Whether you sprinkle it on your fish and chips, gargle it in water to ease the sting of an ulcer, or use a trail of it to stop pesky ants in their tracks, there are lots of uses for salt around the house.

For Salt Awareness Week (March 16-22), here are a few suggestions to get you started…

1. Brighten wicker furniture

Stop your wicker furniture from going yellow or fading in the sun by scrubbing with a stiff brush that’s been dipped in warm, salty water and leave it to dry in the sun. If you do this once a year it will always look like new.

2. De-whiff shoes

If your trainers or canvas shoes are smelling less than pleasant, it’s easy to freshen them up by sprinkling some salt inside to absorb any sweat that’s causing them to be on the pongy side. Don’t use on leather shoes though as it could ruin them!

3. Stop the stinging

When your medicine cabinet isn’t to hand, poison ivy and bee stings can be quickly soothed by soaking a cold compress in hot salty water for a few minutes to ease the irritation and stinging sensation.

4. Red wine SOS

Next time someone knocks a glass of red wine over on the carpet it doesn’t have to end in stain tragedy. After cleaning with white wine and soaking with a sponge and cold water, sprinkle some salt over the stain so it absorbs the liquid for 10 minutes – then hoover it up.

5. Keep coloured towels fresh

If you’ve bought some bright bathroom towels, stop the colour fading by adding a cup of salt to the wash the first few times you wash them. Apparently the salt will set the colour so your towels remain brighter for longer. A genius idea!

6. Remove watermarks from wood

Wondered how you can hide a stain on your coffee table? You don’t need to worry about being tactical with coasters if you mix one teaspoon of salt with a few drops of water to form a paste. Rub the paste into the stain with a clean cloth until you’ve buffed the mark out like a pro.

7. Keep cheese fresh

Stop your cheese from going mouldy by wrapping in a napkin soaked in salty water before storing in the fridge – it’s said to work a treat!

8. Say no to weeds

Low-maintenance gardeners may find they have less weeding to do by sprinkling salt directly onto any pesky weeds. Moisten the salt with a sprinkle from your watering can, or just wait for it to rain, and your homemade weed killer should start to work straight away.

9. Keep milk fresh

A nice simple one to follow – keep milk fresher for longer by adding a pinch of salt to stop it going sour.

10. Speedy cooking

Next time you’re boiling something in a pan and you want to speed things up, add a pinch or two of salt to the water you are boiling. It will make the water boil at a higher temperature so the food you’re cooking needs less time on the hob.

11. Ditch the dandruff

If your flaky scalp is proving tricky, shake some salts onto a dry scalp and massage into your head in circular movements for a few minutes. Once you’ve sloughed off the dry skin, finish with by washing your hair with a good shampoo to get it squeaky clean.

12. Banish glass stains

If you’ve still got greasy marks on your wine glasses after they’ve come out from the dishwasher, mix a handful of salt with some vinegar and leave to soak for a few hours. The stains should then wipe away like magic.

13. Wipe away oven spills

Lasagne bubbled over in the oven? Just sprinkle some salt onto the spills before they go hard, then when the oven cools down you’ll be able to wipe away the remains without scolding your hands.

14. Fire safety

If you enjoy the warmth of an open fire at home this handy trick could be worth remembering. Next time you want to put the flames out douse them with a few handfuls of salt. The next day you’ll also find you’ve been left with less soot to clean up as the fire hasn’t smouldered either.

15. Remove sweat stains

If a white T-shirt has unsightly yellow patches, don’t throw it in the bin just yet. Just dissolve four teaspoons of salt in one litre of water and soak the T-shirt until the stains disappear.

16. Test the freshness of eggs

When you’re unsure how fresh your eggs are just add two teaspoons of salt to one cup of water and gently place the egg in a cup of water – a fresh egg will sink while an older egg will generally float.

Do you have any quirky uses for salt? Share them with us in the Comments section below.