Don't throw away that half-used steel wool pad. You can save it from rusting by putting it in a solution of baking soda and water. Change the soda-water solution every once in awhile to keep it fresh and keep it covered to prevent evaporation. Another way is to freeze it in a plastic bag. It thaws quickly and there is no rust.
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Even easier is the tip I got here on ThriftyFun! Just place the wet, used steel wool pad on a small square of aluminum foil! It will not rust! I LOVE this tip! Thanks again to the person who originally posted it!