11 Surprising Uses for Aluminum Foil

Flexible, durable, moisture-proof, and grease-proof, aluminum foil is most often used in the kitchen. But foil can do so much more! Keep this multitasking treasure on hand, and you'll always have a quick fix for ironing, crafting, or even heavy lifting. Keep reading to discover more interesting and unusual ways to use aluminum foil for more than storing leftovers.

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  1. Cutting Edge

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    Dull scissors are the bane of crafters everywhere. Sharpen worn-down scissors by stacking several layers of aluminum foil, folding them in half, and then cutting them with the blades; six to eight swipes should leave your scissors nice and sharp.


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  2. Smooth Slide

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    Foil makes an inexpensive improvised slider to help move heavy furniture. Simply wrap foil around the bottom of the legs, dull side down. (The dull side is more slippery than the shiny side.) The foil will make it easy to slide the furniture across the floor—no heavy lifting required!


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  3. Pour More

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    Use foil to make an instant, disposable funnel to transfer messy liquids like oil, or sticky ones like honey. Simply double up a length of heavy-duty aluminum foil and mold it into the shape of a cone. The highlight of this easy hack is that there's no messy cleanup—when you're done, just throw it away, or clean it off and toss it into the recycling bin. 

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  4. Easy Bake

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    Line the bottom of your oven or grill with foil before cooking; once you're done, simply remove the dirty foil and throw it away. To really get your money's worth, before tossing the old foil, crumple it up and use it to scrub off stuck-on food debris from grates or baking pans.


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  5. Battery Buddy

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    The springs that hold the batteries in your remotes, flashlights, and toys can lose tension over time and gradually cause your devices to stop working. Use a small piece of foil as a quick remedy to this annoying problem. Fold the foil until you have a small pad that is thick enough to wedge between the batteries and the spring. This will eliminate the extra space and help keep everything in place.  


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  6. Paint Saint

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    Foil can be a time-saving superhero on your next paint project. Eliminate the tedious task of removing door hardware by wrapping knobs and hinges in aluminum foil to protect them from paint spills. You can even line the roller pan with foil to make cleanup a breeze. And if you're not quite done painting but need to run an errand, try wrapping your paintbrush in foil, then storing it in the fridge. 


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  7. Flooring Fix

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    Use foil to salvage a loose vinyl floor tile. Position the errant tile in place on the floor, put a piece of foil on top, and run a hot clothes iron over the tile a few times to melt the glue underneath. Lay a pile of books or bricks on top of the tile to hold it in place while the glue resets. Try the same trick to smooth out bumps and bulges in sheet vinyl flooring.


    Related:  Just Floored! 15 Totally Unexpected DIY Flooring Ideas

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  8. Heating Pad

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    Tuck a sheet of foil underneath the ironing board cover so that it reflects heat from the iron, allowing you to iron both sides of your garment at once—and cutting ironing time nearly in half. 


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  9. Steel Trap

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    If you want to extend the usable life of steel wool pads, store them on top of a crumpled ball of foil to prevent the steel wool from rusting. For longer-term storage, wrap the steel wool pad in foil and place it in the freezer.


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  10. Heat Wave

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    Improve the efficiency of your radiators by making a DIY heat reflector out of foil. Tape a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil to a large piece of cardboard with the shiny side facing out and place it behind the radiator. The heat will bounce off the foil and into the room instead of being absorbed by the wall. If your radiators have covers on them, tape a piece of aluminum foil under the lid, shiny side down, to direct heat down and into the room.


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  11. Shiny and New

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    Polish your silver with your own home-made tarnish remover. Line a glass pan with foil and place the silver into the pan, making sure that each piece touches the foil. Add four cups of boiling water, followed by a quarter cup of baking soda; double or triple the recipe as needed to completely cover the silver. The mixture will start to foam, and the tarnish will adhere to the foil (the process will take several minutes). Heavily tarnished pieces may require several treatments. Remove the silver from the pan, rinse with clean water, and dry with a soft cloth. Store the silver on a sheet of foil to avoid future tarnishing. (This process is not recommended for silver-plated pieces.)


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