The Kitchen Ingredient You Can Use To Clean An Oil Spill Off The Countertop

Kitchens get messy, and sometimes things spill that you haven't anticipated. While it's normal to get some oil splatter on your backsplash while you're cooking in a frying pan, or some rogue drizzles on your counter as you pour it over chicken or a salad, things can get a little dicey if you knock over a bottle and a puddle forms on the counter. While it might be simple enough to wipe away a smattering, a glob of olive oil is another matter. Not only will it require you to use an excessive amount of paper towels, creating a lot of unnecessary waste, but you will also be left with a slick counter. You will need to take out cleaning sprays and microfiber cloths to clean up the residue, which can take several passes before it's tidied. However, what if we told you there is a simpler way to clean an olive oil spill, and all you need is salt? 

This is a great hack to try because everyone has salt in their house. Just grab it from your cupboard or pantry and use it to clean up your mess in seconds. Not only will it negate the need to waste a ton of paper towels or recycled rags, but it also gives salt a second use around the house. Here's how.

How to use salt to clean spilled olive oil

All you need to do is grab some table salt and pour it directly onto the oil, covering the puddle evenly. Allow it at least five minutes to soak, and scoop up the mess with one paper towel and throw it away. This negates the need to use half a roll just to sop up the mess. The salt pulls the oil into its granules, acting like a natural sponge. You will likely have a light sheen left over from the oil residue, which you can clean away with water and a grease-busting soap such as Dawn. 

Salt not only works because it absorbs the mess, but it also helps oxidize the oil, which breaks it down. This makes it easier to clean up, creating less of a hassle for you. It's why it's also recommended to sprinkle some salt on greasy clothes stains before washing them, since the pantry staple helps break down and lift the worst of the stain. The same rules apply to your countertop.