I love aluminum foil. It's recyclable, it's shiny, and it is super versatile. It can be used to clean, catch, protect, frighten, scrub, lift, soften, shape, grow, fix, sharpen, steam, attach, boost, and polish. We'll get into the specifics in just a moment, but first I would like to share a quick haiku about aluminum foil:

Aluminum* foil
The duct tape of the kitchen
All kinds of useful

Some of the following uses may surprise you. Some may anger you. Others may just leave you thinking, "I knooooow, I totally use it that way every day." Either way, these aluminum foil tips and tricks may just save your life, so settle in, grab a beverage, and position your roll of aluminum foil so you can gaze at it lovingly while I extol its many virtues.

*To those of you who speak British English, the syllabication doesn't quite work here. Aluminum was given an extra i to make it sound like all of the other -ium elements: helium, plutonium, uranium, etc. This is equally correct; I'm just going to use the lazy American disemvowelled version. In the meantime, don't go getting any ideas about platinum. It'd sound weird with an extra i. Say it aloud, "Platinium." That's how aluminium sounds in the colonies. Rich and vibrant and just a little bit vowelly.

Step 1: Use it in the kitchen

Soften brown sugar. Brown sugar. It tastes so good. But it's not always the easiest sugar to work with, because it gets clumpy and lumpy after a while. With some aluminum foil, however, you can soften brown sugar in the oven! Wrap your brick of brown sugar in aluminum foil, then pop it into the oven for five minutes at 300F. Soon you will have softened brown sugar for all of your sugary needs. (You could always just do this in the microwave, but maybe you don't have any microwave- or oven-safe flatware. Or a microwave.)

Pie crust protector. Some aluminum foil folded over the crust of a pie will keep the crust from browning and blackening and eventually falling off before the rest of the pie has cooked sufficiently. This use: useful but not unusual. Its usefulness far outweighs its ordinariness.

Pressure cooker lifter. Placing and lifting bowls into and out of a pressure cooker can be dangerous. Hot food, hot bowls, and slippery surfaces make for a situation fraught with danger. Aluminum foil makes an excellent lifting apparatus to safely and securely raise the precious contents of your pressure cooker without scalding your hands, arms, counter, floor, or curious dog. Just use a piece of aluminum foil that's the size of your bowl plus about eight additional inches. You're making a sling of sorts to lift out the bowl with your newly-made aluminum handles. Fold the foil lengthwise two or three times for strength, then place your bowl into the cooker with your shiny improvised lifter. Fold the handles down during cooking, then use them to lift out your hot bit of deliciousness.

DIY cake pans. Oh no! It's your nephew's birthday and you were supposed to get him a cake shaped like Darth Vader wearing bunny ears. But you forgot because you were busy mayonnaising your hair. Don't panic! You can make yourself an awesome custom cake pan using aluminum foil and some creativity. Just use some aluminum foil inside another baking pan to create the outline of whatever cake you're trying to make. (This is great for county fairs when you want to make something in the shape of the county to woo city council into preferring your home-baked tribute to local government.)

Oven cleaner. You can protect your oven from thrills and spills by placing a few sections of aluminum foil beneath something that might bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble all over the floor of your oven. Don't foil the actual floor of the oven, as that could cause a build-up of heat to warp the bottom of your expensive appliance. Instead, lay some foil over the rack just beneath whatever it is that might erupt and create a mess. Instead of scrubbing until your elbows run out of grease, you can just ball up the soiled foil and recycle it. BONUS OVEN TIP: to protect your heating elements from the harsh chemicals in store-bought oven cleaner, put some aluminum foil over them before spraying down the interior of your oven. [EDIT] This may cause a potentially explosive chemical reaction, but your heating elements will appreciate your thoughtfulness while the house burns down.

Scrubber. I'm a big fan of cast iron frying pans. They're great, but clean up is sometimes a disaster. Using salt and paper towels works most of the time, but egg and rice (and the combination thereof after fried rice) tend to grip the pan like limpets. With a little bit of crumpled aluminum foil, I can scrub off tough messes. This works anywhere you might find yourself scrubbing unusually hard like post-casserole Pyrex, forgot-about-the-pasta-and-all-the-water-boiled-off pots, and caramel that's Maillarded to the point of crumbly blackness.

Campsite cooking utensils. The next time you're camping, you can lug around an entire kitchen set, or you can take a light roll of aluminum foil and fashion your own utensils and pans. You can make a frying pan using a forked stick with aluminum foil stretched over the crook. You can easily make plates and bowls, wrap veggies and meat, or even fold a spoon, fork, or spork out of aluminum foil.

Reheat crispy things. I enjoy the occasional pizza delivered to my door from a company whose name comes from a popular dotted-tile game. But I can't always finish the pizza in one sitting, and I need to reheat the delicious cheesiness. I'll microwave when I'm in a rush, but if I want ideal flavor I go to the oven with some aluminum foil. I set the slice directly on the foil and fold an edge over the crust to protect it from the heat. Bake at 350F for five or so minutes (or broil in high for two) and bam!: fresh-ish pizza. This method has the added advantage of instilling false olfactory hope in a roommate.

<p>for the softening brown sugar tip, only use the foil for normal ovens, if you are microwaving do not foil the sugar.</p>
I knew there was a reason why i bought a 90 meter roll of aluminium foil :).. but i wont be cutting through layers of aluminium to sharpen scissors instead i have found that trying to cut the neck off a bottle of wine helps give life back to a dull pair.
foil under squash blossoms is supposed to keep out some kind of beetle(can't remember the name at the moment).<br><br> i also have slugs and snail problems. i wonder if foil wrapped around the stem will keep them from climbing?<br><br>
<p>They are called &quot;Squash Bugs.&quot;</p>
In a pinch, you can use a small piece of foil to bridge a blown car fuse, until you can fix it properly. <br> <br>You can also use a small bit folded up at the end of a AAA battery, to make it work where an AA battery should be used.
<p>Electricity 101, day one, LESSON ONE: </p><p>There aren't enough 'nevers' to adequately describe the circumstances under which you may use foil to replace or bypass a fuse. Seriously. Don't EVER do it. For ANY reason. No matter how 'temporary' you think it will be, no matter how confident you are that you've fixed the fault in the circuit. You are playing with fire when you do that. LITERALLY. </p>
Okay, please do not EVER bypass a blown fuse unless you know why the fuse blew in the first place and know for certain that a new fuse wouldn't blow again. If you don't know why the fuse blew, by bypassing it you are potentially allowing full unregulated current from your battery to travel through any number of wires in the circuit. Your car could catch on fire and people could get hurt. Just make sure you know what you're doing, that is all!
Could be worse: http://www.darwinawards.com/legends/legends1998-04.html
<p>cheap alternative to buying vapour barrier insulation boards for wall insulation etc by glueing the foil on one side of general purpose packing styrene 25mm or more then covering with polythene, works out 75% cheaper</p>
enjoyed reading tips and your quips
<p>Hey! You forgot about ✰ALL✰ of those craft projects you can do with Mod Podge and foil! Like, using Mod Podge and aluminum foil to make a lamp shade! Or updating your wooden chest of drawers to make a fantastic look.. Don't have a Sizzix embossing machine? Aluminum foil can be embossed on anything! The possibilities are endless... </p>
<p>Whoa. I didn't even realize that was a thing. So cool! It's like metalwork without all the poisonous fumes, high voltages, and attractive headwear. </p>
Look at the photo ^up there^..
Such gorgeous projects!! Now I need to find instructables on those!!
Here's my craft desk; I used aluminum foil for the sides and an old book's pages for the rest of it.
If you crumble it up loosely you can shape it into an inexpensive core of a sculpture or a mask. Paint the foil with gesso and the clay will stick or don't and you can pick out the core once the clay or paper m&acirc;ch&eacute; drys.
Regarding using in your laundry to &quot;de-static&quot;. I actually just read about this online today. Don't remember where, but I intend to try it! *If you made it up, then somebody's passing it on. LOL
The presence of a buffer of some kind prevents your clothes from rubbing up on each other like hormonal kids at an unchaperoned high school prom. Aluminum foil isn't ferrous, so you won't get any of the destatic benefits of, say, paperclips in the laundry. But the buffer is enough. (Which is why tennis balls work, along with those dryer balls they actually sell for this exact purpose.)<br /><br />I hear good things about using some white vinegar in the wash cycle (put it in the fabric softener spot) or pinning safety pins to a couple of items in the dryer.<br /><br />The use of safety pins would bear out my hunch that the addition to the dryer should be ferrous (you could probably use paperclips in a pinch), and perhaps the acid in the vinegar helps to prevent the transfer of electrons between clothing items. Regardless, a buffer of any kind will help cut the cling. Could be foil, tennis balls, anything that won't destroy your dryer.
LOL @ hormonal kids. I have tried those laundry balls, as well as white vinegar, but still get shocked to heck, especially during the winter. I haven't tried the safety pin idea, as I worry about rust. Maybe I should try &quot;all of the above&quot;. It would still be cheaper and better than buying/using fabric softener. <br>Thanks for the tips!
You need to add humidity to the air in your home. Try boiling a pot of water...just let it boil away. You'll notice a remarkable change in the atmosphere, with no static electricity anywhere in sight!
Thanks for the tip. I just fired up my wood stove. I'll go put a pot of water on top of it right now.
<p>Did adding moisture to the air help resolve your static electricity problem? just curious...</p>
<p>It's been a lot better! Thanks!</p>
<p>I do everything possible to keep the humidity up especially during the winter. The additional moisture not only keeps the static way, it is also an excellent conductor of heat...thereby making it easier to heat your home. I keep house plants, indoor drying of certain laundry items (towels and such), water boiling on the stove, a humidifier if you have one, or even just bowls of rocks and water sitting in hidden areas will help. Adding a small amount of vinegar to some of the bowls of water will also keep odors at bay like during the winter when you can't open windows. I personally have an evaporative cooler, otherwise known as a swamp cooler) here in Arizona where I live and that keeps the humidity up very well during the summer. If you live in moister areas, an evap cooler won't work as well. In any case, Humidity keeps the static away and easier to heat the home. My Motto! </p>
<p>I use aluminum foil to sharpen my scissors. I just fold it up a few times and cut through 5 or 6 times and viola! my scissors are sharp sharp again! works like magic. </p>
<p>I tried using the foil ball in my dryer to remove static from my clothing, it DID NOT WORK. I found just using a small chunk of a dryer sheet works best. </p>
This is also a great Painting and Trim Item. Use it to wrap pipes, Hoses and odd objects. You can wrap it around without tape to hold it.
A knife is actually a very fine tooth saw, as an examination under magnification will verify. With normal use, those teeth become misaligned with the cutting direction and actually impede cutting, Cutting through the metal foil bends back any that might be sticking out at right angles, better aligning the edge in the direction of the cut. This is not ideal, as each tooth so &quot;aligned&quot; is no longer useful to the process, but at least it doesn't get in the way. A butcher's steel performs the same function, but doesn't actually remove any metal from an edge unless it is used improperly, bending the edge back and forth until it literally breaks off. Proper use of a steel is a slow and deliberate process of consistent angle and pressure, not the haphazard slapping of two pieces of metal together as one often sees even &quot;experienced&quot; knife workers use. To actually &quot;sharpen&quot; an edge requires that some abrasive is used to remove the damaged edge and establish new teeth. The degree of fineness of those teeth, and the resulting cutting edge, is dependant upon the grit of the abrasive and the angle at which it is applied to the edge. It is always adviseable to maintain the factory set angle when using such an abrasive and maintain a consistency of said angle in each pass.
very smart and good
Henckelsy? <br> <br>Were you wearing your tin foil hat when you wrote that!?
Sometimes you just need a brand-specific adjective where none exists. I considered Ginsuish, Wüsthoffian, and Shunlike, but Henckelsy just has a nice ring to it. (I am still partial to Wüsthoffian, actually, but that's just 'cause I enjoy umlauts.)
LOL. I love Ginsuish, but now I get Henkelsy, I just didn't 'see' it last night. I'm umlaut challenged myself, so I shy away from them.
Use it with electronics: <br> <br>A small piece of foil will complete the circuit if you have ill-fitting batteries. I've also used it successfully as a short-hand fix for iPods where one earphone no longer works - a small strip inside the jack to complete a weakened or broken circuit (Replace with a new cable ASAP!) <br> <br>If you have rechargeable batteries, it can also be useful to fix batteries registering as &quot;bad&quot; in the charger - bridge between the bad battery and a good one in the charger (pos to pos and neg to neg) This will allow enough trickle charge from the &quot;good&quot; battery to build up the bad one until the charger can take over. <br>
oh, and we've also used it short-term as a blocker. One of our windows used to draw in a lot of direct radiant heat during summer, so we put tinfoil across the inside of it to reflect it back out. <br> <br>Have since covered it with a shade :) <br>
This is great! <br>Just want to add an additional way to KEEP your iron from getting gunky when doing patches or other iron on stuff. Cut a stack of aluminum foil sheets the shape of your iron sole plate + about an inch all around. When you're going to do something messy, set the iron on a sheet and fold it up around the lip of the edge. Transfers heat just fine. And if it gets gunky, toss in the recycling when you're through.
I would really like to know why using your scissors on the foil would make them sharper..<br><br>Wouldn't any use of the sharp edge, decrease it's overall sharpness?
It is because of the way things are cut with scissors; you also improve sharpness if you cut sandpaper. You only scratch the surface of the outer edges of the scissors. It is similar to the way rats sharpen their teeth.
I was surprised to find out how wonderful the scissors in our house cut after learning this trick about 3 years ago. <br> <br>I'm not sure why it works, but it does. <br> <br>I must admit that anything that causes the blades to separate though defeats the purpose of scissors, so I've never used but 2-3 layers myself (a small piece folded over). I generally don't &quot;cut&quot; to sharpen more than 3 times. <br> <br>good luck!
Well, thinking about it, what most people call the process of sharpening is actually honing the edge (or drawing the burr, or some such).&nbsp; The edges are already defined on a good pair of scissors, so the process of cutting through the foil will be drawing a hard clean edge (of several layers of foil) across both blades in a direction perpendicular to the cutting edge.&nbsp; It's _roughly_ analogous to the way sharpening steel is used on a knife edge.<br> <br> I wouldn't recommend it for expensive shears (say $100+ cloth shears), but for that $5 pair of plastic-handled paper shears that have seen better days?&nbsp; Totally!<br> <br> Just be careful not to force the issue; a few layers sounds about right, but anything that requires too much force will distort the swivel and throw off the tension and gap between the blades.<br>
All ordinary aluminium is covered in thin layer of aluminium oxide because the surface oxidises as soon as it comes in contact with air. Aluminium oxide is so hard that it is used in abrasive papers and grinding wheels.<br> <br> I would guess that cutting the foil might grind the cutting surfaces, but perhaps it just cleans and polishes them really well. Anyone got a better theory ?
like hardgreef stole the ceph (wiki it if you do not know )tech
im using aluminum cans as armor plating fo my braser 2.0
Sorry if this is a repeat...didn't want to go through 113 replies.... I use foil as an armature for my sculptures. I bend wire (even an old hanger works) to simulate the image (say, a human body) then I bend, wrap, crinkle the foil around the wire armature. This helps decrease the amount of clay needing to be used and gives a nice &quot;white canvas&quot; to your sculptural masterpiece!<br>
back in the day when I would go camping at remote locals, I would always take AT LEAST 2 ROLLS of aluminum foil. <br><br>The foil helps to block the dampness &amp; cold from coming up thru your sleeping bag &amp; also your tent...never mind the fact that it is just about THE best thing to cook with over an open fire.<br><br>The uses for Aluminum foil are only limited by one's imagination.<br>When I was finished on each camping trip, whatever I packed in ALWAYS got packed out.
Teehee... Sporks and foons
I'm not sure which I love more - the fantastic 'ibles I spend far too much time browsing/absorbing, or the utterly fascinating discourse that follows most of them..I JUST LOVE THIS COMMUNITY OF FUNKY, UBER-SMART, AND HILARIOUSLY FUNNY FOLKS!!!
Or, you can seal your hardened brown sugar in an air-tight container with a slice of bread. It'll soften right up. Works well for cookies that have gotten hard too ;)
I actually use this technique as it's far less work than foil. But if foil's all you've got...

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