Green Cleaning with Salt

When it comes to green cleaning, salt is an under-used superstar…and you thought it just made food taste delicious! From scrubbing and scouring to unclogging drains, plain old salt is a super useful tool in your natural cleaning arsenal.

Unlike in cooking, when we’re talking green cleaning, plain, boring table salt will do. No need to spring for expensive sea salt to do the dirty work.  Check out a few of the handy ways to use salt instead of harsh chemical cleaners for tough cleaning jobs all over your house.

1. Unclog a Drain

Chemical drain cleaners contribute to your home’s indoor air pollution, and they pollute waterways once they get those clogs unstuck. No, thank you! Next time you’ve got a clogged drain, try this instead:

  • Pour 1/2 cup salt into the persnickety drain.
  • Chase with a few cups of boiling water.

Easy peasy, and much healthier for your home and for the planet.

2. Scouring Greasy Pans

Don’t you just hate scrubbing your dishes? Grease can be especially tricky to scour off, but salt helps cut right through those sticky oils to make cleaning your pan a breeze. Here’s how:

  • Sprinkle your pan with salt, and let it sit for just a few minutes.
  • Use a slightly damp rag to wipe the grease away.
  • Add more salt as needed.

3. Rust Remover

Combine the power of salt with lemon’s acidity to bust stubborn rust. Before you start scrubbing, you will want to do a test area to make sure the salt won’t rub off any faux metal finish or scratch the metal if it’s too soft. To make your rust remover, you just need table salt and 1/2 of a lemon. It can even be a lemon that you’ve juiced already.

  • Sprinkle the salt onto the cut part of the lemon half.
  • Use the lemon like a little scrubber to slough rust away. 

4. Kill Kitchen Odors

Remove smells from cutting boards and counters like magic. Ever notice how cutting boards and countertops tend to hold smells? You can wipe them down to your heart’s content, but those cloves of garlic that you diced up for the best oven fries ever just linger on. Salt to the rescue!

  • Sprinkle the stinky surface with salt, and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Wipe it down with damp rag.

Do any of you use salt in your green cleaning routine? Share your salty cleaning tips in the comments!

Image Credit: Remixed Creative Commons photo by pboyd04