Uses for Aluminum Foil You Never Knew

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Did you know there are other uses for aluminum foil besides wrapping 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 stuff the same way again.

10 Genius Uses for Aluminum Foil

Using aluminum foil wrapped around banana stems

Polish Silver

Is your silver looking tarnished? Skip the smelly polish and use aluminum foil instead.

  1. Line your sink or a baking pan with aluminum foil and fill with 2 inches of very hot water.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 Metal Pots and Pans

There’s no need to soak crusty metal pots and pans overnight in the sink. (Sorry to those who like to leave “soakers” for Mom to deal with the next day.)

  1. Wet the pan then sprinkle it with a thick layer of salt or baking soda.
  2. Grab a wad of aluminum foil, and use it to scour the pan clean. Rinse, dry, and you’re done.
  3. Not for use on non-stick pots or pans.

Prevent Oven Splatters the Right Way

If cleaning your oven isn’t a favorite task, use aluminum foil to protect it from spills.

Now, you should never line the floor of your oven with aluminum foil. That old household trick is not safe and may lead to a house fire. But you can stop oven spills with foil if you do it the right way.

  1. Just line the rack below the one you’re cooking on with a sheet of aluminum foil. It will catch drips without changing cooking times.
  2. When you’re done, wad it up and toss it — no oven-cleaning required!

Keep Bananas Fresh Longer

Like avocados, bananas seem to go from not ready to over-ripe in the blink of an eye.

During the process of ripening, bananas release a gas that reacts with oxygen to speed up the process. This happens mostly at the stem. The solution? Use foil to create a barrier between the two.

Simply wrap a bit of aluminum foil around the stems, singly or as a bunch, and your bananas will last several days longer. (Too late? Use them to make Banana Bread Without Sugar.)

Use Aluminum Foil to Sharpen Scissors

Dull scissors are annoying, but it’s super easy to sharpen them with aluminum foil.

  1. Get an 18-inch piece of foil and fold it in half lengthwise.
  2. Repeat that four more times.
  3. Cut through the layers a dozen or so times.

The foil smoothes rough spots on your scissors and hones the cutting edge.

Clean Your Clothes Iron

Reach for aluminum foil to clean your dirty clothes iron.

  1. Put a length of foil on your ironing board. It doesn’t matter which side is up.
  2. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of regular table salt on the foil.
  3. Turn the iron to hot and run it over the foil several times, letting the salt scrub the gunk off the bottom of your iron.
  4. Move the iron to a new spot on the foil (or use a clean piece) as needed until your iron moves smoothly and is clean.

Make Painting Clean-Up Easier

The next time you’re starting a painting project, do yourself a favor that will make cleaning up afterward a cinch.

  1. Line your roller pan with aluminum foil before adding paint.
  2. When you’re done, pour the unused paint back into the can then gather the corners of the foil and dispose of the mess properly. Voila, the roller pan is clean.
  3. Need to pause partway through the job? Cover the entire roller pan with aluminum foil to keep dust (and pets) from getting into the paint during your break.

You can wrap the wet ends of paintbrushes in aluminum foil while you’re taking a break, too!

Use Aluminum Foil to Polish Chrome

This works on fusty chrome faucets, motorcycle parts, and chrome furniture accents. Be sure it’s true chrome, though, and not painted plastic.

  1. Wad a piece of aluminum foil into a ball and run it under water.
  2. Rub the damp wad of foil on the chrome surface. A chemical reaction between the wet aluminum and chrome will lift away rust as you work.

Pet-Proof 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 a sheet of foil on the cushions. (Take it off when you want to sit down.) A week or two is sufficient to train most pets, though you can always do it again if they forget.

Stop Steel Wool Pads from Rusting

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 a piece of aluminum foil beneath it while it dries, then use the same piece to wrap the steel wool pad until you need it again. The foil acts as a barrier to prevent oxidation that leads to rust.

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2 Comments

  1. Leah Curds says:

    We use alluminium foil on crone pros of the motor cycle, using only water aand foil. Works a charm, spray affected area, and wipe with foil. That easy….

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Great to know!

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