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2X4: Four Secrets of Salt

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Jessica
07.30.12

It’s perfect on the rim of your margarita and adds a pinch of flavor to your filet, but did you know salt can also clean your oven and keep flowers fresh? Learn more about this nifty, inexpensive kitchen staple:

   

Clean Your Oven. Your soufflé may look superb, but a little bit drizzled on the bottom of the oven while it was baking. To clean baked-on oven stains, all you need is table salt, water and a paper towel! Allow your oven to completely cool, and then sprinkle a generous amount of table salt over the stain. Wait about 10 minutes, and then wipe the salt away with a damp paper towel. It’ll come right off. For more oven-related tips, read: Don’t Crowd The Oven and Other Pro Baking Tips.

Keep Flowers Fresh. Keep your daisies fresh and your sunflowers yellow by adding a dash of salt to the water in the vase. This works because salt is “food” for the flowers and inhibits bacterial growth. Also be sure to cut the stems at an angle so they don’t rest flat on the bottom of the vase. This allows for a better transfer of water up the stems. Re-cut the stems each day when you change your water to the keep the ends open. Tip: An aspirin or a pinch of sugar will have the same effect.

Kill Poison Ivy. If you’ve ever suffered from an itchy, red rash after a walk in the woods, then you’re well acquainted with this three-leaved nuisance. In the United States, poison ivy grows east of the Rockies and is normally found in wooded areas. To kill poison ivy in your yard, mix three pounds of salt with one gallon of soapy water (use a gentle dishwashing soap). Fill a plastic water bottle with the mixture, and then apply it to the leaves and stems of poison ivy. Note: Avoid spraying any plant life that you don’t want to kill!

Prevent Brown Fruit. You may have heard that a squirt of lemon juice will keep peeled fruit like apples and pears from browning, but did you know lightly salted water will also do the trick? Simply fill a bowl with room temperature water and add about a tablespoon of salt. After you’ve sliced your fruit, let it sit in the water mixture for several minutes. Rinse away the salt water and then serve your fruit with peanut butter, or try these easy-to-make apple nachos.

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