Did you know there are other ways to use aluminum foil besides wrapping up your leftovers? Just about every home has a roll in a drawer or cabinet, but not many people know to keep some in their cleaning closet, too.
Check out these ways to use aluminum foil around the house. You’ll never see the shiny stuff the same way again!
10 Ways To Use Aluminum Foil
Is your silverware looking tarnished? Skip the smelly silver polish and use aluminum foil instead. First, line your sink or a baking pan with aluminum foil and fill with 2 inches of very hot water. Next, add 2 tablespoons each of salt and baking soda. Carefully drop your silver items into the liquid, making sure they touch each other and the aluminum foil.
Through a process known as ion exchange, the tarnish will disappear in a matter of minutes. When your silver looks clean, rinse it with cold water and buff it dry with a soft cloth.
Scrub your metal pots and pans
There’s no need for pots and pans crusted with baked-on food to sit in the sink overnight. (Sorry to those who like to leave “soakers” for Mom to deal with the next day.) Grab a wad of aluminum foil and use it as a scrubber.
Need some extra oomph? Dump the water out of the pan and sprinkle it with a thick layer of salt or baking soda before scrubbing with the aluminum foil. Rinse, dry, and leave a clean sink for the morning!
Prevent oven splatters
Some foods, like lasagna, bubble over when they cook. There’s no reason to avoid making them just because you’d rather not have to clean the oven. Just line the rack beneath what you’re cooking with a sheet of aluminum foil to catch the drips. When you’re done, wad it up and toss it away — no oven-cleaning required!
NOTE: Never line the floor of your oven with aluminum foil. That old household trick is not safe and may lead to a house fire.
Keep your gas grill clean
Whether you’re making kebabs or burgers, the bottom of gas grills accumulates grease that gets baked on by the heat. Keep yours clean by lining the bottom with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil to catch the soot and drips. Once the grill is completely cool after cooking, just gather up the corners and throw the whole mess away.
Find out more about how to clean a grill.
Discovering your scissors are too dull to cut paper is frustrating. Fortunately, it’s super easy to sharpen them with aluminum foil. Just get an 18-inch piece of foil and fold it in half lengthwise. Now, repeat that four more times and cut through the layers ten or more times. The foil will smooth rough spots on your scissors while honing the cutting edge.
They won’t be as sharp as they were brand new, but you’ll be back to cutting paper in no time!
Clean your iron
Fabric softeners, dryer sheets, and fabric starch all leave a residue on clothes that can build up on the bottom of your iron. If you’ve noticed yours dragging on the cloth while you’re using it, or if the base has a distinct layer of gunk, you can use aluminum foil to clean it. Just turn your iron on hot (no steam) and run it over a piece of aluminum foil several times.
Be sure to rotate the foil as needed to avoid spreading the gunk back to the iron as you work.
Make painting clean-up a cinch
Painting is a great, inexpensive way to refresh your home’s decor but the clean-up afterward is never any fun. Make it easier on yourself by lining your roller pans with aluminum foil. When your project’s complete, pour the unused paint back into the can then gather the corners of the foil carefully and dispose of it properly.
Need to stop partway through the job? Cover the entire pan with aluminum foil to keep dust (and pets) from getting into the paint while you take a break.
Give your chrome rims a brilliant shine with a wad of aluminum foil. So long as they’re genuinely chrome and not painted plastic, the foil will leave a beautiful shine and remove rust spots, too.
This works on faucets, motorcycle parts, and jewelry made of chrome, too.
Pet-proof your furniture
Most animals can’t stand the feel of aluminum foil on their paws or the sound it makes when they walk on it. If you haven’t had luck getting Fluffy or Fido to stay off the sofa, lay down a sheet of foil on the cushions. After a few days, they’ll learn, and you can use the foil for other purposes — like sharpening your scissors.
Bonus tip: if your dog won’t stop chewing chair legs wrap them with foil for a week.
Rust-proof your steel wool
If you’ve ever left steel wool sitting on the edge of your sink, you know it leaves a rusty mess behind. Next time place it on a piece of aluminum foil while it dries. The foil will keep the steel wool from developing rust — you can even wrap the steel wool up in it when dry, and it will be in perfect shape next time you need to use it.