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A little goes a long way when it comes to salt and water. Mix the two together and you’ve got yourself a handy saline solution that can be used to take care of some of the most common household chores as well as treat some of them most common mild health symptoms. Why not stretch a buck and make the most of salt water’s cheap and effective uses? Here are 20 ways to get started.

1. Broom Cleaner

Soak a straw broom in a bucket of hot salt water for about 20 minutes before removing to let dry. 

2. Coffee and Tea Stain Remover

Coffee and tea cups eventually begin to taint after many uses. To get rid of stains the natural, eco-friendly way, scrub them with salt before rinsing. 

3. Wood Watermark Remover

Sometimes the coaster is not in arm’s reach and we set a cut on a wooden surface, only to realize that the bottom was slightly wet, leaving behind a water stain. To remove this, sprinkle salt on the stain and scrub away with a wet sponge.

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4. Red Wine Carpet Stain Remover

Don’t regret happy hour at home. If a little wine gets on the carpet or couch, salt is the quickest, no-brainer solution. Pour some water or white wine over the stain to dilute it, cover with a generous amount of salt, wait 10 minutes, and then vigorously scrub the stain until it fades away. 

5. Mosquito Reliever

Reduce itching and swelling with a simple saline solution. Dab the affected area with salt water and massage in a fragrance-free oil to moisturize.

6. Green Leaves Cleaner

Leafy green vegetables can often be diffiult to wash because the leaves are often irregular shaped and the stems’ nooks and crannies are hard to fully get into. Soak greens in water bath with a few teaspoons of salt. The salt will help to wash out the dirt. 

7. Windshield Defroster

Be prepared for the Winte season by keeping your car’s windows unfrozen. Use a sponge soaked with salt water and rub all windows down. Let dry. Keep a cloth bag full of salt in the car and whenever the windows get wet, scrub them with the bag to prevent freezing.

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8. Deodorizer

Spray the inside of shoes with a salt water solution to get rid of nasty odors. 

9. Ant Repellant

Ants dislike salt, so it’s the perfect way to get rid of them. You can either make a line of salt blocking them from entering a certain area, or spray a saline solution in a place that attracts ants. Unlike ant repellants on the market, this solution isn’t toxic to humans.

10. Mouthwash Replacement

Gargle with salt water to break up mucous and prevent inflammation.  

11. Pan Cleaner

Clean kitchen utensils and equipment with salt water. Salt water makes an excellent soak for residue-laden pots and pans. Soak them in salt water and let sit until residue rises and softens, then rinse clean. 

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12. Bee Sting Reliever

To prevent redness and soreness, immediately wet the stung area and cover with salt. 

13. Grease Remover

Tough to remove because it is water insoluble, grease is no match for salt water. Scrub grease-stained surfaces and objects with a wet sponge and salt. 

14. Lipstick Stain Remover

The same reason lipstick is designed to stay on your lips is the same reason lipstick is difficult to remove from glass cups. Use your fingers to scrub salt along the rim of the lipstick-stained glass and then rinse clean. 

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15. Hard-Boiled Eggs Saver

Prevent egg shells from breaking while boiling by adding salt to the water. This will save you a mess without the fuss.

16. Poison Ivy Reliever

A great way to relieve the itch and inflammation that comes with poison ivy is to soak the affected areas in hot salted water. 

17. Sorethroat Soother

A saline solution will not kill bacteria or cure a sore throat, but it will help to darw out mucous and loosen up other secretions that may be harboring the infection. Salt water makes it easier for the body to get rid of the infection more quickly through coughing and sneezing. There is a limit to how salty the water should be though; a good benchmark is 1/4 teaspoon for every cup of water.

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18. Fruit Browning Prevention

The last thing you want to serve to guests is a plate of bronwed fruit. If cut fruit sits around at room temperature for even an hour, the surface of its flesh begins to oxidize, creating a browned look. If preparing a raw fruit dish early for a party, soak the fruit pieces in a bath of lightly salted water. The salt will keep the fruit fresher looking for longer. 

19. Perspiration Stain Remover

White shirts are easily ruined by yellow perspiration stains, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw the shirt out. Dissolve 4 tablespoons of salt in 1 liter of hot water and use a sponge to soak up the solution and scrub away the stain. Afterwards, clean the shirt as normal. 

20. Weed Killer

Attack those pesky weeds by pouring boiling salt water onto them. The water will kill the weeds while the salt will prevent them from growing back for a long time. 

Photo Credits: Kevin DooleyJenny Downing, Joe Hastings, Wolfpix, Cursedthing, Neil Conway