There is a secret weapon in nearly every household that can aid in regular cleaning: salt. This simple yet effective product can be used for numerous household cleaning projects, without needing to pay for costly cleaning chemicals.

Consider using this seasoning to help with:

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Restoring enamel fixtures:  Salt can be mixed with turpentine to create a cleaning paste that will restore enamel fixtures around the house. This mixture can help whiten older surfaces that have turned yellow with age, such as sinks, bathtubs and toilets. Apply to the damaged area and let it sit for 15 minutes. Afterward, wipe the surface clean with a damp sponge. A mixture of salt and baking soda can also act as a cleaner that is good for stovetops and silverware.

Removing carpet stains: Spilled liquids on the carpet, such as wine and gravy, can be difficult to soak up without pushing some of the liquid further into the carpet fibers. After soaking up the majority of the liquid with a dry towel, pour salt on the area to absorb the remainder of the liquid. You also can mix one part salt with four parts rubbing alcohol to remove grease stains by rubbing the mixture in the same direction as the carpet fibers. After rubbing, thoroughly rinse the area with water. As with any carpet cleaning solution, test first on an inconspicuous area to ensure the solution doesn’t cause damage.

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Revitalizing furniture: If a wooden surface in your home has been marred by a hot dish or water, remove the mark by applying a thick paste composed of salt and salad oil. Simply spread the paste over the affected area and buff the surface slightly with a soft cloth.
Cleaning dishes: White or lighter colored tea cups, coffee cups and other dishes can easily become stained after continual use. To remove these stains, sprinkle salt on the affected area of the dish and use a damp cloth or sponge to scrub the stains away. Use circular motions when scrubbing for effective results.

Washing clothes: When treating stubborn perspiration stains in clothing, mix 4 tablespoons of salt and 1 liter of water for an effective cleaning solution. Sponge the shirt with the mixture until the stain is completely removed. Rust and mildew stains on clothing can be removed by soaking the clothing in a mixture of lemon juice and salt for about 20 minutes. Afterwards, lay the clothing out in the sun for a few hours then rinse and dry.
Although salt can be an effective cleaning material for certain surfaces and household items, it is not a cure-all solution for every area of the home. If you are unsure of how certain areas should be cleaned, contact a professional.


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This article originally appeared on Angie’s List.