Salt has natural abrasive qualities. The next time you are scrubbing a pan in the sink, sprinkle some salt across the bottom of the pan. Now add a squirt of your favorite detergent, and just enough water to form a paste. Gently scrub the pan, allowing the abrasive action of salt to loosen any stuck-on food. It will also work with the detergent to cut grease. Rinse thoroughly with hot water and admire the gleaming result.
If you want to go completely natural, substitute some lemon juice for detergent. Better yet, cut a lemon in half, sprinkle salt all over the cut side, and use like a scrub pad. The citric acid and the salt make a great grease-cutting combination.
Salt is also great at absorbing spills and stains. Spilled red wine is one of the worst carpet disasters, but salt can save the day if you act quickly. Blot as much of the liquid as you can with a towel, being careful not to rub. This will only drive the stain deeper into the fibers of the carpet. Now pour salt all over the spill, completely covering the area. Leave until dry. Then vacuum the area thoroughly. Behold - a natural dry cleaner! The salt absorbs the stain and the vacuum whisks it away.
Salt in the laundry will help to set colors in new clothes. This is especially good for new denim that you don't want to fade. Toss the new jeans into the washer and add a cup or two of salt (one cup for small loads; two cups for larger loads). Fill with cold water and let soak overnight. Wash in cold water the next morning, and dry on the line or in the dryer. This method is also helpful for setting bright colors that might otherwise bleed during their first washing. (i.e. that red shirt that turned your whites pink!).
Copper or brass is easily cleaned with a mixture of salt and vinegar. Add a little flour to make a paste, and spread over the surface of the metal. After the paste dries, wipe with a clean cloth and buff to a shine.
You can even use salt to get rid of white rings on wood tabletops. Mix salt and vegetable oil to form a paste, and apply liberally to the ring. Allow the mixture to dry. Then buff gently with a soft cloth.
Salt is so versatile, but yet so natural. Other than the sting you get when salt finds that tiny paper cut on your finger, you can safely clean your home without wearing gloves. Salt is harmless - yes, even beneficial to your skin. (Think of all of the saltwater baths used to heal sores and other wounds.)
Sadly, the same cannot be said about the many household cleaners sold in stores. These harsh chemicals are dangerous when inhaled, and can even cross over into the bloodstream when they come in contact with your skin. (Read more about this process in my Kindle book