There are many reasons why table salt is good for cleaning. This may sound weird, but table salt is a very underrated home cleaning tool.
Today, we are going to share with you the chemistry behind this and all the ways you can use it!
On Chemistry Cachet, we love to share with you ALL the tips on cleaning (among other things). But cleaning is chemistry at its finest, so it is a great subject to share with readers.
We recently shared this homemade soft scrub recipe, using microfiber clothes for cleaning, and of course, readers favorite book full of ALL the best DIY cleaning solutions.
So, let’s check out salt.
PIN THIS: Scientific Reasons Why Table Salt is Good for Cleaning and More!
Salt is chemically known as sodium chloride which is an ionic compound between sodium and chloride. Its physical properties include a gritty white texture, highly soluble in water, and it’s a naturally occurring substance on earth.
Sodium chloride is unique because the attraction between the sodium and chlorine is very strong, so polar molecules dissolve it, like water.
You will notice in some of our solutions, like this homemade weed killer, salt is a main ingredient. Since this solution is made with vinegar, the salt doesn’t fully dissolve which makes this solution more effective for killing weeds. The sodium dehydrates the plants and disrupts the plants natural balance, making it a really cheap option to kill weeds.
Aside from gardening, there are many reasons why table salt is good for cleaning and more neat things around your home!
Thanks to the unique chemistry of salt, it can be used for many things!
Reasons Why Table Salt is Good for Cleaning
I use the term exfoliate because that is exactly what it does. If you have nasty grease or fat left in a pan or sink, pour cheap table salt on the surface, dry scrub with a sponge, then rinse with hot soapy water.
The salt absorbs sticky, greasy texture and scrubs any surface well.
After cooking a steak or chicken in a pan, I pour salt in it to absorb the fat. With a paper towel, I dump it out in the trash can. It almost cleans it 100% with this method, but I follow up with hot soapy water. Makes cleaning so easy! Below is my quick tutorial for cleaning a greasy pan!
Put out a Grease Fire
Along with salt absorbing fat when you clean like above, it can put out grease fires quick. Just pour salt onto the fire. It will absorb grease and suffocate the flames.
Clean Stained Glasses or Pots
This is a great method for coffee pots or glass tea pots. Fill it with about 1/3 cup of salt and ice cubes (enough to fill up the pot). Vigorously shake the pot around, then let it sit until the ice melts. Rinse with cold water.
The friction of the salt with ice removes stuck on residue leftover from drinks.
Clean Other Types of Cups or Vases
The method above works great for glass, but for other types of cups (ceramic or even plastic), you can rub the stained surfaces with salt. I like to pour salt inside the cup, then use a barely damp rag to rub around and “exfoliate” the surface. This works for almost all tea, coffee, coke, or sticky drink residue.
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You can clean tarnished copper with vinegar and salt. It cannot be used on coated or lacquered copper though.
Fill a large bowl with hot vinegar (just heat in the microwave for a few minutes). Add in about 3 tablespoons of salt. Dip copper into bowl for a few seconds, then let it sit on the counter for a few seconds. Rub with a soft cloth.
You can also spray solution onto copper and rub off.
Clean Garbage Disposal
I used to put lemons down the sink and grind them up for the scent, but my plumber told me not to do that anymore because it dulls the blades and adds gunk down into the septic system.
Instead, I pour a bunch of salt down the drain, then run cold water (so it doesn’t dissolve as quick) down it while the disposal runs. Not only does it eliminate odors, but it also cleans the blades removing nasty gunk and grease.
Clean After Baking
I love to roll out pie dough or cookie dough on the counter. It always leaves stuck on dough that can be hard to get it. All I do is pour salt on the surface, rub it around with a cloth, then scrap into a trash can. It gets all the sticky residue up fast!
Use on Carpet Stains
Due to salts ionic qualities, it makes a great absorbent for certain stains, like when you clean kitchen surfaces. If you drop something greasy or thick, immediately pour some table salt on it. It will absorb the substance before it can set into carpet. I have used this numerous times when someone spills food on the carpet!
If you have an older stain, make sure to use our carpet cleaning method.
These are the best ways to use salt for cleaning! Salt is pretty awesome for other things too (gardening and cooking!), so make sure to stay tuned for more. And make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more chemist tips like this!