Cleaning: How to Use Salt as a Stain Remover

parentinghome management

House cleaning—Uni-task tools are a personal pet peeve. All those supposedly helpful tools just become clutter if you don't use them every day. Instead of filling up your life with ever-growing piles of miscellany, make the most of what's already in your kitchen! One of the best examples of this is plain old, everyday table salt. Sure, it's great for adding a bit of flavor to meals, but did you know that it's also a fantastic multi-purpose cleaner and stain-remover, too?


How to Use Salt to Remove Stains

You can use salt to remove stains, watermarks, mildew, and can even get rid of stuck-on rust. Here's how:

Wine Stains

Wine stains, tomato stains, and other spills are much less of a hassle with the application of a bit of salt. After you've blotted up most of the liquid with a cloth or paper towel, immediately covering the damp stain with salt will help draw out the remaining wine. Rinse it thoroughly with cold water and repeat if necessary.

Sweat Stains

Sweat stains can be eliminated, too, with a simple salt-water solution. Add about 4 tablespoons of salt to one quart of hot water and sponge the fabric with it. The unsightly stains should disappear.


Rust is an unwanted sight whether it's on your favorite vegetable peeler or your kid's bike. To get rid of it, add salt and lemon juice together in a 3 to 1 ratio (3 tablespoons of salt for every 1 tablespoon of  lemon juice), apply the resulting paste to the rusted area, and rub away the rust with a dry cloth. This trick also works to get rid of mildew!


Watermarks on wood surfaces are also an unfortunate side effect of daily life. To eliminate the stain, all you need to do is mix up a paste of salt and cooking oil, apply it to the watermarked area with a sponge, and let it sit for a few minutes. After you wipe it away with a soft cloth and let it dry, the stain should disappear.

With these awesome tips, you can save a bit of money, get more mileage out of materials you already buy, and avoid the headache of frustrating stains!

What everyday items do you use to clean your house?

Photo from the Wikipedia Commons, courtesy of Jorge Royan

Katherine is a writer and blogger at Yummly, covering every topic in the world of food from “10 Surprising Uses for Baking Soda” to “How to Make Homemade Mayonnaise in Minutes.”

For more awesome food tips, tricks, and recipes, check out more of her work at the Yummly blog, or contact her via Yummly's Facebook and Twitter!

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