My grandmother was known for squeezing a penny so hard it practically would turn into a wire! When I was a kid, though, I didn’t appreciate some of the things she knew. Today, I do.
Our ancestors who lived through the Great Depression – like my grandmother – acquired knowledge the old-fashioned away. That is, by trial and error.
Today we are going to take a look at the lowly onion and all the unusual ways that our ancestors used them.
1. Remove rust
OK, so you might cry a bit when you try this, but you can tell people they are tears of joy! Onions are super-effective rust removers! Put down that steel wool and stick your rusty knife or scissors into a big onion three or four times.
Be careful not to cut your hand, though. Your super-rusty knives might need a half-dozen thrusts to remove that oxidation, but this works surprisingly well.
2. Remove splinters
This sounds crazy, but it works and is especially good for children. When you get a splinter that’s giving you trouble, simply tape a piece of onion over the splinter. (By “tape,” I mean anything that will hold it in place — a cutoff sock, a bandage or what have you.) Leave it there for two or three hours. When you remove the onion, the splinter should be gone.
3. Insect and animal repellent
Poor onions! It seems no one likes the way they smell. If neighborhood cats or dogs find your garden attractive, then put a few slices of onions in the area that they frequent. This also works for ants, although you must replace the onion slices every few days until you are certain that the ants have made tracks elsewhere.
My grandmother also used to put onion slices in every room of the house when someone had a cold or the flu. She thought it would absorb the virus from the air. It never seemed to work, but it certainly didn’t hurt anything.
4. Ease congestion from colds
If you have a super-stuffed-up nose, then try my grandmother’s recipe! She would put two or three big slices of onion in a jar of honey and let it set for a few hours. To clear up your stuffed head and ease a sore throat, a big tablespoon of that “onion honey” is all you need!
5. Easier wintertime driving
You can easily stop frost from forming on the windshield of your car by cutting an onion in half and rubbing the cut half on the glass the night before. It works like magic! If the windshield is a bit hazy in the morning from onion juice, then just use your windshield washer or pour a bit of cool water on it and run your wipers.
What are your best onion ideas? Share your tips in the section below: