20 Ways Aluminum Foil is Essential to Your Life
For decades, we’ve been using aluminum foil to seal up leftovers, protect oven racks, and cover casseroles. But as it turns out, the uses for foil are nearly limitless. You can get dozens of life hacks out of a single roll of foil. Are you ready to make your life cleaner and more convenient? Here are 20 lesser-known ways to make use of aluminum foil.
1. Iron your clothes faster.
Have you ever heard of lining your ironing board with aluminum foil? We hadn’t, but if you iron your clothes, it may be the best tip you pick up this year. The foil absorbs the heat from the iron as you run it over the top of your garment. This releases wrinkles from the underside of clothes, so when you’re in a rush, you only need to worry about ironing one side.
2. Keep pie crust from overbrowning.
A lot of fruit pies are supposed to bake at a certain temp for about 45 minutes. By the time you’re ready to pull it out of the oven, the top edge crust can be nearly blackened in some spots. Unless, that is, you’ve covered it with tin foil for the first 20-30 minutes. Pull it off for the remainder of the baking time, and you have a perfectly golden crust, every time.
3. Sharpen your scissors.
The dull blades of a pair of scissors can lead to jagged edges and tired hands. But you might not have to run out and replace them – try this first. Fold a square of aluminum foil a few times. Now, make several careful cuts with the scissors. This should sharpen the blades enough to revive your scissors for easier, more precise cutting.
4. Keep batteries in place.
We rely on batteries for remote controls and other wireless devices. But if the batteries don’t sit inside perfectly snug, they can shift, cutting power to your device. Fix this by using a tiny piece of tin foil between the loose connection and the battery to keep it in place. As a bonus, it might even extend the life of your battery.
5. Clean crusty bakeware.
So, you let that casserole dish soak, but it doesn’t seem good enough. Normally, we’d resort to steel wool to finish the job. But we don’t always have that on hand, whereas we’re never without some foil. Take a piece of foil, ball it up, un-ball it, and ball it up again, so it’s nice and crinkly. Now scrub away the remainder of the baked-on gunk. Easy!
6. Bring brown sugar back to life.
Brown sugar starts to get as hard as a rock as soon as the air hits it. This can pose a real problem when you need to measure out a certain quantity. To revive it back to its former softness, take a clump and wrap it securely in foil. Now stick it into a 300-degree oven and let it warm up for five minutes. Good as the day you brought it home!
7. Ward off static cling.
Ever pop open the dryer to sort through a bunch of static-y, stuck-together clothes? Never let this happen again with two or three pieces of tin foil. Ball them up and toss them in the dryer with your laundry. It will prevent static cling from developing, and dry your clothes a little bit faster.
8. Repel birds.
We typically love to see birds in our yard. But scavengers, as well as those that evacuate their bowels over our parking spaces, can be real pests. To deflect them, hang strips of tin foil from a tree, awning, shrub, or other area. The reflective surfaces will scare them away.
9. DIY a professional-looking paintjob.
Using painter’s tape properly can give you clean, professional-looking edges. But it seems unreasonable to cover entire door knobs, door stops, and other hardware in tape. Instead, we can simply wrap them in tin foil. This way, an errant swipe of the brush or a drip doesn’t mess up all of our great work.
10. Rearrange the furniture.
Spare your spine and avoid lifting that couch all by yourself. Instead, slip some squares of foil under each leg and slide the sofa easily into its new position. This works well on carpet, as well as on certain types of tile and laminate. Be careful or avoid if moving furniture across hardwood or other easily-scratched surfaces.
11. Polish silver.
Sick of rubbing smelly pastes into your tarnished silver pieces? Try this instead. Line a pan with aluminum foil, and set the silver inside. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda over the silver. Now pour boiling water over the foil-lined silver and soda. Let sit, then carefully remove the silver and buff to a brilliant shine.
12. Boost your Wi-Fi signal.
Weak signal interrupting seamless scrolling? Unacceptable! Fix it with foil. Take a very large piece of foil and fold it a few times. Now make several more folds and unfold it, so you’ve made creases that help it stand up on its own. Sit it behind your modem to boost the signal.
13. Make your own smartphone stylus.
Don’t want to touch your touchscreen? Aluminum foil works on smartphone touchscreens. Wrap a regular pen in foil to make a quick stylus. If you’re wearing regular gloves, you can even wrap a finger in foil to DIY touchscreen capabilities.
14. DIY cookie cutters.
Can’t find your cookie cutters? Use foil to make basic shapes perfect for festive sugar cookies. Cut foil into long strips, double or even triple it, and then create your shape. Fix end with a piece of tape to hold it together before pressing into your dough.
15. De-gunk your glue gun.
Don’t let globs of dried glue derail your crafting. Let the gun heat up to warm the tip and soften the glue, then turn it off. Now, take a ball of aluminum foil, and scrub the old glue away. You’re back to laying down, smooth, deliberate amounts of glue with less mess.
16. Remove rust from chrome.
A little bit of rust is enough to decrease the value of anything made of chrome. However, it’s easier than you think to bust the rust – and all you need is cola and foil. To begin, pour the cola on the rusty chrome. Now, take a ball of foil and scrub, scrub, scrub that rust away. Rinse off the cola and buff dry – no rust!
17. Protect your credit card.
One drawback of RFID chips is that scammers can scan your card and get some info without you ever taking the card out of your wallet. The scammers may not skim enough to steal your entire identity or make purchases, but it’s still your data at stake. Stop skimming immediately with a piece of foil. Wrap your card in a piece of foil, tuck it in your wallet, and block a scammer’s signal from acquiring any data.
18. DIY a quick funnel.
Not every kitchen has a funnel. And among those that do, you might not find the right size for various pouring and decanting jobs one might need to take on. Good news – foil can make any size funnel you need. Just tear off a piece, and fold it diagonally. Then roll it up with the pointy side serving as the inserted end, tape in place if necessary, and enjoy mess-free pouring.
19. Line a cabinet.
Cabinets and cupboards under the sink and in the garage can get messy from oils, solvents, or cleansers. Keep the bottom of these cabinets clean by lining them with aluminum foil. It’s easy to replace as often as needed. Also, the reflective quality of the foil means it will be easier to see what’s inside if the cabinet is dark.
20. Remove tough nail polish.
Textured or glittery nail polish can be very tough to remove with a plain cotton ball and remover. That’s where foil comes in. Soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover, and apply it to the nail. Now wrap a piece of foil around that, and let it sit for a full minute or two. The polish will wipe right off.