If you find that they are rusting before you can use the entire pad, cut the pads in half with a scissors, and use only half at one time.
-dry where air can circulate around the entire pad, including the bottom
-squeeze all water out of the pad before setting to dry
-use quality brand name products
Put them in the freezer between uses!
Here's a post that might help - https://www.stockpilingmoms.com/how-to-keep-steel-wool-pads-from-rusting/
Try soaking it a solution of baking soda and water.
If you will put them back into the box, they won't rust 99% of the time. I don't know why, but it almost always works for me. The only time I've had one rust is if I left out a long time after use before placing back into the box.
I always keep these things in either a small plastic container or in a zip lock bag. Never thought of putting them back in the box!