When we think of aluminium foil, we usually think of it as an essential tool for cooking and backing. However tin foil is far more than just an inexpensive kitchen essential. In this blog post, I’ll share 19 surprising hacks & uses for aluminium foil with you, to show you how versatile this foil really is.
You can pick up a roll of 18m kitchen foil cheaply from Poundland for just a £1. I’ve looked in the supermarkets, but a 10m roll usually cost around £1.50 in grocery shops such as Tesco. The thin, recyclable, pliable metal sheet isn’t just cheap and safe to use, but also has many surprising uses in and around the home. Therefore potentially saving you a lot of money due to its incredible versatility!
19 Aluminium Foil Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner
1. Maximise your radiators efficiency
Are you aware that some of the heat your radiators produce gets lost to external walls? With the cost of energy being so high, placing tin foil behind your radiator could save you a lot of money. The shiny foil helps reflect the heat back into the room instead of letting the wall absorb the heat. This is a very cheap and simple way to get more heat out of your radiator without spending more on your energy bill.
To find out how to make your own radiator reflectors like I did, have a look at my post : How to max your radiators efficiency with foil!
You can buy ready to use radiator reflector foil too, however I prefer to make my own as it’s much cheaper and just as effective.
2. Protect surfaces
Are you planning to paint a room or start craft project? If so, aluminium foil can come in handy. Since it’s so pliable, you can easily cover and protect surfaces of different shapes from getting messy from paint or glue. For example, if you are painting doors, cover the doorknob or handle with foil to protect them from the paint.
3. Make an icing bag
Don’t have a piping bag to decorate your cake, cupcakes or biscuits? Form the foil into a tube and fill it with icing. This way you won’t have to buy an icing bag for this occasion, plus you won’t need to clean it – just dispose it after use.
4. Sharpen your dull scissors
If you have some left over aluminium foil that isn’t large enough to cover food or for cooking, use it to sharpen your dull scissors. Fold the left over piece of foil several times then cut through it with the scissors. Doing this will create friction between the blades and tin foil, which will help sharpen the blades.
5. Make toasties
Have you checked into a hotel after their kitchen has closed? No problem. wrap a cheese sandwich in aluminium foil and use the hotel room iron to press on both sides of the wrapped sandwich. Voila, you have a cheap, tasty, hot snack without calling for expensive room service.
6. Polish tarnished silverware or silver jewellery.
After time silverware can become dull and blacken. Line bucket with aluminium foil and fill it with cold water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt into the bucket with water. Submerge the silverware into the solution in the bucket for 5 minutes, then rinse off. The molecular reaction called ion exchange uses the foil as a catalyst to clean your silver wear
7. Scrub pots with a makeshift scourer
Don’t have a scourer to clean your pots and pans? No problem, crumple up a handful of kitchen foil and use the DIY scourer to scrub your pots and pans. I sometimes use this to clean the BBQ grill as I don’t buy scourers.
8. Preserve steel wool pads from rusting
To prevent a used soap filled steel wool pad from rusting, wrap it in aluminium foil and store it in the freezer. Alternatively to extend of steel wool soap pads, put a crumpled up sheet of kitchen foil under the steel wool pad in a container and don’t forget to drain the water periodically.
9. Brighten dull jewellery
Line a small bowl with aluminum foil and fill the bowl with hot water. Next, dissolve a tablespoon of bleach-free laundry powder. Place the jewelry in the bowl with the solution and aluminum foil for two minutes to soak. Finally, rinse and let the jewelry air dry before wearing it.
10. Keep the bottom of the oven clean
Line the bottom rack with a layer of kitchen foil to catch anything from bubbling over and dripping to the bottom of the oven. Make sure not to line the bottom of the oven (only line the bottom rack), as this can be fire hazard.
11. Speed up ironing time
When you iron clothing, heat from the iron gets absorbed by the ironing board. Therefore, you may have to go over a crease several times to smooth it out. By placing a sheet of aluminium foil under your ironing board cover with the shiny side up, you can speed up the ironing process. The foil acts like a conductor, reflecting the heat back, which in turn allows you to iron both sides of the fabric simultaneously. Hence helps you smooth creases more quickly, as well as save you time and energy.
12. Slug repellant
Keep the slugs away from your plants and crops by mixing some small strips of kitchen foil with mulch and put them around your plants. Slugs don’t like going over the sharp edges.
13. Prevent birds eating your fruits
Are birds eating all your fruits in the garden? If so, dangle some strips of aluminum foil from branches with some fishing line.
14. Keep wasps away from your sweet drinks
My daughter and I get scared of wasps when we’re in the garden, especially when they come near our sweet drinks. However, we found a solution by tightly covering our glasses with tin foil and poking through a straw. This method has successfully kept the wasps away from us.
15. Make a DIY funnel
Double up some aluminum foil and roll it into a cone shape to make your funnel.
16. Keep paint brushes wet
If you are taking a break from painting, but want to continue later, there isn’t any point cleaning the brush. Instead remove the excess paint from the brush and wrap the brush tightly with some aluminium foil.
17. Make a DIY artist palette
Just crimp up the edges of a sheet of kitchen foil to make your palette to mix paints.
18. Prevent ice cream cones from dripping
When my daughter was little, I would sometimes cover the tip of her ice cream cone with aluminum foil to stop the ice cream from dripping onto her clothes.
19. Store seeds
Keep your seeds dry and secure by creating small pouches using tin foil. This method will also help you save storage space. I have found that using aluminium foil to make seed storage pouches has significantly reduced the space they take up in my shed, as opposed to using numerous plastic boxes.
Do you know of any other uses for aluminium foil? Please do share in the comments below 😁