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Thirty Unusual Uses for Aluminum Foil

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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.
 
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mamaRoxc1 month ago

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...

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wilgubeast (author)  mamaRoxc1 month ago

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.

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.
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dave3151 month ago
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 mâché drys.
chabias1 year ago
Regarding using in your laundry to "de-static". 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
wilgubeast (author)  chabias1 year ago
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.)

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.

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 "all of the above". It would still be cheaper and better than buying/using fabric softener.
Thanks for the tips!
miwin1000 chabias9 months ago
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!
chabias miwin10009 months ago
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.
miwin1000 chabias6 months ago

Did adding moisture to the air help resolve your static electricity problem? just curious...

chabias miwin10006 months ago

It's been a lot better! Thanks!

miwin1000 chabias6 months ago

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!

miwin10006 months ago

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.

miwin10006 months ago

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.

pdorwin1 year ago
In a pinch, you can use a small piece of foil to bridge a blown car fuse, until you can fix it properly.

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.
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!
wilgubeast (author)  MossdaleMakerspace6 months ago
Could be worse: http://www.darwinawards.com/legends/legends1998-04.html
Pepsiman19679 months ago
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.
wilgubeast (author)  Pepsiman19679 months ago
Smart!
oldngrumpy1 year ago
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 "aligned" 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 "experienced" knife workers use. To actually "sharpen" 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.
markpa1 year ago
very smart and good
discowhale1 year ago
Henckelsy?

Were you wearing your tin foil hat when you wrote that!?
wilgubeast (author)  discowhale1 year ago
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.
taleya1 year ago
Use it with electronics:

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!)

If you have rechargeable batteries, it can also be useful to fix batteries registering as "bad" 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 "good" battery to build up the bad one until the charger can take over.
taleya taleya1 year ago
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.

Have since covered it with a shade :)
mole11 year ago
This is great!
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.
Marinus843 years ago
I would really like to know why using your scissors on the foil would make them sharper..

Wouldn't any use of the sharp edge, decrease it's overall sharpness?
Arano Marinus842 years ago
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.

I'm not sure why it works, but it does.

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 "cut" to sharpen more than 3 times.

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).  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.  It's _roughly_ analogous to the way sharpening steel is used on a knife edge.

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?  Totally!

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.
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.

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 ?
RSV262 years ago
like hardgreef stole the ceph (wiki it if you do not know )tech
RSV262 years ago
im using aluminum cans as armor plating fo my braser 2.0
shellyrae2 years ago
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 "white canvas" to your sculptural masterpiece!
SIRJAMES092 years ago
back in the day when I would go camping at remote locals, I would always take AT LEAST 2 ROLLS of aluminum foil.

The foil helps to block the dampness & cold from coming up thru your sleeping bag & also your tent...never mind the fact that it is just about THE best thing to cook with over an open fire.

The uses for Aluminum foil are only limited by one's imagination.
When I was finished on each camping trip, whatever I packed in ALWAYS got packed out.
JungleMugsy2 years ago
Teehee... Sporks and foons
throttlehog2 years ago
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!!!
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