January 29, 2018

Salt is essential. Our bodies need it to stay in balance. And of course it's a key ingredient for making food tasty. In fact, salt is the only rock we crave to eat!

But salt is also a smart, simple tool for some surprising kitchen hacks. Check it out:

1. Use salt to clean burnt-on food off skillets and pots

Burnt bits are hard to clean off pots and pans using elbow grease alone. Instead of soaking dirty pans in soapy water, try spreading a layer of salt on the bottom. Wait 10 minutes. Then clean as normal. And save your elbows for another day.

2. Use salt to chill drinks fast

Turns out, salt prevents water molecules from easily forming ice crystals. Which means adding salt to cold water lets the temperature plunge below 32 degrees F. So if you're ever stuck with warm drinks and thirsty guests, don't worry. You can chill it in mere minutes. Fill a cooler or large pasta pot with with ice, water, and lots of salt. Submerge the drinks in the ice water -- the more coverage, the better. Wait about 3 to 5 minutes, agitating the bottles or cans in the water if you like. Then thrill to the chill!

3. Use salt to clean up a broken egg

We've all let a raw egg slip between our fumbly fingers to the floor or counter top -- splat! It's a gross, slimey mess that's surprisingly hard to clean up with just a soapy wet cloth. Instead, spread a layer of salt over the mess, and wait 10 minutes. Then just wipe it up with a cloth or paper towel. Easy!

4. Use salt as a substitute for dish washing detergent

Forget to grab a container of dish washing soap at the grocery store? No worries. You can DIY your own: Combine 1 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of washing soda, 1 cup of kosher salt, and 3 packages of unsweetened lemonade. For a regular load of wash, use 1 tablespoon of DIY dishwasher soap. 2 tablespoons for tough jobs.