Salt – for a clean mouth and a clean house

Salt. It's antibacterial properties are fantastic for oral health and it's grittiness works like a charm to scour away tough dirt and grime; not to mention it's many other useful household cleaning and deodorizing talents.


When my son had to have his tonsils removed, our ENT specialist suggested gargling with salt because of its antibacterial properties. Once he had healed, we kept on with this strategy to give us all an added level of defense against the seasonal cold bug or whenever we start to feel a sore throat erupting.

I had an extra Tupperware 1 litre water bottle with a flip top lid and found it works great to store this concoction on the bathroom counter. If you are also looking for a “fresh” mouth, try adding peppermint essential oil (it’s also good for clearing a stuffed nose!).

Gargle twice a day to help keep the “back to school plague” at bay.

  • 4 tsp iodized salt
  • 4 cups/1 litre warm water.
  • **optional – peppermint essential oil

Add ingredients to a 1 litre bottle and shake until fully dissolved and incorporated. Gargle with this mixture 2-3 times a day. If you choose to add peppermint for freshness, shake the bottle to incorporate the oil before every use.

Salt. It's antibacterial properties are fantastic for oral health and it's grittiness works like a charm to scour away tough dirt and grime; not to mention it's many other useful household cleaning and deodorizing talents.

Cleaning with Salt in the Kitchen

Salt is a power house when it comes to cleaning! We use a 1.9L thermos carafe to make tea in at least 5 times a day and after a while the build up of tannins starts to flake off resulting in grossly chunky tea.

Originally I tried using a bottle brush and even resorted to trying CLR in an attempt to dissolve it off. In the end I found 1/2 cup salt with a little water to form a paste worked the best. Using a washcloth and a wooden spoon handle to wield the paste, the tannin coating scoured right off.

Below is an excerpt from the excellent post “Cleaning With Salt: 20 Must-Know Hacks for A Clean House” by Tabitha Shiflett

  • Clean the kitchen drain: Pour a mixture of salt and hot water down the kitchen sink to deodorize and prevent grease buildup.
  • Freshen up the coffee pot: Add a cup of crushed ice, a tablespoon of water and a few teaspoons of coarse salt to a room-temperature glass coffee pot. Swirl and rinse. The salt scours the bottom of the pot while the ice helps to agitate it for a better scrub.
  • Clean the fridge: Combine salt and soda water for a chemical-free fridge cleaner.
  • Clean greasy pans: Sprinkle a little salt on a cast-iron skillet and wipe with a paper towel. Check out their other cast-iron cleaning tips, here.
  • Prevent fruit from browning: Soak peeled apples and pears in saltwater for a few minutes. Let dry and store in an airtight container.
  • Save the oven: Casseroles tend to bubble over when baking, making a mess on the bottom of the oven. For easier cleanup, sprinkle a handful of salt on the spill. It’ll form a crust, making the mess much easier to clean once cooled.

Using Salt in the Laundry Room

  • Brighten your laundry: Dip a washcloth in a strong saltwater solution, wring it out and briskly rub faded rugs and curtains to brighten the colors.
  • Remove bloodstains: Soak the stained fabric in cold saltwater; then wash in warm, soapy water. Boil afterwards.
  • Get rid of mildew: Moisten the mildew-stained spots with a mixture of salt and lemon juice. Set in a sunny spot for bleaching, then rinse and dry.
  • Get rid of sweat stains: Four tablespoons of salt added to one quart of hot water makes for the perfect sweat-stain remover.
  • Revive your iron: Sprinkle a pinch of salt on a piece of plain paper, then run the warm iron over it a few times to get rid of hard water and other stains. Unplug the iron and, once it has cooled, wipe with a clean cloth.
  • Remove wine stains: Blot the spot and quickly cover with a pile of salt. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then throw it in the wash.
  • Keep drying clothes from freezing in the winter: If you use an outdoor clothesline, put a pinch of salt in your final laundry rinse to keep the clothes from freezing.

How to Use Salt to Clean Everywhere Else

  • Remove rust: Combine water, salt and cream of tartar to form a paste. Rub the mixture on the rusted item, let dry, brush off and buff with a soft, dry cloth.
  • Deter ants: Sprinkle salt at windowsills, doorways and anywhere else you think ants might sneak in.
  • Polish copper or brass: Blend equal parts flour, vinegar and salt into a paste. Rub the paste on the metal and let sit for an hour; then clean with a soft cloth for a new shine. (Test on a hidden area of the item before polishing its more visible parts!)
  • Remove water rings: Make a thin paste of salt and vegetable oil and use it to gently buff out any glass rings on wooden tables. (Again, it’s a good idea to test this solution on a hidden part of the table before taking it to the tabletop.)
  • Keep flowers fresh longer: Add just a pinch of salt to the water in your vase to keep cut flowers fresh longer.
  • Kill poison ivy: Mix one gallon of soapy water with three pounds of salt. Apply mixture to the leaves and stems with a sprayer.

Join us over at The Everything Pantry for more frugal tips.


I'm a frugal, city dwelling, "homestead where you're at" blogger with a passion for saving a buck (in often creative ways). I really enjoy sharing my money saving tips and sweat equity methods to help others struggle less financially.

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