How to Use Salt as a Natural Cleaner

© Feng Yu/

How to Clean with Salt

Salt is a great multi-purpose item
How to Use Salt as a Natural Cleaner

© Feng Yu/

Do you have pots and pans with stains and grease residue too stubborn to come off? You can buy all different types of cleaning products to help remove those hard-to-scrub situations, but there’s one thing that is in everybody’s pantry that can help in this situation too: salt. Indeed, this pantry staple is one of the best natural cleaning items.

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Salt is a gentle abrasive and has a gritty texture, which is good for scraping away stains, leftover food bits and other residues on pans. Not only that, but salt is also an absorbent. Similar to baking soda, salt can absorb grease, and once it comes in contact with water, it will dissolve, creating a saline solution that can break down protein-based stains.

Salt can help clean your cutting board, for instance. After cutting meat, the salt will absorb the moisture from the meat and prevent bacterial contamination. But it can also be used to clean and maintain the boards. The next time you use a cutting board while cooking chicken, turkey, steak and other foods, use salt and lemon to clean the board and avoid bacteria living between the cracks.

To maintain and clean your cutting board, sprinkle some coarse or kosher salt over the board, then cut a lemon in half. Use the fleshy side to scrub the salt on each side of the cutting board. Finally, let the salt and lemon solution sit for about five minutes before cleaning it off with a sponge and rinsing.

If your pots are getting rusty, salt can fix that too. For big pots, use a gallon of white distilled vinegar and one cup of table salt. If your pot is smaller, half a gallon of vinegar and half a cup of salt should work fine. Allow the pots to soak for 12 hours or even a few days, then use steel wool or a bristled brush to scrub off any remaining rust. The salt is what increases the potency of acid in vinegar to help remove the rust, so you will have to soak your pot in a gallon of water and 1 cup of baking soda for 10 minutes to neutralize the acid. Once done, your pot should be good to go.

Have a pan that has greasy residue left over? Drop some coarse salt into the pan, dry scrub it with your sponge and give it a rinse. Is your sink clogged from food particles stuck in the drain? Combine 1 cup of baking soda and a half cup of salt, then pour down the drain and wait for at least two or three hours before rinsing with hot water.


If you use salt to help you clean, you won’t have to worry about the chemical dangers in some cleaning products like oven cleaners. It is also one of the many tips and tricks you can use for hand-washing your dishes.