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Aluminum foil is indispensable in the kitchen, whether you put it in the oven to assist the cooking process, or use it to keep leftover food fresher for longer in the fridge.

But what are other uses for your tin foil that makes life easier?

Sure, you can make a totally killer robot suit for the kids, or craft something shiny to hustle the birds away from your veggie garden.

Read on to examine different approaches to using foil in your kitchen, housework, and cleaning. Chances are you’ll know a few, but hopefully you will find a new idea to work with.

1. Cleaning Your Silverware

silver cutlery
Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

I can’t believe I never knew aluminum foil causes a chemical reaction that can get rid of the tarnish accrued on your silver and plated silver utensils.

As someone who hates cleaning and polishing flatware (it just never looks good) combining hot water, baking soda and aluminum foil is a game changer.

2. Soften Sugar

Brown Sugars
Image Source: Dana Velden via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Have you ever tried to grab the requisite two tablespoons of sugar and had to carve it off with a massive chisel?

A good way to soften your sugar when it’s turned to brick, is wrapping it in foil and sticking it in the oven for a few minutes at 350.

The heat softens up the clumped sugar without melting it, but saves you plenty of elbow grease during recipe prep.

3. RFID Card Protection

wallet and card
Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

If you carry the new types of passport, debit or credit card, then chances are it has a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip built in.

While these cards offer more utility and safety than older card types, items with an RFID chip do show some susceptibility to unscrupulous scammers with scanners.

While some people opt for a wallet, purse, or card carrier with RFID protection (my wife bought me one and we didn’t even know) a cheap and effective way to safeguard your cards is to keep them shielded with aluminum foil.

Check out how it all works below!

4. Clothes Ironing

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

To be honest, I’m not one for ironing much, it’s one of the perks of working from home (every day can be “say no to pants day” too).

I’ve never been much good at ironing either, however, sticking a sheet of aluminum foil underneath my iron board cover helps get the creases and wrinkles out more effectively than any intensive training I could do.

Tin foil reflects heat so sandwiches your clothes nicely, and allows you to get a nice even smoothness on your clothing, without the need for bad language.

5. Sharpening Scissors

Image by Lars_Nissen from Pixabay

I generally dislike sharpening scissors, the process lacks the calming capacity that spending time on the whetstone with knives does.

I always treated scissors and shears disposably, picking up a new pair of cheap utensils whenever I felt the need (or lost them).

Nowadays, I sharpen my scissors simply by taking a good length of foil (crinkled then flattened back out is best) and making six or seven full cuts. The resistance from the metal helps hone the blades and keep a nice edge for much longer.

6. Cleaning Your Grill

Aluminum Foil Ball
Photo by Teslariu Mihai on Unsplash

There’s a variety of methods to clean your grill. One of the cheapest and most effective that I have found is using aluminum foil.

The process is simple: scrunch up a big piece of foil into a crinkly ball, then get to work scraping off the soot and detritus from the grill’s cooking surface.

It’s surprising how simple, and how effective the foil is at removing all the rubbish. You should have no need for expensive cleaning products, or brushes and it works for cast iron pots as well (just make sure you don’t use foil on pots with enamel surfaces).

7. Fixing a Worn Mirror

Image Source: Liz West via Flickr CC BY 2.0

If you have an heirloom mirror or bedside table (or live in a rental with a crappy vanity) that has worn in places, it can be a problem.

If a full refinish of the mirror is out of your budget, or if the problem is small, you can create a temporary fix by attaching some tin foil to the back of the glass or unit

I recommend affixing it to the frame with masking tape to the frame so the shiny side goes through. The foil will reflect back as you look at the mirror, minimizing the distraction and making the glass look whole again.


Aluminum foil is tremendous for creating cheap and easy fixes in the home, or for crafting alternative solutions to problems that might pop up.

What are some tin foil hacks that you apply around the house?

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