Onions are a staple in our house. I’m not a huge fan of cooking with them, but my husband puts them in almost everything he cooks. More than anything, onions are a necessary item in my household because of all of the alternative uses for them. For about $1.87 per bag at my local grocery store (that’s about $0.18 each), I can get a lot of work out of them. Here are eight alternative ways to put those onions in your pantry to good use!

1. Remove rust from knives

Over time you might’ve found that some of your favorite knives have rusted. To remove the rust, you can simply take your knife and slice it through an onion bulb several times. Now you can say goodbye to rust and hello to the shine! Plus—this will help you get continued use out of your knives instead of purchasing new ones.

2. Keep frost from forming on your windshield

Cut an onion in half and then rub the raw side over your windshield the night before you intend to drive your car. It’s a lot easier than spending too much time scrapping the windshield in the morning!

3. Repel ants

If you have a place that ants seem to favor, you can put a bowl of cut onions at that location. The smell of the onion will repel the ants! I make sure to always give this a try this first (before resorting to expensive bug spray!).

4. Decrease the smell of fresh paint

Many people have sensitivities to certain smells. Fresh paint can be especially overwhelming to people with breathing difficulties. Next time you finish painting a room, place cut onions in a bowl of water and leave them in the room overnight. The onion will absorb the paint smell!

5. Rescue burnt rice

I’m easily distracted when I cook—so I tend to burn a lot of rice. The next time this happens to you, just grab an onion, cut it in half, and place the raw side down on the burnt rice. The onion will absorb the burnt taste and prevent you from having to throw out the rice!

6. Clean up your grill

My family loves to grill, but a messy grill can affect how your food cooks and the flavor of the food. To clean your grill, put the heat on low, cut an onion in half, stick a fork on the outside of the onion and rub the raw side of the onion over the grill. The best thing about using an onion is no chemicals are involved! You’ll have a clean grill (and tasty food to go along with it).

7. Reduce discoloration of bruises

One of the chemical components of an onion is allicin (it’s what makes you tear up when cutting an onion).  This compound helps move the blood away from a bruise and lighten the discoloration. So next time you need to prevent deep bruising, just cut an onion in half and rub it over the bruised area.

8. Scrub your scorched pots

Take an onion, cut it in half, and scrub your pots with the raw side of the onion. If you want to lessen your scrubbing, then let the pot sit overnight with the onion and some water. This will allow you to clean your pots and pans easily in the morning. Who needs a costly Brillo pad when you have a cheap onion in your pantry?

Don't Cry Over Onions: 8 Alternative Ways to Use Them Every Day