Sorrel salt: 5 possible uses at home

Used for more than two centuries, sorrel salt still has great services to render in a house. This very versatile product is capable of whitening wood, stone, linen, reviving marble and overcoming the most stubborn stains, especially rust… How could we do without it?

Ah good, can we make salt with sorrel?

We should rather talk aboutoxalic acid dihydrate (2H2O), even ethanedioic acid… But admit that “sorrel salt” sounds better. It is an acid, therefore, naturally present in large quantities in the roots of certain plants such as sorrel, rhubarb, buckwheat or beets. Once purified and reduced to a powder state, a crystalline, white and odorless substance, resembling salt, is obtained.

But beware, sorrel salt is not at all intended for food use. If it is found in many vegetables (cucumbers, potatoes, broccoli, cabbage…), it is in very small doses. These tiny amounts are good for your health. But don’t you dare salt your mash with this kind of product!

What is certain is that sorrel salt has been known since 1776 for its stain-removing properties. It is a powerful and active bleaching agent on all kinds of materials (wood, plastic, textile, etc.). In professional use, it is used to purify water or to protect bees against certain parasites. At home, you will see that sorrel salt is useful for all kinds of things…

How to use sorrel salt at home?

This ultra-powerful product is easy to use provided you follow certain precautions, as this acid is dangerous in its pure state.

Sorrel salt, instructions for use

The sorrel salt is used diluted in hot water, according to proportions which can vary according to the use. Generally count 100 grams of sorrel salt for one liter of water. The application of the product is followed by a more or less long action time, then by abundant rinsing. We will tell you in which case it must then be wiped or left to dry…

Essential precautions

Oxalic acid is a highly corrosive and toxic product. Direct contact with skin or eyes may cause serious injury. It should not be inhaled, let alone ingested.

    • For you protectwear latex gloves, eye protection and a dust mask.


    • Think of valves the room to avoid a concentration of the product which would be dangerous to breathe. If you can work outside, even better.


    • Know that l’ingestion sorrel salt can be deadly. Always keep this product out of the reach of children or pets. And in case of accidental ingestion, urgently contact a doctor. Don’t make the person vomit.


If you respect these few rules of caution, the use of sorrel salt is very simple. This versatile product proves to be a powerful ally for certain domestic uses…

1 – Clean and bleach the wood

Your terrace has become dull, your wooden frames are looking gray, your parquet has lost its shine, your garden furniture is gloomy… Give them a new lease of life thanks to the whitening effect of sorrel salt. It is an essential product for cleaning or preparing the renovation of a wooden surface. The advantage: treatment with sorrel salt restores the wood to its original colour.

    • To bleach wood, start with to clean surface, taking care to remove any paint residue. Scrub well with a heavy-duty brush.


    • Prepare your mixture, at the rate of 200 grams of sorrel salt per liter of water. The crystals should be completely dissolved.


    • Apply the mixture on the surface, using a brush or a cloth. Put on a good layer.


    • let it work during two hours.


    • Rinse plenty of clean water.


    • Wipe with a rag.


    • Let finish drying outdoors.


    • When it’s dry, rub the surface with a clean cloth to remove small traces of sorrel salt. If some white residue persists, rinse again, then let dry.


    • Smooth the wood by gentle sanding.


    • Wait at least 24 hours to treat the surface, for example if you want to apply a stain.


    • Do not use sorrel salt on vitrified parquet. The varnish would not resist its corrosive action.


You can use the same technique to effectively whiten stone, granite, brick, and even linoleum or vinyl flooring.

2 – Remove rust stains

When it comes to rust, sorrel salt has earned a fine reputation. We don’t always know how to get rid of this kind of stain. However, no stain of rust can withstand a few grams of sorrel salt! Sorrel salt is effective on all materials: pipes, plumbing, concrete, tiles, worktops, textiles, plastics, etc.

    • On most of these mediums, start by moistening the surface to be treated, where the rust stain is. Soak a sponge or cloth with diluted sorrel salt. Apply this mixture to the stain and leave on for 15 minutes. Then rinse the surface.


    • For machine washable textiles : replace your usual detergent with a tablespoon of sorrel salt. Put it in the detergent compartment or directly in the drum. Launch a long cycle with pre-wash, without adding any other product (no detergent, no softener, nothing). Once this program is finished, when the laundry is rinsed and spun, start a normal washing cycle with your usual detergent. Some very dark rust stains may persist. In this case, wash again.


    • For delicate textiles, which does not machine wash (or not hot) or wash by hand, proceed differently. Dampen the laundry. Dab the rust stain with a sponge or cloth soaked in the water + sorrel salt mixture. Leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse the laundry. All you have to do is wash the garment as usual.


3 – Remove all stubborn stains

Whether on clothes or other surfaces, certain stains can sometimes give you a hard time. Think for example of stains of blood, ink, grease, etc.

    • For stained textiles, just add two tablespoons of sorrel salt to the detergent compartment of the washing machine (or to the hand wash water). Sorrel salt has an advantage: it respects all fabrics, even the most fragile (silk, linen, etc.).


    • For any other material, apply your mixture of hot water and sorrel salt on the stained surface. You will overcome the worst stains in all rooms: bathtub, sink, kitchen utensils, wood, linoleum, vinyl, floor, etc.


4 – Launder your white textiles

Sorrel salt is an excellent whitening agent. It is also used in the composition of many whitening products. When you do a white laundry, use it in addition. For a laundry of 4 to 5 kilos, you just need to add a tablespoon of sorrel salt to your usual laundry. Remember: sorrel salt should always be dissolved before use. Then put this mixture in the detergent compartment of the washing machine and start the cycle. Your fabrics regain their bright white!

5 – Revive the marble

A yellowed marble fireplace is not the most beautiful effect. Fortunately, sorrel salt can restore marble to its original shine. And rest assured, it won’t harm marble – or any other material for that matter. In a liter of hot water, mix 7 tablespoons of sorrel salt and lemon juice. Add a drop of bleach if needed. Dampen a soft cloth with this mixture and gently apply it all over the marble surface. Then rinse with clean water and dry carefully. Never leave any wet marks on marble.

Use it for so much more…

    • Tan and bleach leather and cork;


    • Whiten the paper;


    • Remove a tannin stain from oak;


    • To sand marble (as an abrasive agent);


    • Develop old film photos;


    • Clean brass, deoxidize all metals.


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