It is mystifying to me why humans will spend a small fortune for fancy single use products when every kitchen contains one or more items that will do the same job for a lot less. While humans are endlessly fascinating in many regards, I won’t waste too much nap time trying to make sense of their peculiarities. What I can tell you is that sitting on most everyone’s table and counter is a common commodity that is quite the little miracle substance: salt. I do, however, beg to differ with some guy known as Simple Simon. He claimed that he couldn’t fail to catch a dicky bird by sprinkling a pinch of salt on its tail. Why on earth would hang around waiting to sprinkle salt on a bird’s tail when you could just pounce on it and be done with it?
Well, never mind. Here are a few uses for salt that may be new to you.
· Remove of the white rings left by perspiring glasses or hot plates from wooden surfaces with a paste composed of salt and cooking oil. Gently rub the paste into the ring in a circular motion and then wipe away.
· In the early spring, when ants are looking for an indoor roost, sprinkle a little table salt on door and window sills. Apparently, ants do not like to walk on salt. You can likewise sprinkle it around the edges of a picnic blanket.
· If you’re out of fresh lemon juice, you can prevent the browning of peeled fruits such as apples and pears or peeled potatoes by rinsing them quickly in lightly salted water.
· Restore that brilliant shine to brass and copper items with the aid of salt. Make a paste of a few tablespoons of distilled white vinegar and equal parts of salt and flour. Rub it onto the metal item with a clean soft cloth, rinse and dry.
· Beautiful as they are, fresh flowers frequently leave a crusted residue in the bottoms of vases. Rub the bottom with salt and rinse with fresh water. If you cannot reach the stain readily, soak it in a strong saltwater solution, shake it thoroughly, then rinse and dry.
· Relieve the sting of a bee by dampening the affected area and making a tiny salt crust over it. The same method works for mosquito bites.
· Remove tea and coffee stains from mugs and cups with by mixing a bit of salt with a few drops of dish soap and scrubbing the combination in the stained item. Another method is to sprinkle a little salt onto a lemon peel and use the salted side to rub the interior of the cup.
· Remove rust from old treasures with by combining salt, cream of tartar and just enough water to make a paste. Spread the paste on the rusted item, let it dry and brush it off. Buff the item clean with a soft cloth.
· The sticky residue that builds up on an iron, making it sluggish can be removed quickly by sprinkling salt on a piece of paper and running the heated iron across it a few times.
· When red wine is spilled on a tablecloth or a cloth napkin, douse the spill immediately with salt. Once the salt has absorbed the liquid brush it off and apply club soda with a clean cloth.
· When weeds or grass take up residence between your patio stones or bricks, sprinkle salt into the crack and wet down with a hose.
· When baking produces spills in your hot oven, cover the spill with salt. It will not smoke or smell, but it will bake into an easily removable crust.
· Before washing tarnished silverware, rub the tarnished areas with salt.
· Oozing egg spills are readily wiped up if covered with salt first and left to set for a few minutes.
· Experts claim that throwing a handful of salt on your fireplace fire will make a bright yellow flame and will help to lessen the soot from the interior of the chimney.
* As told to Anna Gill