Think twice before you toss that spilled salt over your shoulder — the flavor enhancer is incredibly useful. “Salt has an affinity to water and can draw moisture out of many foods,” says Wolke. “Grains of table salt are also very hard, which is why they act as a handy abrasive.”
Use Salt to:
1. Make eggs or cream whip up faster and higher. Add a pinch of salt before beating.
2. De-ice sidewalks. In a pinch, it can be used as a substitute for rock salt.
3. Keep chicken or turkey moist. Rub salt in the cavity of the bird before cooking.
4. Prevent sautés made with eggplant or zucchini from getting watery. Sprinkle salt on these vegetables before cooking.
5. Eliminate sticky residue from an iron. Run the hot iron (no steam) over plain paper sprinkled with salt.
6. Clean drains. Pour a hot, strong solution (1/2 cup salt for every quart of water) down the drain.
7. Remove dirt from leafy vegetables, such as spinach. Wash the vegetables in a bath of salt water.
8. Prevent frost from accumulating inside car windows. Rub the glass with a solution of 2 teaspoons of salt in 1 gallon of hot water. Wipe dry.
9. Remove sangria and red-wine stains from your washables. Stretch the fabric over a bowl, cover the stain with salt, and carefully pour boiling water over it.
10. Keep shells from cracking when boiling eggs. Add a few pinches of salt to the water.
11. Chill a bottle of bubbly — fast. Place ice around its base in an ice bucket; sprinkle with a few tablespoons of salt. Layer salt and ice until they reach the neck. Fill with water. Wait 10 minutes; serve.
Some More Uses of Salt:
* Pick up a dropped egg. If an egg breaks on the kitchen floor, sprinkle salt on the mess and leave it there for 20 minutes. You'll be able to wipe it right up.
* Soothe a bee sting. Wet the sting right away, then cover it with salt.
Eliminate a grease fire. Pour salt on top to smother it. (Never use water on a grease fire.)
* Clean up oven spills. If food boils over onto the oven floor, sprinkle salt on top to stop smoke and odor from forming. When the oven is cool, it'll be easy to brush away the spot.
* Set color. If a dye may run, soak the garment for an hour in 1/2 gallon of water to which you've added 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup salt. If rinse water shows color, repeat. This is good for a single-colored fabric or madras. If the item is multicolored, dry-clean it. (Although American-made fabrics are unlikely to run, fabrics from abroad are sometimes iffy.)
* Kill poison ivy. Add three pounds of salt to a gallon of soapy water. Spray it onto leaves and stems.
* Make cream whip more easily and egg whites whip faster and higher. Add a pinch of salt.
* Test for rotten eggs. Put an egg in a cup of water to which you've added two teaspoons of salt. A fresh egg will sink, but one that's iffy will float.
* Clean the brown spots (from starch) off a non-stick soleplate (the bottom of your iron). Sprinkle salt on a sheet of waxed paper, slide the iron across it, then rub lightly with silver polish.
* Repel fleas. Wash the doghouse with it.
* Kill grass growing in cracks in the cement or between patio stones. Sprinkle salt on the grass and pour very hot water over it. Or sprinkle coarse salt on the grass, let stand all day or overnight, then pour hot tap water over it.
* Clean a glass coffee pot. Fill it with a quarter-cup of table salt and a dozen ice cubes. Swish the mixture around, let it sit for half an hour, fill it with cold water and rinse.
Halt the mountain of suds from an overflowing washing machine. Sprinkle salt on the top.
* Clean artificial flowers. Put them in a bag of salt and shake the bag. Take a look at the color of the salt and you'll see what you've accomplished.
* Keep windows frost-free. Dip a sponge into salt water and rub it on windows, and they won't frost up even when the mercury dips below 32 degrees; for the same effect on your car's windshield, put salt in a little bag made of cheesecloth, moisten it slightly and rub it on.
* Clean tarnished copper.Fill a 16-ounce spray bottle with hot white vinegar and three tablespoons of salt. Spray it onto the copper, let it sit briefly, then rub clean. (Don't do this to lacquered copper.)
* Keep radishes safe in the garden. Salt worms (cutworms) will be repelled if you sprinkle seeds with table salt, then cover with dirt.
* Clean coffee and tea stains from china cups. Rub them with salt.
* Keep potatoes and apples from turning brown once they're sliced. Put them in salted cold water.
* Clean a cutting board. Cover it with bleach and salt, scrub it with a stiff brush, then rinse with very hot water and wipe with a clean cloth. Repeat with each.