Shoe polish…adhesive remover…wood stain…what do these have in common? You can replace each of them with something in your fridge or pantry. Check out these six time- and money-saving life hacks from three Bottom Line experts…

Easy Rust Remover

If you have a tool (such as a pair of scissors, pliers or tweezers) that is so rusty that you’re ready to throw it away, we are here to offer a mercy plea. Give your rusty tools another chance! Here’s what you do…

Rust tools vinegar

Get a container—most tools will be able to stand in a wide-mouth jar—and fill it with apple cider vinegar. Put the rusty tool in, and let it soak overnight. The next day, wipe the tool completely dry with a clean rag (and brush it with an old toothbrush if you need to). Apply some light machine oil to any moving parts, if necessary. Your tool should be rust-free and usable again.

Click here for this and other Household Magic Daily Tips

Clean pen marks off your hands with a tea bag

Brew a cup of green or black tea, then rub the used tea bag over the pen marks on your skin.

remove ink stains with tea

Why it works: Catechin, a chemical compound found in these teas, combines with the pigments and oils in the pen ink, lifting the ink from the skin. The fabric of the tea bag acts as a mild scrubber.

Remove stickers or tape from mirrors or windows with mayonnaise.


Stickers and tape often leave adhesive residue behind when they are peeled from mirrors or windows. Scraping the residue away can take a lot of effort. Instead, place a dab of mayonnaise on a paper towel, and apply this to the adhesive. After a minute or two, the adhesive residue should give way without much scrubbing or scraping—sometimes it simply wipes away with a paper towel.

Click here for other clever tricks from Japan…

Shine Shoes and Plants With Bananas

Banana peels contain oil and potassium, key ingredients in store-bought shoe polish. Wipe shoes with the inside of the peel (discard the stringy parts of the peel first). Then buff with a clean cloth. You also can use the peels to clean the dust and debris from leafy houseplants.

Remove Deodorant Marks on Clothing


Remove the foam from a dry-cleaner hanger, and rub it back and forth forcefully on deodorant marks. A towel works, too, but foam is gentler on fabric.

Fix a Wood Scratch With Walnuts 


For small scratches on your dark wood furniture, gently rub a walnut in a circular motion several times over the scratch. Let the natural oils seep into the scratch for five to 10 minutes. Buff with a clean cloth.

wood scratch fix with walnuts

Click here for 20 other clever household tips from “The Accidental Housewife”…