Aluminum foil, it turns out, isn’t just useful for food packaging and barbecue cooking. From warding off garden pests to sharpening scissors – not to mention its ability to make silver sparkle – this apparently mundane material is anything but. Read on to discover the most awesome aluminum foil hacks.
40. Heal minor burns
Have you touched something fresh out of the oven without any mitts? Well, that pain will be a thing of the past thanks to an item normally found in the kitchen. Simply position the shinier side of some foil on the body part affected. And after keeping it there for approximately a quarter of an hour the burning sensation should have subsided.
39. Alternative for cast iron
One of the toughest things to get clean in the kitchen are those easily rusted cast-iron skillets. But forget about trying to get off the dirt and grime with soap and water; simply reach for the aluminum foil instead. Rolled-up balls of the stuff will make all that scrubbing so much easier.
38. Cook food while camping
Aluminum can make cooking while enjoying life in the great outdoors so much easier. If you have some tinned goods on your camping trip, simply wrap them up in kitchen foil. Then place the goods in the center of the fire and after a few minutes you can be devouring some hot baked beans or spaghetti hoops straight from the can.
37. Boost WiFi signal
Are you having difficulty connecting to the WiFi at home? Well, a simple piece of aluminum can help your chances of getting and staying online. All you need to do is fold some foil into a 4-inch by 6-inch rectangle. Then make a curved shape by bending inwards its shiniest part and then position your router just in front of it.
36. Soften brown sugar
There’s nothing worse when cooking a sweet treat than having to declump any sugar that’s solidified while in your kitchen cupboards. A useful trick, though, is to wrap the clumps in aluminum foil and bake them in the oven. After just five minutes at a temperature of 300 degrees, the sugar should be entirely separated.
35. Repel garden pests
If you’re sick of pesky wild animals damaging your trees in the wintertime, then reach for the aluminum. Ensure that rodents and deer give all saplings a wide berth by placing foil at their trunks. This should apparently help to keep your shrubbery intact until the springtime. Just one thing: make sure you take it off when the plant begins to grow.
34. Paint tray liner
Avoid buying brand new paint trays every time you fancy doing a bit of decorating with some inspired use of aluminum. By utilizing foil as a liner, you no longer need to throw away the tray after finishing a wall or room. Just discard the aluminum and you’re ready to pour in a new color.
33. Take food out of the pressure cooker
One of the hardest things about using a pressure cooker is taking the food out of it when it’s done. So to avoid burning your hands, create a makeshift sling by placing some foil inside before adding your food. This will make it much easier and safer to lift the food out when it’s cooked.
32. Fix ripped jeans
Yes, aluminum can even come in handy if you’ve ripped your favorite pair of Levi’s. Before setting up the ironing board to steam on your replacement patch, make sure that you place some foil between the jeans’ inside. This will apparently help prevent the other side from getting stuck to the patch while being ironed.
31. Makeshift cake pan
You don’t need to spend a small fortune on different cake pans if you fancy a spot of baking. Simply shape some aluminum foil into the size of your sponge and create a pan essentially for free. And if you already have such bakeware at your disposal, another option is to position your makeshift foil pan inside to make the cake sturdier.
30. Make a stylus
Here’s an aluminum hack that tech giants probably aren’t too keen for you to try. There’s no need to spend cash on a stylus for those moments you need to use your fingers on your tablet or phone of choice. Instead, simply use a pencil wrapped in foil to sign your name or draw a doodle.
29. DIY candle
If you find yourself without any candles in the middle of a power cut, fear not. You can actually create one yourself simply using some twine, oil, an empty can and, of course, some aluminum. Pour the oil into the can before covering it with a piece of foil that has a small slit. After threading the twine in the slit, light up and you no longer need to be plunged in darkness.
28. Boost radiator efficiency
Do you want to avoid having to turn up the radiators full blast during the height of winter? Save some dollars by placing some foil at the sides of and behind the heating device. This will then divert all of the warmth to the room’s center and away from your walls.
27. Pop some popcorn
Have you got some popcorn kernels but no microwave? Well, you don’t have to go without the ultimate movie-night snack. Line a skillet with some kitchen foil before adding a splash of oil along with your kernels. Seal them in with another piece of aluminum on top and heat them up. You’ll apparently know they’re ready when there’s at least three seconds in between each pop.
26. Line your kitchen drawers
This is perhaps one of the simplest hacks relating to good old aluminum, but is still a particularly handy one. Instead of buying liners designed to specifically protect your kitchen drawers and cabinets, opt for a much cheaper method. Just cut some foil into the right shape and there you have it.
25. Makeshift cookie cutters
If you’re looking to bake some cookies in an unusual shape or size, you might find it tricky to find a cutter to match. But you don’t have to abandon your culinary vision; just cut two layers of heavy duty kitchen foil into your design of choice.
24. Keep insects at bay
Your back garden can be a haven for all kinds of creepy crawlies. To stop them from wreaking havoc on your pride and joy, then, make a mulch using kitchen foil. After laying weed block over your already weeded beds, cover them with some aluminum the shinier half down. This will help to produce a barrier between the insects and your plants.
23. Used oil disposal
Used cooking oil is always one of the trickiest things to get rid of in the kitchen. So to avoid making a mess, simply pour it into a piece of foil that has been shaped into a bowl. After the oil has both cooled and hardened, just scrunch the aluminum into a ball and discard.
22. Barbecue drip pan
A summer barbecue can turn into a cleaning nightmare due to all the grease dripping onto the grill. But make relentless scrubbing a thing of the past by layering some kitchen foil underneath all the meaty goodness. You can then enjoy your burgers and sausages without having to worry about getting rid of any mess.
21. Ease feet and hand pain
Suffering from repetitive strain injury after a day on the computer? Or maybe you’re feeling a twinge in your ankle after a long walk? You don’t need to resort to any fancy bandages; simply place some foil over the offending area and the pain will soon be a thing of the past.
20. Grilled cheese maker
Do you fancy sprucing up the humble cheese sandwich but don’t have a grill to hand? Well, as long as you have an iron and some foil, you’re in luck. Just wrap the bread and cheese in the aluminum and after placing it on a hot iron for ten minutes, you have the tastiest of snacks.
19. The magic ironing board
Slip off the ironing-board protector before rolling out the foil over the top of frame. Once it’s covered, the protector can be reattached. When you start ironing, the foil’s heat-reflecting properties means that creases will be removed on both sides at the same time. Magic.
18. The emergency iron
Has your iron just broken and you’re strapped for time? No worries: simply wrap some aluminum foil around a long-handled pan, heat it on the stove and get ironing. It may look a little unusual, but it’ll work out the creases as effectively as your normal iron.
17. Convert AAAs into AAs
If you’re in need of an AA battery but only have spare AAAs, simply roll a strip of foil into a ball and place it beside your device’s negative terminal. Next, insert the AAA so that it touches the positive terminal and the foil. Job done.
16. Sharpen scissors
Take a sheet of foil and fold it a few times – or layer a few layers on top of each other – before reaching for the scissors. Amazingly, after you’ve cut through the foil the blades will be super sharp.
15. No more static
Take a pair of foil sheets and scrunch them up into balls. Place them into the tumble dryer and your clothes – on being removed – will be entirely free of static. They’ll have none of the residue left behind by dryer sheets, either.
14. Make silver shine
Take a strip of aluminum foil and, with a good sprinkling of baking soda, place it into a liter of boiling water. Place your dull silver cutlery inside for a few seconds, remove with tongs and admire the shininess.
13. Rust removal
Take some aluminum foil, dunk it in water and start rubbing on a rusty surface – before long, the rust will simply wipe away. Because aluminum is soft compared to steel, the metal – which will end up looking nice and shiny – won’t be scratched, either.
12. Seal plastic food bags
If you want to keep food fresh in the bag it came in, take a piece of aluminum foil and fold it over the opening. Run an iron over the top and the plastic will melt together. And after it’s cooled the foil can then be removed.
11. Grill cleaning
Cover your dirty grill grates in aluminum foil before turning the heat right up. Ensure the lid is closed and turn off the heat approximately half an hour later. After the foil’s been removed with tongs, any leftover cremated grime can easily be wiped away with a cloth.
10. Hair curling
Forget fancy hair-curling devices and give this hack a try. Take six sheets of 15-inch-long foil, place them on top of each other and cut into four pieces. Then scrunch each around a section of rolled hair before applying hair straighteners for just a few seconds to the curl before removing the foil.
9. Keep bananas fresh
Bananas stay fresh for longer if a little aluminum foil is wrapped around their stems, which may just be the simplest hack of them all. A few drops of lemon juice can help too, apparently.
8. Foil furniture sliders
Place some aluminum foil under the legs of sofas or tables – dull side facing down – and the furniture will slide along the carpet with much less friction. It’s a cheaper alternative to furniture sliders, for sure.
7. No more soggy pizzas
Fashion a dome of aluminum foil over the top of a soggy pizza you want to reheat and place into a frying pan over a medium heat. And in next to no time any limpness will have been replaced by crispy freshness. Result.
6. A temporary funnel
Are you cooking something up and need a funnel? There’s no need to trek to a homeware store. Instead, get crafty by fashioning one from foil. It might be worth using more than one layer to ensure the flow doesn’t cause the funnel to unravel.
5. Deter birds
Birds – even magpies, contrary to popular belief – aren’t fans of shiny objects. Attach some foil to an apple or pear tree and your feathered enemies will leave the fruit that’s rightfully yours well alone.
4. Protect vegetables
Tear strips from a piece of aluminum foil and add them to your garden mulch. Not only will they protect vegetables from pests, but the foil will reflect growth-stimulating light onto your tasty crops.
3. A sun box
Place some aluminum foil around the inside of a shoebox and, hey presto, you’ve got yourself a sun box. Keep herbs here and, thanks to the reflected light, they’ll grow directly upwards instead of leaning towards the sun.
2. Save our soap
No one likes picking up a soggy bar of soap. With a piece of aluminum foil underneath it, however, your soap won’t gradually disintegrate into a squishy mess that is horrible to pick up. It’ll last longer, too.
1. Budget photographers’ reflectors
Collapsible reflectors are a must for photographers. If one’s not to hand, though, a budget alternative can easily be fashioned using a piece of card wrapped in shiny aluminum foil.