12 Unusual Uses For Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil is a staple in every kitchen, but its value far exceeds keeping food warm and catching grease.
How thick is aluminum foil? When it is rolled out, it is extremely thin, about 2 millimeters. Because of its thinness, aluminum foil is very flexible. This makes it perfect for any number of uses around the house and out in the world.
Here are 11 uses for aluminum foil you never would have thought of, but you should probably keep in mind.
1. Sharpen scissors with aluminum foil
There’s nothing more frustrating than dull scissors. Don’t worry, though: you don’t need a specialized sharpener and you don’t need to buy new scissors. Just take a square of aluminum foil and fold it up at least three times. Then, simply cut through the square several times. Cutting on the metal will sharpen the blades up nicely.
2. Boost your home wifi signal with aluminum foil
This sounds like a joke but it isn’t. In the old days before cable, people discovered that you can boost a television antenna with aluminum foil. Today, we can use the same technique to boost wifi signals. Because electric signals reflect off of metal, angling foil in certain areas will cause the signal to bounce. YouTube has a great tutorial on how to do this below.
3. Fix a scratched mirror with aluminum foil
Mirrors lose some of their reflective backing sometimes. Older mirrors often have noticeable gaps and scratches. But if you don’t want that distressed look, simply tape a piece of aluminum foil over the back (with the shiny side toward the glass). This will patch the gap in such a way that no one will notice. It works so well you may forget where the gap was, too.
4. Polish silver with aluminum foil
This trick works like magic! Put aluminum foil on the bottom of a pan, and then put your silverware (or silver jewelry) on top. Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 2 teaspoons of salt. Then fill the pan with hot water. Make sure the silver is submerged for 5 minutes. The baking soda reacts with the aluminum to polish the silver with electrolytic action instead of harsh chemicals. Take it out, rinse it off, and there you go!
5. Clean outdoor grills with aluminum foil
Did you know that a ball of wadded up aluminum foil is a perfect cleaning tool? It will work on cast iron and outdoor grills as well as or better than steel wool or a scrub brush. Simply roll a piece of aluminum foil up into a ball and scrub away. Here is a great demonstration for how well this works:
6. Remove static from your laundry with aluminum foil
This won’t make your laundry smell fresh, but it will keep it cling-free. Simply crumple up a ball of foil and put it in the dryer with your clothing. This also works very well for people with sensitivities to perfume or chemicals. And don’t worry, the ball will not shock you when you take it out.
7. Iron clothes better with aluminum foil
Putting the foil under the cover on the ironing board will redirect the heat and work faster than just using the iron alone. Just be aware that you don’t want to use this on delicate fabric, which may require a lower temperature. Plus, if you have a problem with a sticky iron because of starch, you can clean it off by simply ironing another piece of aluminum foil a few times.
8. Build a toy boat from aluminum foil
Kids love this because foil is metal, yet it floats! All you need is a 4×6 inch piece of foil and you can fold it in a very basic way, or you can be extra fancy and do it origami style! Try and float pennies in your boat. It will hold a surprising number before it sinks. Here’s a great tutorial on making your own foil boat:
9. Protect your credit card with aluminum foil
It sounds like the same thing as a tinfoil hat to keep your thoughts from being read, but it’s actually true. If you have a swipeless card, it’s possible that thieves can scan it remotely. While they can’t make purchases like this, thieves can collect your information. To prevent this, wrapping your card with aluminum foil will protect your privacy. Don’t worry about your magnetic strip: aluminum foil is not magnetic, so it will not wipe your information.
10. Start a fire in an emergency with aluminum foil
If you find yourself camping and need to make a fire, this works much better than rubbing two sticks together. Cut a piece of aluminum foil around 4 inches long by 1/2 an inch wide. In the middle of the strip, cut the foil to make a thin connecting strip about 3/4 of an inch long. Wrap the thin strip with cotton (the cotton ball from an aspirin bottle works great). Then touch the two outer ends of the strip to either end of a AA battery. The cotton will ignite. Here’s a good tutorial on this lifesaving tip:
11. Fix loose batteries with aluminum foil
Remember how well it worked to start a fire? Well, you can also use aluminum foil to fix a loose battery. Just put a small piece of foil by the spring, which will help make the connection. Do not under any circumstances put aluminum foil on both ends, because, again, that will start a fire.
12. How To Polish Aluminum Foil Into A Perfect Ball
This bit of DIY wizardry originated in Japan and became a viral sensation! Take a roll of aluminum foil and tear off a very long piece (or use the whole roll). The bigger the roll, the bigger the ball will turn out to be. Scrunch the long piece of foil into a ball. Then grab a mallet and start pounding the ball smooth. You may eventually want to switch to a hammer as the ball becomes smaller. Once you have the ball as smooth as you can get it, take a piece of sandpaper or a sander, and sand the foil ball into a smooth, shiny, silver orb!