Laundry Hacks: Using Salt for Stain Removal and More

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Home Improvement

Did you know that salt is a versatile laundry hack? It can remove stains, brighten colors, and even help with ironing. In this article, we’ll explore the different ways salt can be used in laundry. However, please note that these tips should not be applied to dry-clean-only fabrics.

Preserve Colors

Salt can help maintain the vibrancy of colors in your clothes. Here are some tips:

  • Prevent color bleeding by adding half a cup of salt to the wash cycle.
  • Brighten washable curtains and rugs by washing them in a saltwater solution.
  • Restore faded rugs by rubbing them with a strong saltwater solution.
  • Remove yellowing on cotton or linen fabrics by boiling them in a mixture of water, salt, and baking soda.
  • Whiten nylon curtains by soaking them in warm water with Epsom salts.

Remove Rust Stains

If your fabric has rust stains, here’s how you can remove them using salt:

  • Make a paste with salt and vinegar, then apply it to the stain.
  • Lay the fabric out in the sun to bleach or pour boiling water through the stained area.
  • Rinse the item, and repeat the treatment if the stain persists.

Ironing Made Easy

Ironing can be tedious, but salt can make it easier:

  • Clean your iron’s surface by running it over a piece of paper with salt on it.
  • Add salt to laundry starch to prevent the iron from sticking and to give a smooth finish to linens or fine cottons.

Stain Removal Guide

Here are some tips for removing stains using salt:

  • Soak a blood stain in cold saltwater for an hour before washing and boiling the fabric.
  • For a fresh blood stain, cover it with salt and blot with cold water until the stain disappears.
  • For a gravy stain, cover it with salt to absorb the grease. For stubborn stains, use a mixture of ammonia and vinegar.
  • Remove fresh grease stains by covering them with salt, brushing away the salt, and laundering as usual.

Double-knit fabrics can pose a challenge when it comes to removing grease stains. To tackle this issue, mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt with a small amount of ammonia and apply the solution directly onto the stain. Allow it to sit for a while before washing the fabric as usual.

For ink stains, rub salt onto the affected area and soak the fabric in milk overnight. Afterward, wash the fabric as you normally would.

To remove mildew stains, create a paste using lemon juice and salt and apply it to the affected area. Leave the garment in the sun to bleach, then rinse and dry. Alternatively, a mixture of salt, vinegar, and water can be used to remove mildew stains from most fabrics.

To prevent mildew growth on shower curtains, soak them in saltwater (1/2 cup of salt per bathtub full of water) for several hours before hanging them to dry.

For wine stains on cotton fabrics, sprinkle salt onto the affected area to absorb the liquid. Soak the fabric in cold water for an hour, then launder it as usual.

Salt can be a useful ingredient in laundry, even in removing perspiration stains. To do this, mix 1 quart of water with 4 tablespoons of salt and sponge it onto the stained area. Repeat this process until the stain disappears, then wash the fabric as usual.

Adding salt to your wash cycle can also help remove stains, armpit discoloration, and keep colors bright. It’s a versatile household cleaner that can be used to remove stains such as rust, grease, blood, ink, and mildew.

Salt and white vinegar can be used together in laundry to remove stains, brighten colors, and deodorize the wash load. Additionally, adding salt to laundry starch can prevent your iron from sticking to clothing, giving your clothes a smoother finish.

For more information on laundry and household cleaning, check out related articles on HowStuffWorks.


1. How can salt help with laundry?

Salt can help with laundry in a few different ways. It can brighten colors, remove stains, and prevent shrinking.

2. How can I use salt to brighten colors?

To brighten colors, add a teaspoon of salt to the wash cycle with your regular detergent. This will help prevent colors from fading and keep them looking vibrant.

3. Can salt remove stains?

Yes, salt can be used to remove stains. Mix salt with water to create a paste and apply it directly to the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes before washing as normal.

4. How can salt prevent shrinking?

Adding salt to the wash cycle can help prevent shrinking by setting the dye in the fabric. This is especially helpful for cotton and wool items that are prone to shrinking in the dryer.

5. Can I use salt instead of fabric softener?

Salt can act as a natural fabric softener by helping to remove mineral buildup in the fabric. However, it may not provide the same level of softness as commercial fabric softeners.

6. How much salt should I use for laundry?

For a standard load of laundry, use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt. Adjust the amount depending on the size of your load and the level of staining or fading you want to prevent.

7. Can I use salt for both colored and white laundry?

Yes, salt can be used for both colored and white laundry. However, be sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to make sure it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage.

8. Can I add salt to the dryer instead of the wash cycle?

No, salt is best added to the wash cycle. Adding it to the dryer can cause damage to the machine or the clothes.

9. Is there any type of salt that works best?

Any type of salt can be used for laundry purposes, including table salt, sea salt, and kosher salt. However, avoid using salt that has added flavorings or spices as these can stain or damage clothes.

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