salt and ice to keep garbage disposal running smoothly

15 Ways to Solve It With Salt and Make Your Life Easier

Sometimes the very thing you need to solve an ordinary household problem is sitting right in the pantry. Take salt for example. It’s amazing stuff! And it’s cheap, too.

salt and ice to keep garbage disposal running smoothly

Clean disposal

Dump a bunch of ice cubes into the garbage disposal followed by about 1/2 cup of ordinary table salt (either iodized or plain).

Turn on the disposal while running a small stream of water down the drain. Use a long-handled wooden spoon or similar, to carefully push all the ice into the running disposal. Keep it on for at least two minutes, which should be long enough for all the built-up gunk and grime to begin falling off the disposal’s blades. Turn off the water.

Do this weekly between monthly deep-cleaning of your garbage disposal to keep it running smoothly, odor-free, and sparkling clean.

Set color

If the dye in a garment or household item is not colorfast, it’s going to fade the moment you put it through the laundry. Dark-colored jeans are notorious for this. Here’s a great way to set that color to make the item more resistant to fading.

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. Rinse. If rinse water has any color in it, repeat. Use only on single-colored items. If the item is multicolored, have it professionally dry-cleaned to avoid the colors all running together.

Soften new jeans

The uncomfortable stiffness of a pair of new denim jeans can be remedied by adding 1/2 cup salt to the wash cycle along with detergent. Your jeans will be soft and supple the first time you wear them.

Itchy skin

For skin that is chapped or itchy for any number of reasons (poison ivy, insect bites, food allergy rashes, or post sunburn skin peeling), bathing in salt water is soothing. Just add ½ to 1 cup salt to a bath of warm water. After bathing, smooth on aloe vera gel or other lotion or cream for immediate soothing relief.

Clean your iron

Salt can easily remove the gunk that builds up on the surface of your household iron. Sprinkle a little salt on a piece of wax paper or a soft cloth and run the hot iron over it to remove all the buildup. Repeat as necessary. Works like sandpaper without scratching.

No more sugaring

Just a pinch of salt added to cake icing will keep it lovely to the last piece, preventing it from forming crunchy crystals known as “sugaring.”

Prevent browning

As you are peeling apples, pears, or potatoes, drop them into cold, lightly salted water and they will retain their color.

Glass carafes

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant that serves a lot of coffee, you’re bound to know this handy trick to keep the pots looking fresh and new. Pour about 2 tablespoons salt into the empty carafe plus enough crushed ice to fill the pot about 1/3 full. If you don’t have an ice crusher, just whack a few cubes with a heavy object to make smaller pieces.

Vigorously swirl the contents in a circular motion the stains and burned-on coffee lifts right off. When finished, dump the contents and finish with dishwashing liquid and water.

Extend freshness

Add a pinch of salt to a new container of milk. Shake it up well. This will not affect the taste or texture in any way—but that milk will stay fresh much longer because salt inhibits bacteria.

Prevent grease splatters

Add a few dashes of salt to the oil frying food. This helps prevent the grease from splattering and making a big mess on the stovetop.

Keep it crisp

Prep and store lettuce and spinach then store in a saltwater bath in the fridge. Those greens will remain crisp and clean. Just rinse and serve.

Bathroom drain cleaner

To help dissolve scum and hair in a sluggish bathroom sink and tub drains, pour a mixture of 1 cup salt and 1 cup baking soda into the drain. Carefully follow with 1/2 cup white vinegar. You’ll get a little show as the vinegar bubbles and gurgles.

Allow to stand for 15 minutes. Flush with 2 quarts boiling water poured directly into the drain (be careful!) followed by flushing hot tap water down the drain for 1 minute. You can repeat this process if necessary. Bonus: Salt keeps small roots from taking up residence in your pipes.

Prevent pantyhose runs

Mix two cups of salt with one gallon of warm water. Immerse clean dry pantyhose. Soak for three hours or overnight. Rinse the hose in cool water and allow to drip dry. (You can save the soaking liquid for future use.) The salt toughens the fibers, which makes them more resistant to snags and runs.

Stains on porcelain

Porcelain sinks and tubs can become stained with watermarks and other substances that are hard to remove. This gentle scouring powder will help remove those stains without scratching the surfaces. Mix 1 cup salt with 1 cup baking soda and keep it in a sealed container. Use the mixture as you would any scouring powder.


The life of wicker patio furniture, baskets, or other wicker items can be extended by using salt. It will also brighten, clean, and prevent white wicker furniture from yellowing. First, mix together salt and water (about 1 cup of salt in 1-gallon warm water). Then, using a stiff brush, dip it in the salt water and wash down the items. Do not rinse. Finally, let the furniture dry in the sun.

Caution: Salt can harm or even kill vegetation, so make sure you aren’t creating a saltwater runoff onto the lawn or other things you’d rather not kill in the process of treating your wicker items.


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7 replies
  1. Nancy says:

    I love the crunchy cake icing! I don’t like the bare leg look, unless you’re young and don’t have optic white legs. I do wear panty hose occasionally, I don’t care what the stylists say.

  2. Sheri B. says:

    Here in Southern California we in Covina. We got a notice from the city to put meat, veg, even meat with sauce in a green bin out in the alley way. Our manager told us not to use the garbage disposal but put the stuff that the city said in a brown paper bag and throw it in the green bin.
    I have lived here for 30 yrs and this is the first time I have been told not to use the garbage disposal.
    : (

    • Sandra C Wegmann says:

      They are not being allowed any more in new homes in Canada, I have been told. The city prefers you to compost — providing bins and pick up. Too many problems with stuff tossed down the drain in the garburator (as it is called in Canada!) A lot of toxic stuff that can’t be removed in water treatment has been known to end up down the sink!!

  3. Jenni Glenn says:

    They all sound plausible except for storing salad greens in salt water. Why don’t they turn to green mush?


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