What’s the best way to get rid of rust? Stop it from happening in the first place! Here are ways to protect the spots that tend to rust…

Coat your shaving cream can: Does your can of shaving cream leave a rust ring in the bathtub or on the sink? Paint the bottom rim—the part that touches the sink or tub and leaves the ring—with colorless nail polish. Let it dry thoroughly, and then give it a second coat.

Charcoal for your toolbox: Keep pieces of chalk or a few charcoal briquettes in your toolbox. This chalk or charcoal will absorb the excess moisture that causes rust. Also, make sure that your tools are clean and not caked with soil before storing them.

Freeze it out: After using a steel-wool pad, if there’s still some scrub left in it, place it in a little plastic bag and store it in the freezer. It will stay rust-free. When you’re ready to use it again, put it under warm water and it will thaw in a few seconds.

Layer to protect: Moisture causes rust. To absorb moisture when any piece of cast-iron cookware is not being used, let it sit on a coffee filter. And put a filter on top of your pan, too, especially if you’re stacking items on top.

Put a lid under it: Cans stored on a kitchen shelf or counter can leave rust rings. To prevent this, place plastic lids (recycled from empty yogurt, cottage cheese, butter/margarine or take-out containers) under the cans as coasters. You’ll never have to deal with a rust ring on your shelf or counter again. Recycled plastic lids also work well as coasters for gooey honey jars or syrup and oil bottles.