Your Furniture

Furniture can last longer when you take steps to fix it up, especially when salt is involved.

Wicker: Keep white wicker furniture from yellowing by scrubbing it with a stiff brush moistened with saltwater. Scrub, then let the piece dry in full sunlight.

Wood: When a hot dish or water has marred the surface of a wood table, get rid of the mark with a thin paste made of salad oil and salt. Just wipe on the paste, then buff slightly as you wipe it off with a soft cloth.

Pewter: Pewter must be cleaned gently because it is a soft metal that can be damaged easily. Add flour to a mixture of 1 teaspoon salt and 1 cup vinegar until you can make a smooth paste. Apply paste to a pewter piece. Allow it to dry for a half hour, then rinse with warm water. Polish with a soft cloth, being careful to remove the paste residue from all grooves or hidden areas.

 

Metal: To clean and shine copper or brass surfaces, make a paste out of equal parts of salt, flour, and vinegar. Rub on with a soft cloth, let sit for about 1 hour, then wipe off and buff with a clean, soft cloth.

Clean tarnish off copper decorative pieces by spraying them with vinegar and sprinkling with salt. Scrub pieces with a sponge, then rinse carefully, making sure to remove all the salt traces. Repeat if necessary.

Clean slightly tarnished brass or copper with a sliced lemon dipped in salt. Rinse when you are finished.

Salt can also be the handy man's best friend. Keep reading to see how salt can be a cheap and easy home remedy solution.

Household Projects with Salt

The chemical properties of salt also make it useful for many common repair and maintenance jobs around the house. You can use salt to make your own plaster. Salt also does wonders at removing rust and stopping new candles from dripping. Let's start with wall recovery.

Plaster: Mix 2 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons cornstarch, then add enough water (about 5 teaspoons) to make a thick paste. Use the paste to fill a small nail hole, chip, or other hole in Sheetrock or plaster. Let the paste dry, then sand lightly and paint.

Candles: Stop new candles from dripping by first soaking them in a strong solution of 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup salt for several hours. Let the candles dry, then burn them as usual.

Fireplaces: An occasional handful of salt thrown into your fireplace fire will help loosen soot inside your chimney. It also makes a cheery, bright yellow flame.

Rust: Mix salt and cream of tartar, and moisten with enough water to make a paste. Apply to a rust stain on a piece of metal outdoor furniture; let it sit in the sun until dry. Repeat the process if necessary.

Another rust removal method is to make a paste of lemon juice and salt. Apply paste to the rusted object, and rub with a dry, soft cloth.

As you've seen, salt is not just for the dinner table. It can be great for cleaning and home repairs as well.

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