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Clever Uses for Onions You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

Onions might make you cry, but they can also help winterize your windshield, deter pests, and much more!

New uses for onionsPhoto: Shutterstock

Use onions to keep avocados from browning

Fresher avocados? We’re in! Today reported that placing a cut onion in the container with your sliced, or otherwise cut, avocado is their all-time favourite method for helping it stay greener longer. “Sulfur dioxide is a compound used to preserve fruits,” Today stated. “Sulfur is a component in onions, so it stood to reason it might work similarly. By far, the best of all methods, the avocado was nearly as green as when it was cut.”

paint cans onionsPhoto: Shutterstock

Eliminate new paint smell

Your bedroom’s new shade of paint looks great, but the smell is keeping you up all night. What to do? Place half a cut onion in a dish on one side of the room, and the other half on the other side of the room. It will absorb the smell within a few hours.

Discover 20 painting tips the pros don’t want you to know.

onions beesPhoto: Shutterstock

Soothe a bee sting

If you have a nasty encounter with a bee at a barbecue, grab one of the onion slices intended for your burger and place it over the area where you got stung. It will soothe the pain. This trick doesn’t actually treat the sting, only the pain, so if you are severely allergic to bee or other insect stings, be sure to seek medical attention at once.

These home remedies for poison ivy could also come in handy.

Uses for onionsPhoto: Shutterstock

Keep frost off your windows

Believe it or not, onions can help you winterize your car, too. In a separate report, Today demonstrated how you can save time scraping ice off your car on those frigid winter mornings, by simply rubbing an onion on your windshield the night before. Evidently, the sugar found in the onion juice will create a barrier between your car and the water condensation in the air. The sugar also helps break down the ice molecules more easily, making it doubly helpful.

Discover the genius hack that will keep your car windows from fogging up.

Uses for onionsPhoto: Shutterstock

Make a DIY dye

Save enough onion skins to fill up a pair of old pantyhose, and you can dye your own yarn and fabric. All Natural Dyeing has recipes that use brown and red onion skins and can create dyes in orange, brown and rust, and even one that, with the right yarn, will turn green.

For more old-school wisdom, check out these Depression-era cooking tips.

Uses for onionsPhoto: Shutterstock

Remove rust from knives

Forget about using steel wool or harsh chemicals—how’s this for an easy way to get the rust off your kitchen or utility knives? Plunge your rusty knife into a large onion three or four times (if it’s very rusty, it may require a few extra stabs). The only tears you shed will be ones of joy over your rust-free blade. Don’t have any fresh onions sitting around? Getting rust and tarnish off flatware is also one of the many genius hacks for aluminum foil.

Uses for onionsPhoto: Shutterstock

Make a natural pesticide

Onions can be useful in both your home and garden. Whip up an effective insect and animal repellent for the flowers and vegetables in your garden and houseplants. In a blender, puree four onions, two cloves of garlic, two tablespoons of cayenne pepper, and one litre water. Set the mixture aside. Now dilute two tablespoons soap flakes in two gallons (7.5 litres) water. Pour in the contents of your blender, shake or stir well, and you have a potent, environment-friendly solution to spray on your plants.

Check out the 10 most disgusting house bugs—and how to get rid of them.

Uses for onionsPhoto: Shutterstock

Clean your grill

Put a freshly-cut chunk of onion on the end of a fork, cut side down, and run it along the grates of the grill. The same components of the onion that give it that sharp taste will help loosen up the grime and food bits left over. The Kitchn suggests heating up the grill first to burn down any large food particles and rubbing with the onion as soon as it has cooled to a manageable temperature.

Next, find out why you should microwave an onion before cutting it.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest