Ways to Use Sugar and Salt (That Don't Involve Eating!)

Learn the new and exciting ways to incorporate salt and sugar into your life.

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1.   Keep cut flowers looking fresher longer. 
Stir 3 teaspoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of vinegar into a vase of warm water, then add flowers. The sugar feeds the stems, while the vinegar stops bacteria from forming.

2.   Remove grass stains.
Combine sugar and warm water to create a thick paste; apply directly to the grass stain. Let the mixture sit on the stain for about an hour or two, then wash the garment as usual.

3.   A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. 
Mary Poppins said it herself, and studies have proven it: Babies and infants up to one year of age who were given sugar-water before immunization didn’t react as badly to the pain of the shots as infants who didn’t get a taste of the sweet stuff beforehand.

4.   Clean your coffee or spice grinder. 
Pour 1/4 cup of sugar into to your coffee or spice grinder and let it run for a few minutes. Just remember to dump out the grinder afterward and wipe it clean.

5.   Keep breads and cakes fresh. 
Add a few sugar cubes to the airtight container holding the baked goods.

6.  De-gunk your hands. 
Combine a little bit of olive oil and sugar, then rub the mixture all over your hands to remove dirt and grease.

7.   Test egg freshness.
Put two teaspoons of salt in a cup of water and place an egg in it — a fresh egg will sink, an older egg will float. Because the air cell in an egg increases as it ages, an older egg is more buoyant. This doesn't mean a floating egg is rotten, just more mature.

8.   Balance your garden worms. 
If your plants or plant roots look a little bumpier than normal, your plants may be infected with certain types of parasitic worms. If that's the case, sprinkle plants and the soil around them with handfuls of sugar. This will encourage the good species of worms and microorganisms to reproduce in the soil.

9.   Prevent fruits from browning.
Most of us use lemon or vinegar to stop peeled apples and pears from browning, but you can also drop them in lightly salted water to help them keep their color.

10.   Vanilla your sugar.
Split a vanilla bean in half and sink it in a jar full of sugar, let it sit for a week, and voilà, vanilla-perfumed sugar.

11.   Banish bugs and roaches. 
Although sugar can be a pest’s best friend, the addition of baking powder can make it their worst enemy. Combine about 2 tablespoons each of sugar and baking powder in a bowl, and sprinkle the mixture over any places you suspect bugs are hanging out. Reapply as needed and clean up often.

12.   Stop cheese from molding. 
To keep your favorite blue from turning fuzzy, place a sugar cube with the cheese in an airtight container. 

13.   Ease a spicy burn.
Acidic foods and dairy can lessen the pain of too much spiciness in the mouth, but a dash of sugar works well too.

14.   Shell nuts more easily.
Soak pecans and walnuts in salt water for several hours before shelling to make it easier to remove the meat.

15.   Prevent cake icing crystals.
A little salt added to cake icing prevents it from sugaring.

16.   Remove odors from hands.
Use soap and water, then rubbing them on anything made of stainless steel but you can also rub your fingers with a salt and vinegar combo.

17.   Reach high peaks.
Add a tiny pinch of salt when beating egg whites or whipping cream for quicker, higher peaks.

18.   “Sweeten” containers with salt.
Salt can "sweeten" and deodorize thermos bottles and jugs, decanters and other closed containers.

19.   Save the bottom of your oven.
If a pie or casserole bubbles over in the oven, put a handful of salt on top of the spill.

20.   Clean teeth.
Use one part fine salt to two parts baking soda — dip your toothbrush in the mix and brush as usual. You can also use the same mix dissolved in water for orthodontic appliances. This shouldn’t replace toothpaste for brushing your teeth.

21.   Rinse your mouth.
Mix equal parts salt and baking soda in water for a fresh and deodorizing mouth rinse.

22.   Ease mouth problems.
For canker sores, rinse your mouth with a weak solution of warm saltwater several times a day.

23.   Relieve bee-sting pain.
Immediately dampen area and pack on a small pile of salt to reduce pain and swelling. 

24.   Treat mosquito bites.
A saltwater soak can do wonders — a mixture of salt with olive oil can help  too.

25.   Have an exfoliating massage.
After bathing and while still wet give yourself a massage with dry salt. It freshens skin and boosts circulation.

26.   Ease throat pain.
Mix salt and warm water, gargle to relieve a sore throat.

27.   Deter ants.
Sprinkle salt at doorways, window sills, and anywhere else ants sneak into your house.

28.   Drip-proof candles.
If you soak new candles in a strong salt solution for a few hours, then dry them well, they will not drip as much when you burn them.

29.   Reducing eye puffiness.
Mix one teaspoon of salt in a pint of hot water and apply pads soaked in the solution on the puffy areas.

30.   Arrange artificial flowers.
Artificial flowers can be held in place by pouring salt into the vase, adding a little cold water and then arranging the flowers. The salt become solid as it dries and holds the flowers in place.

31.   Repair walls.
To fill nail holes, fix chips or other small dings in white Sheetrock or plaster walls, mix 2 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons cornstarch, then add enough water (about 5 teaspoons) to make a thick paste. Use the paste to fill the holes.

32.   Deter patio weeds.
If weeds or grass grow between bricks or blocks in your patio, sidewalk, or driveway, carefully spread salt between the cracks, then sprinkle with water or wait for rain to wet it down.

33.   Kill poison ivy.
Mix three pounds of salt with a gallon of soapy water (use a gentle dish soap) and apply to leaves and stems with a sprayer, avoiding any plant life that you want to keep.

34.   De-ice sidewalks and driveways.
One of the oldest tricks in the book! Lightly sprinkle rock salt on walks and driveways to keep snow and ice from bonding to the pavement and allow for easier shoveling/scraping. But don't overdo it; use the salt sensibly to avoid damage to plants and paws.

35.   Tame a wild barbecue.
Toss a bit of salt on flames from food dripping in barbecue grills to reduce the flames and calm the smoke.

36.   Clean sink drains.
Pour salt mixed with hot water down the kitchen sink regularly to deodorize and keep grease from building up.

37.   Remove water rings.
Gently rub a thin paste of salt and vegetable oil on the white marks caused by beverage glasses and hot dishes on wooden tables.

38.   Clean greasy pans.
Cast-iron skillets can be cleaned with a good sprinkling of salt and paper towels.

39.   Clean stained cups.
Mix salt with a dab of dish soap to make a soft scrub for stubborn coffee and tea stains.

40.   Clean refrigerators.
A mix of salt and soda water can be used to wipe out and deodorize the inside of your refrigerator, a nice way to keep chemical-y cleaners away from your food.

41.   Clean brass or copper.
Mix equal parts of salt, flour, and vinegar to make a paste, and rub the paste on the metal. After letting it sit for an hour, clean with a soft cloth or brush and buff with a dry cloth.

42.   Make a facial toner.
Salt helps to cleanse pores deeply. Mix one teaspoon sea salt with four ounces of warn water in small spray bottle until salt is dissolved. Mist on clean, dry skin, avoiding eyes.

43.   Clean a glass coffee pot.
Every diner waitress' favorite tip: add salt and ice cubes to a coffee pot, swirl around vigorously, and rinse. The salt scours the bottom, and the ice helps to agitate it more for a better scrub. 

44.   Attack wine spills.
If a tipsy guest tips wine on your cotton or linen tablecloth, blot up as much as possible and immediately cover the wine with a pile of salt, which will help pull the remaining wine away from the fiber. After dinner, soak the tablecloth in cold water for 30 minutes before laundering.

45.   Quell oversudsing.
Since, of course, we are all very careful in how much detergent we use in our laundry, we never have too many suds. But if someone overfills ... you can eliminate excess suds with a sprinkle of salt.

46.   Dry clothes in the winter.
Use salt in the final laundry rinse to prevent clothes from freezing if you use an outdoor clothes line in the winter.

47.   Brighten colors.
Wash colored curtains or washable fiber rugs in a saltwater solution to brighten the colors. Brighten faded rugs and carpets by rubbing them briskly with a cloth that has been dipped in a strong saltwater solution and wrung out.

48.   Remove perspiration stains.
Add four tablespoons of salt to one quart of hot water and sponge the fabric with the solution until stains fade.

49.   Remove blood stains.
Soak the stained cloth in cold saltwater, then launder in warm, soapy water and boil after the wash. (Use only on cotton, linen, or other natural fibers that can take high heat.)

50.   Tackle mildew or rust stains.
Moisten stained spots with a mixture of lemon juice and salt, then spread the item in the sun for bleaching — then rinse and dry.

51.   Use as hair volumizer.
Adding Epsom salt to conditioner helps you to rid your hair of excess oil, which can weigh hair down and leave it looking flat. Create your own homemade volumizer by combining equal parts Epsom salt and conditioner. Apply and leave in for 20 minutes before rinsing. Repeat the treatment weekly.

52.   Get sunburn relief.
Epsom salt’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a great tool for alleviating mild sunburn irritation. Take an empty spray bottle, mix two tablespoons of Epsom with one cup of water and spray on the affected area. Your days of dealing with messy aloe are over!

53.   Relieve dry lips.
Try giving your lips a deeper treatment using Epsom salt. Combine a few tablespoons of salt with a teaspoon of petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline), apply the solution to the lips, and gently rub it in.

54.   Brighten nails.
Salt softens cuticles and strengthens nails. Mix one teaspoon salt, one teaspoon baking soda, one teaspoon lemon juice and a half-cup of water in a small bowl. Soak nails in the solution for 10 minutes, then rinse hands and moisturize.

55.  Sore muscle soother.
Epsom salt can help to relieve sore muscles after workouts. Create a muscle-relaxing “paste” by dissolving a teaspoon of Epsom salt into a cup of hot water and cooling the solution in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

56.   Do an at-home pedicure.
Treat your feet to even more fun with a low-cost, at-home Epsom salt pedicure. Mix one half a cup of Epsom salt with warm soap water and soak.

57.   Clean your iron.
Pour out salt onto some paper, and run your iron over it while it's nice and warm. The salt will lift the stains, leaving the iron sparkling clean.

58.   Try a total body soak.
Making Epsom salt body-soaks a regular part of your routine can help keep you feeling rejuvenated and your skin hydrated and healthy.

59.   Give yourself a facial.
Epsom salt’s natural exfoliating properties help give facial pores a deep clean. For an Epsom salt facial, add one half a teaspoon of Epsom salt to any face cleansing cream. Apply to skin, rinse with cold water, and dry.

60.   Make your own bath crystals.
You can make your own at home by combining two cups of Epsom salt with a few drops of food coloring and a few drops of fragrance, such as eucalyptus or vanilla.

61.   Try this splinter remedy.
After you’ve managed to remove a minor splinter, relieve the swelling and irritation with an Epsom salt compress.

62.   Post-shower spa treatment.
Gentle exfoliation is a common treatment at many spas, and you can have the same experience for a fraction of the price at home.

63.   Try deep exfoliation.
For a more thorough exfoliation treatment, combine two cups of Epsom salt with a quarter cup of petroleum jelly.

64.   Keep chicken or turkey moist.
Rub salt in the cavity of the bird before cooking

65. Do an ice plunge.
Athletes have long used ice baths after workouts to decrease inflammation. For an effective cold-water plunge, add Epsom salt. Its natural anti-inflammatory properties can help keep muscles healthy after you’ve been working hard at the gym.

66.   Use Epsom salt as a sleep aid.
Because of its ability to soothe skin and relax muscles, Epsom salt can also contribute to a good night’s rest. Get some zzz’s by soaking in a warm Epsom salt bath before bed.

67.   Calm swelling, odor and other foot problems.
Experts say joint pain, swollen feet, foot and toe fungus, and foot odor can all be improved with a 15- to 20-minute warm Epsom salt foot soak.

68.   Get summer skin protection.
When dead and dry skin from tans or sunburns builds up, it can be hard to apply sunscreen effectively. Some experts suggest that you exfoliate your skin after a day in the sun (and before the next one) with an Epsom salt shower solution.

69.   Clean artificial flowers.
You can quickly freshen up artificial flowers by placing them in a paper bag with 1/4 cup salt. Give the bag a few gentle shakes, and your flowers will be as clean as the day you bought them.

70.   Make ice cream.
Mix milk, sugar and vanilla together and pour into the small plastic bag. Seal the bag and make sure it is not leaking. Put the small bag into the large bag, add the ice and sprinkle all of the salt over the ice. Now mash the bag for about 10 minutes until you can see that the milk has turned to ice cream.

71.   Ease fireplace cleanup.
If you douse the flames of a fireplace with salt, the fire will burn out more quickly, so you’ll wind up with less soot than if you let it smolder.

72.   Make your own brass and copper polish.
To shine your candlesticks or remove green tarnish from copper pots, make a paste by mixing equal parts salt, flour, and vinegar. Use a soft cloth to rub this over the item, then rinse with warm, soapy water and buff back to its original shine.

73.   Chill champagne quickly.
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 of the bottle. Fill with water. Wait 10 minutes; serve.

74.   Remove watermarks from wood.
Make them disappear by mixing 1 teaspoon salt with a few drops of water to form a paste. Gently rub the paste onto the ring with a soft cloth or sponge and work it over the spot until it’s gone.

75.   Restore a sponge.
To restore sponges, soak them overnight in a solution of about 1/4 cup salt per quart (liter) of water.

76.   Prevent grease splatters.
Add a few dashes of salt to the pan before beginning to fry foods that can splatter. You’ll cook without pain and you won’t have to clean grease off your cooktop.

77.   Speed up cooking time.
Add a pinch or two of salt to the water you are boiling food in. This makes the water boil at a higher temperature so the food you are cooking will require less time on the stovetop.

78.   Shell hard-boiled eggs with ease.
Add a teaspoon of salt to your water before placing the eggs in it to boil.

79.   Revive overcooked coffee.
Before you throw out the brew, try adding a pinch of salt to a cup.

80.   Erase tea and coffee stains.
You can easily scrub away unattractive rings by sprinkling salt onto a sponge and rubbing in little circles across the ring.

81.  Brighten up your cutting boards.
After you wash cutting boards and breadboards with soap and water, rub them with a damp cloth dipped in salt. The boards will be lighter and brighter in color.

82.   Relieve constipation.
If you're feeling a little constipated, you might try Epsom salts. Dissolve one tablespoon into a cup of warm water and drink. Note, this remedy should not be used more than once per day. If symptoms persist for more than a few days, it is always recommended to consult with a physician.

83.   Remove lipstick marks from glassware.
Before washing your glasses rub the edges with salt to erase lipstick stains.

84.   Clean discolored glass.
Mix a handful of salt in a quart of vinegar and soak the glassware overnight. The stains should wipe off in the morning.

85.   Revive wrinkled apples.
Soak them in mildly salted water to make the skin smooth again.

86.   Keep salad crisp.
Lightly salt the salad immediately after you prepare it, and it will remain crisp for several hours.

87.   Wash spinach more easily.
Wash spinach leaves in salted water. Dirt is driven out along with salt in the rinse water.

88.   Keep your milk fresh.
Add a pinch of salt to a carton of milk to make it stay fresh longer. This works for cream too.

89.   Prevent mold on cheese.
Prevent the mold by wrapping the cheese in a napkin soaked in salt water before storing it in the refrigerator.

90.   Use to whip cream and beat eggs.
The next time you whip cream or beat eggs, add a pinch of salt first. The cream will whip up lighter. The eggs will beat faster and higher, and they’ll firm up better when you cook them.

91.   Stop cut fruit from browning.
To ensure that cut apples and pears retain their color, soak them briefly in a bowl of lightly salted water.

92.   Set the color in new towels.
The first two or three times you wash new colored towels, add 1 cup salt to the wash. The salt will set the colors so your towels will remain bright much longer.

93.   Clean flowerpots without water.
Sprinkle in a little salt and scrub off the dry dirt with a stiff brush.

94.  Open hair-clogged drains.
Dissolve the mess with 1 cup salt, 1 cup baking soda, and 1/2 cup white vinegar. Pour the mixture down the drain. After 10 minutes, follow up with a 1/2 gallon of boiling water. Run your hot-water tap until the drain flows freely.

95.   Freshen your breath.
Mix 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda into 1/2 cup water. Rinse and gargle.

96.   Freshen your garbage disposal.
Dump in 1/2 cup salt, run the cold water, and start the disposal. The salt will dislodge stuck waste and neutralize odors.

97.   Pick up spilled eggs.
Cover the spill with salt. It will draw the egg together and you can easily wipe it up with a sponge or paper towel.

98.   Make a DIY handwash.
Mix equal parts Epsom salts and baby oil to create a moisturizing hand cleanser. Store this mixture in bottles next to all of the sinks around your home and use regularly to keep hands soft and clean.

99.  A pre-shampoo dandruff treatment.
The abrasiveness of ordinary table salt works great for scrubbing out dandruff before you shampoo. Grab a saltshaker and shake some salt onto your dry scalp.