If money makes the world go round, then salt keeps food afloat. Without it we’d all be crying into plates of beige blandness and dreading the approach of every meal. Salt gives flavour, provides character and can even help food last for far longer than it would do naturally. It’s awesome.
As if that wasn’t enough, salt’s superpowers go far beyond the world of cooking. In the right hands, sodium chloride can help with a whole load of odd jobs around the house - you just need to know what you’re doing. Here are a few hacks that will change the way you look at table salt forever.
1. Remove wine stains
Nothing’s more annoying than a dark red splodge in the middle of your brand new Persian. Fortunately, salt is here to save the day. Cover the affected area immediately with salt and leave for several hours, or overnight if possible. The salt crystals will absorb the moisture, turning pink in the process, and can then be scraped and vacuumed off - taking the stain with them.
2. Make flowers last longer
No one likes to see a drooping vase of daffodils. A simple solution is to dissolve a teaspoon of salt in the water in which the cut stems sit. The salt will not only keep the bacteria at bay, but will also encourage osmosis, keeping the flowers far fresher for far longer.
3. Preserve milk
The eternal battle against rotting milk has been keeping people occupied for centuries. Though fridges and pasteurisation certainly help, there is a far more rudimentary method that can buy you an extra day or two. After you’ve opened a bottle for the first time, take a pinch of salt and mix it with the rest of the milk - you won’t be able to taste it and the milk will last longer.
4. Keep cheese fresh
There are few things more frustrating than discovering what should be a delicious lump of cheese, only to realise the whole thing has turned blue and furry. Here, salt can once again swoop in on a white horse. Soak a cloth in a saltwater solution and then cover the block with it before it goes into the fridge. The salt will preserve the cheese for far longer than you’d expect.
5. Remove sweat stains
It’s hard to think of many things less appetising than a big yellow sweat stain on a plain white t. An easy remedy is to take the offending item and apply salt and water directly to the affected areas. Leave to soak, then wash and voila - the stains will be gone.
6. Reduce puffy eyes
Heading into work looking like you’ve just partied with Hunter S Thompson is never good. As it turns out, salt can even lend a hand with cosmetics. Soaking a cotton pad in salted water, dabbing it under your eyes and keeping in place for 10 minutes will help to draw out any excess fluid - visibly reducing puffiness and swelling.
7. Make coffee less bitter
On the face of it, mixing salt and coffee seems inherently ridiculous. However, there is method in the madness. By adding a hint of sodium chloride to your coffee, you can actually help to bring out the naturally occuring sodium in the beans themselves - taking the bitter edge off and ultimately enhancing the flavour.
Salt is one of the most deceptively unassuming things you can find in the kitchen. You might think that it’s little more than a handy way to make chips taste good, but there’s more to this magic powder than meets the eye. Suddenly the salt seller seems a whole lot more interesting.