1 of 22Photo: John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran
Beans as Candle Anchor
Pretty and functional. Fill a hurricane vase with beans before adding a pillar candle to help keep the candle steady and minimize mess (the beans will catch the wax).
2 of 22Photo: John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran
Drink Holder as Fruit Protector
Rough commute? Slide a drink cooler over an apple to keep it from bruising in your lunch tote.
3 of 22Thayer Allyson Gowdy
Apple as Tomato Ripener
To ripen tomatoes in half the time, place them in a bowl with an apple or two and cover it with plastic wrap.
4 of 22James Baigrie
Citrus Peel as Garbage Disposal Deodorizer
Keep your disposal smelling fresh by dropping a few peels down the drain and flipping the switch.
5 of 22Tria Giovan
Citrus Peel as Brown Sugar Softener
Avoid rock-hard brown sugar and preserve the moisture by dropping a three inch-long orange peel into the bag.
6 of 22Thayer Allyson Gowdy
Coffee Filter as Soil Saver
Place one filter over a flowerpot’s drainage hole to prevent soil from leaking out.
7 of 22Antonis Achilleos
Coffee Filter as Screen Cleaner
For lint-free viewing, grab a coffee filter to wipe down dusty and staticky computer monitors and TV screens regularly.
8 of 22Antonis Achilleos
Coffee Filter as Plate Protector
Shield stacked china from scratches and nicks by layering a filter between each delicate piece.
9 of 22Beth Galton
Ginger Root as Burn Soother
Soothe blisters and burns by applying fresh ginger juice directly to the sore spots.
10 of 22Antonis Achilleos
Lemon as Laundry Brightener
Skip the bleach—add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the wash cycle to brighter up those fading whites.
11 of 22Charles Maraia
Lemon as Sore Throat Soother
Relieve a sore throat. Cut a lemon in half. Skewer one half over a medium flame on a gas stove or an electric burner set on high and roast until the peel turns golden brown. Let cool slightly, then mix the juice with 1 teaspoon of honey. Swallow the mixture.
12 of 22Antonis Achilleos
Lemon as Hair Lightener
For subtle highlights in blond hair, simmer two sliced lemons in water for one hour (add more water if needed). Strain, then pour into a spray bottle.
13 of 22James Baigrie
Lemon as Grater Cleaner
After shredding soft cheese or other sticky foods, go over both sides of the grater with the pulp side of a cut lemon to get rid of any residue.
14 of 22James Baigrie
Lemon as Browning Preventer
Stop apples and pears from browning by squeezing a little lemon juice over them.
15 of 22Maura McEvoy
Lemon as Table Decoration
Decorate on the cheap. Fill a glass bowl with lemons for a sunny centerpiece. Or display a row of them along a windowsill.
16 of 22Annie Schlechter
Lemon as Toothpick Collector
Collect used toothpicks at a party so you don't end up with them all over your tables, seats, and floors. (Stick one in the lemon ahead of time to give guests the hint.)
17 of 22James Baigrie
Onion as Basement Deodorizer
Clear the air in a dank basement. Cut an onion in half, place it on a plate, and leave it out overnight. Once the initial salad-bar aroma dissipates, you'll have a fresh (non-oniony) atmosphere.
18 of 22Annie Schlechter
Oranges as Mini Snowman
Build snowmen without bundling up. For a holiday party, give each child three oranges, some toothpicks, a sturdy plate, and store-bought frosting. Stick the large orange to the center of the plate with a dollop of frosting. Poke a few toothpicks halfway into the top of the fruit and spear a smaller orange on top. Repeat with the third orange, and layer on frosting, a vanilla wafer, and peppermints to make a hat. Use candy-cane pieces for arms and a nose, cloves for the eyes, and red licorice for a scarf.
19 of 22 Beatriz Da Costa
Banana Peel as Rose Fertilizer
Just flatten a banana peel and bury it under one inch of soil at the base of a rosebush. The peel’s potassium feeds the plant and helps it resist disease. Consider it a nutritional boost for you and your buds.
20 of 22Aya Brackett
Citrus Peel as Firestarter
Kick-start a fire with citrus peels. Leave orange or lemon peels on the counter for several days to dry out. Then use the pretty pieces as kindling in your fire pit or bonfire for a fragrant flame starter.
21 of 22James Wojcik
Eggshell as Seedling Planter
Using a pin, poke a hole in the bottom of an empty eggshell half, put it in an egg carton (for stability), and fill with soil and seeds. Once your seedling appears, plant the whole thing in the ground. The eggshell will disintegrate and nourish the soil.
22 of 22Yunhee Kim
Eggshells as Bottle and Vase Cleaners
Here’s an idea for all those eggs you hard-boiled: Use their broken eggshells to clean the hard-to-reach places in bottles and vases. Drop some crushed shells in the bottle, add warm water and a drop of dishwashing liquid, and give it a good swirl. The shells will scrape off the gunk you can’t get to, so you can save your elbow grease for the dinner dishes.