Smart and Surprising Uses for Aluminum Foil


Everyone loves a good hack. Aluminum foil has more uses than just wrapping up a leftover meatloaf. Foil has dozens of uses and is a thrifty solution to all kinds of problems. Here are just a few smart and surprising uses for aluminum foil.

Cleans Dirty Pots & Pans

If you crumple your aluminum foil up into a ball it can be used to clean tough surfaces the same way steel wool does. So if you are doing dishes or cleaning the grill and you don’t have any scrub pads, grab a ball of aluminum and get to work.

Protects Steel Wool

If you have a steel wool pad and want to prevent it from rusting in between uses, wrap it in aluminum foil and stick it in the freezer until you are ready for it again. Believe it or not, the freezer will preserve your steel wool as well as it will preserve your steaks.

Clean Silver

There is a chemical reaction that will cause tarnish to transfer from your silver to your aluminum foil. Line a bin with foil (shiny side up) and fill it with a gallon of boiling water. Pour in ¼ cup washing soda or powdered, bleach-free laundry detergent (do not use liquid laundry detergent.) Stir and place your silverware into the water. Let the silverware soak for 10 to 15 minutes before removing.

Keep Birds Out of Trees

You might like seeing birds in your yard, but not if you have fruit trees. If you want to protect your fruit from your feathered friends, hang strips of aluminum foil from your tree to keep them at bay and enjoy your bounty when it ripens.

Reflect Heat

Metal is known to reflect heat. Aluminum is no exception. Line the wall behind your radiator with it. It will reflect the heat back into the room, making your room warmer without ruining your heating bill.

Dryer Sheet

If you run out of dryer sheets, toss a crumpled ball of aluminum foil into your dryer with your next load to prevent static cling.


If you need to transfer a liquid from one place to another and cannot find your funnel, make one out of foil. This also works well if you are decorating a cake and do not have a frosting pouch.


If you’re ironing a garment and want to do it twice as fast, place a sheet of aluminum between your garment and the ironing board. The aluminum will reflect the heat and allow you to effectively iron both sides of the garment at the same time.

Sharpen Scissors

If your scissors are getting dull, sharpen them quickly but cutting through some aluminum foil a few times. This is probably one of the easiest hacks.

Protect Your Oven

The best foods are always the messiest. If you are preparing to bake something like lasagna or pie and you are worried about getting the oven messy, don’t fret. Set the item in question on the top rack and lay foil over the bottom rack to catch the drippings. When you are done baking, remove the foil and toss it away. This will prevent having to scrub your oven.

Protect Tree Trunks

If you want to protect your young saplings from rabbits, deer and other such pests, wrap the trunk in aluminum foil. The critters will leave it alone. Just make sure to remove the wrap in the spring so that your tree can grow.

Line Roller Pans

Taking on a new painting project? Use aluminum foil to line your roller pan and you will not have to wash it. You can just remove the liner after each use and throw it away.

Protect Door Knobs and Faucets

Taking on a painting project? If you want to protect fixtures like door knobs and faucets from getting painted, cover them in foil. You will save yourself a lot of clean up later.

Reflect Light

If you like to take photos, but never have enough light, wrap some cardboard in aluminum foil and place it behind your lights. It will reflect the light where you want it to go. This is also great for brightening up an outdoor space. Place aluminum behind your outdoor lighting fixtures to reflect their light.

Fix Vinyl Floor Tiles

When your vinyl floor tile starts to come up, just cover it over with a sheet of foil. Run a hot clothes iron over the aluminum until the tile heats up and the glue begins to melt. Once the tile readheres to the floor, place something heavy (like a pile of books) on top of it until it cools.

Soften Sugar

If your brown sugar has hardened into a serious lump, place it into a piece of aluminum foil and stick it into a preheated oven of 350 degrees for 5 minutes. It should soften right up.

Pie Protector

If you are baking a pie and do not want to burn the crust, wrap the pan in foil and make sure the foil folds up over the edges of the crust. This will cause your crust should bake but not burn.


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