People have been extracting salt from the ocean and mining it from flats around the world for some 8,000 years.

Because of this, today, you can find the common mineral just about anywhere. It’s in packets, shakers, and cups. A pinch of the savory morsels can turn a bland dish into something to be desired…

But salt is useful even after you leave the dinner table and kitchen. Here are just a few of the other applications!

1. You can clean a clogged drain easily if you pour a cup of salt, half a cup of white vinegar, and one cup of baking soda down the drain. Wait ten minutes, pour a half gallon of boiling water down the drain, and it should be unclogged!

Flickr / espensorvik

2. Put four tablespoons of salt, a cup of crushed ice, and a splash of water into your coffee pot. Swirl it around and watch as the stains disappear!

3. Prevent greasy splatter when you’re frying by adding a pinch of salt to the oil.

4. Make it easier to clean up stovetop messes. Sprinkle some salt on the spill when your pots boil over…when it comes time for you to scrub it up, it’ll come off easily.

5. Salt is great for getting rid of grease stains. Rub one part salt and four parts rubbing alcohol into a carpet or furniture stain and watch it disappear. For clothes, sprinkle some salt on the stain and let it soak up the grease. Then, launder as usual.

6. If you’re suffering from a mosquito bite’s itch, rub some salt water on the spot. It’ll alleviate the itch and pain.

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7. By sprinkling a bit of salt in stinky shoes, you can deodorize them.

8. If there is a grease fire on your stove, don’t throw water on it! Instead, keep a box of salt nearby to douse the flames.

9. If you sprinkle some salt in an area where ants have been getting in, it will end the parade of pests. Ants tend to avoid walking over salt, thus creating a barrier.

10. Before you use a new toothbrush, soak it in salt water. It will extend the life of the brush.

11. Hate defrosting your windows? Wipe down your car windows with salt water the night before a frost and find your vehicle ready to go in the morning.

12. Clean wicker furniture, old brooms, or other natural fibers by scrubbing them with a stiff brush soaked in a solution of half a cup of salt and one gallon of warm water.

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13. If your cutting board is starting to look grimy, add some salt to a lemon slice and wipe the board with it. It’ll be as good as new in no time.

14. Make it easier to attack dirty pans by letting salt sit on them for a good ten minutes before scrubbing ’em clean.

15. Wetting a bee sting and covering it with salt will reduce the pain and swelling.

16. Use a mixture of warm water and salt to clean your fridge.

17. Sprinkle some salt on a piece of paper and run your dirty iron over the sheet while it’s on the hottest setting. It should clean it right up.

18. Soaking candles in a salt-water solution for a few hours will help them drip less.

19. Here’s how you can polish your fine silver with boiling water, vinegar, salt, and baking soda.

20. Clean dirty sponges by soaking them overnight in a salt-water solution that’s 1/4 cup salt per one quart of water.

21. Kill poison ivy with a mixture of salt, vinegar, and liquid detergent. Here’s the recipe.

(via CNET)

Grab those little salt packets you get with takeout orders and start putting them to good use (rather than just tossing them in the silverware drawer!).

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