I grew up in awe of "tin foil"—what is now more commonly called aluminum foil. Mainly, this was probably because my favorite candy (chocolate) came wrapped in it. However, I later began to appreciate aluminum foil for more elevated reasons as well.
With the average cost of a roll of aluminum foil being $5 (pre-coupons at Walmart), it’s best to try and get the most out of each roll. Before you throw out that once (or twice) used sheet of aluminum foil, try repurposing it in one of these 10 ways.
And also be sure to bookmark KCL's coupons page to get the best deal when you need a new roll!
1. Clean your silver items.
Aluminum foil is a great cleaner—and much cheaper than traditional silver cleaners for jewelry and silverware!
- What to do: Place a sheet of aluminum foil in the bottom of a dish. Place your silver items inside. Then add one tablespoon of baking soda and a cup of hot water. Wait 60 seconds. Remove your items and place them on a soft towel to air dry.
Note: For particularly dirty items, you can use a ball of aluminum foil just like steel wool to scrub the stains away.
2. Fix a loose self-stick tile.
If you have a self-stick tile that is not so sticky anymore, tear off a sheet of aluminum foil slightly larger than the tile itself.
- What to do: Warm up an iron and run the iron over the foil. The heat from the iron will re-activate the adhesive, and the foil will keep the tile from being affected. Place heavy items on top of the foil to let the adhesive re-set.
3. Restore a circuit connection.
If you have a remote control, flashlight or other battery-operated device that has gone on the fritz, it may be a loose connection.
- What to do: Tear off a small piece of foil and fold it up to just the size of the area between the batteries and the coils. Place it inside, then add the batteries and enjoy your reliable device!
4. Reflect heat (in or out).
Aluminum foil is great at reflecting heat in any direction you want it to go.
- What to do: For instance, in winter you can place a sheet of aluminum foil (shiny side facing out) behind a room space heater or radiator and it will send the heat into the room you’re trying to warm up. In the summer, you can place large sheets of foil (shiny side facing out) on windows to reflect the sun's heat back outside and away from the house.
5. Focus the heat to de-wrinkle anything.
Little is more irritating than to run your iron over an area on your fabric again and again, only to see stubborn wrinkles that continue to remain.
- What to do: Take a larger sheet of foil and slide it underneath the cover for your ironing board. Then place the wrinkled item on top of the foil. Run the iron over the foil and watch the wrinkles disappear (the foil reflects the heat up towards the clothing).
6. Keep other surfaces clean safely.
There are many things you cannot place into a hot oven, a fireplace or a pan to keep it clean. But aluminum foil is not one of them.
- What to do: Just place a sheet of foil on top of a broiler tray, underneath a pan, on the bottom of the oven or fireplace, or anywhere you need to capture ash, drippings, and other by-products safely. Wait until they cool, then just lift the foil out and discard its contents.
7. Keep pests away.
Most birds, rodents and insects enjoy a tasty nibble of fresh wood, green leaves or crispy veggies and fresh fruits from the garden. What none of them enjoy is aluminum foil—which makes aluminum foil a gardener's best friend.
- What to do: Ball up foil and squish it into openings where rodents and snakes like to go in and out. Wrap it around tree trunks in winter (remove in spring) and around young tomato and plant stems. Hang strips of the shiny stuff where birds, flying insects and other critters can see it near your garden.
Note: This even works with pets! If your cat or dog is tempted to scratch, bite or pee on certain surfaces, wrap or cover those areas in aluminum foil.
8. De-clump sugar.
If you find your sugar stockpile getting hard and clumpy, don't despair.
- What to do: Wrap the big lumpy clump in aluminum foil, then place it in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Be careful unwrapping it—the clumps will be all be gone!
9. Sharpen dull edges.
Knives and scissors can both benefit from a few swift slices through a section of aluminum foil.
- What to do: Snip, slice, snip—after a few rounds of cutting up a sheet of aluminum foil, your knives and scissors will be sharper than ever!
10. Send static packing.
If there’s one thing in life I truly hate, it’s static cling.
- What to do: Adding a ball of crumpled up foil to the dryer cycle can make all that static disappear.