Clean With Salt
Small Steps

Today's Small Step: Get Salty

There's no need for harsh chemicals—or tons of cash—when it comes to cleaning your kitchen and bathroom.

Last week, yoga expert Alex Sharry talked about how your body is a house, not a temple. As for actual houses? They’re not meant to be spotless, either. Life makes messes, and in the quest for online perfection, we’re often scrambling hard to make things immaculate.

The irony: Some “cleaners” can fill our air, water, and bodies with pollution—not to mention the millions of plastic containers we buy them in. But there’s a small step that can minimize our landfill impact, our household bills, and our chemical buildup all at once, and it’s so easy that you’re gonna laugh:

Buy some salt.

Every chem teacher knows that salt is one of nature’s great disinfectants. It’s also an amazing (and safe) way to remove wine stains, coffee grime — even pesticides. And salt cans cost under a dollar, which means swapping your chemical counter spray for sodium could save you hundreds, if not thousands, a year. (That’s enough for Beyonce tickets, right?)

Here are 4 ways to use salt instead of packaged chemical cleaners in your everyday life:

In a 2007 study, scientists left fresh, uncut fruits and veggies in a bowl of plain saltwater for 20 minutes. The food retained all of its nutritional value and taste—but it completely shed any pesticides and trace minerals.

Oops, some merlot got sloshed on your jeans at Book Club! Don’t use harsh chemicals—just pack a pile of salt onto the stain. Once you’re back home, soak your jeans in cold water for 30 minutes, then wash as usual. This also works for tablecloths, blouses, and pillowcases… because wine in bed is fine.

Your beloved Chemex can stay gleaming without any harsh chemicals. Instead, throw some salt and ice cubes inside and swirl it around like you’re mixing a martini. Repeat the process 1 minute later, then rinse for a deeper and safer clean.

Coasters are key, but if someone at your latest house party just couldn’t be bothered (ahem, Caitlin From Pilates Class), mix a paste with salt and a few drops of coconut or vegetable oil, then gently buff the surface until it’s clear.

Remember our friend the lemon? Cut one in half, pack some salt onto the pulpy side, and use it to scrub a rust stain. Leave for about an hour, then take a soft, clean cloth and clear it all away.

Small Steps