1 of 27Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran
Newspaper as Refrigerator Odor Absorber
Absorb odors in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer with a lining of newspaper.
2 of 27Photo: 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 27 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.
4 of 27Kate Sears
Bubble Wrap as Produce Protection
Use bubble wrap to save fruit and vegetables from bumps and bruises. Cut a piece to fit into the bottom of the refrigerator drawer as a pillow for your produce. Say goodbye to squished squashes or mushy mangoes.
5 of 27Aya Brackett
Bundt Pan as Corn Holder
Cut corn from the cob without the mess. Place an ear in the center of a Bundt pan. As you slide the knife down, the corn will fall right into the pan.
6 of 27Yunhee Kim
Citrus Peels as Bowls
Serve sorbet in a memorable way. After juicing (or eating) grapefruit, orange, lemon, or lime halves, scoop out and freeze the peels. Cut a small slice off the bottom to create a level surface (without creating a hole), then fill with ice cream.
7 of 27Aya 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.
8 of 27Tria Giovan
Egg Slicer as Mushroom Chopper
Cut mushrooms into neat slivers, all without a cutting board to clean.
9 of 27Dana Gallagher
Egg Slicer as Strawberry Dicer
Give this classic tool a permanent spot on your kitchen counter and―presto!―you'll have perfect slivers of your favorite summer foods.
10 of 27Thayer 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.
11 of 27Lucas Allen
Citrus Peel as Coffee Mug Cleaner
Remove coffee or tea stains from a mug by rubbing them with a lightly salted citrus peel.
12 of 27James Baigrie
Citrus Peel as Garbage Disposal Deodorizer
Keep your disposal smelling fresh by dropping a few peels down the drain and flipping the switch.
13 of 27Tria 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.
14 of 27Beth Galton
Ginger Root as Burn Soother
Soothe blisters and burns by applying fresh ginger juice directly to the sore spots.
15 of 27Antonis 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.
16 of 27Charles 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.
17 of 27Antonis 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.
18 of 27James 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.
19 of 27James Baigrie
Lemon as Browning Preventer
Stop apples and pears from browning by squeezing a little lemon juice over them.
20 of 27Maura 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.
21 of 27Annie 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.)
22 of 27James 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.
23 of 27Annie 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.
24 of 27Antonis Achilleos
Salt as Salad Wash
Clean dirt from leafy vegetables by washing them in a bath of salt water.
25 of 27Rick Lew
Lemon as Cutting Board Cleaner
To remove tough food stains from light wood and plastic cutting boards, slice a lemon in half, squeeze onto the soiled surface, rub, and let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing. The best part? You'll have a house that smells like a lemon grove rather than chemicals.
26 of 27Monica Buck
Lettuce Leaf as Taco Liner
Keep taco fillings contained, even if the shell breaks. Line an empty taco shell with a lettuce leaf, then pile on all the meat, cheese, and pico de gallo your heart desires.
27 of 27James Baigrie
Toothbrush as Corn Cleaner
Use a clean toothbrush to remove stray threads of silk from freshly shucked ears of corn. The bristles will lift them away quickly and efficiently.