Thirty Unusual Uses for Aluminum Foil


Step 6: Use it with technology

Picture of Use it with technology
Wifi parabolic signal booster: Fold some foil into a parabolic dish to boost your wifi signal from your router. Sure, it's unsightly and kind of goofy, but sometimes you need to be able to watch videos of kittens falling down stairs when you're nearly out of wifi range. There are some plans for this project right here on Instructables. Here's one.

Photography light reflector: Taking photos for my Instructables is always a chore. I hate that I have to wait for the light to be right at the office or at home, so I could really use one of those big light reflecting thingamajigs* that real photographers use. With some aluminum foil layered over a piece of cardboard, properly-lit pictures are just a light source away.

Fix loose batteries: Sometimes the springs that hold batteries in place loose their springiness. With their springiness compromised, battery-powered devices might not work at all, or only work if you hold them in a certain position. (I'm looking at you, Comcast remote control that I had to hold vertically in order to DVR Real Housewives of Albuquerque.) With a folded up piece of aluminum foil, you can force those batteries back into place. Just fold up a little piece and wedge it into position so that the battery terminals line up correctly. This trick will blow the mind of a child whose Furby is acting up.

Protect your brain waves from eavesdropping and mind control: Your thoughts are private. The government and super-advanced alien races (especially considering that they are probably in cahoots) shouldn't be able to read or control those thoughts. To combat telepathic control techniques that rely upon radio waves, you can fashion a protective helmet out of aluminum foil. Berkeley engineers have tested the wave-blocking power of aluminum foil and discovered that an aluminum foil deflector beanie actually magnifies extraneous signals beamed into a subject's head at certain frequencies. Probably propaganda. (You can see their results here and decide for yourself.)

*Technical term, obviously.

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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.

RSV262 years ago
like hardgreef stole the ceph (wiki it if you do not know )tech
I prefer foil to saran wrap and have routinely only bought foil to cover my left overs. However, my boyfriend, who is a chef, recently told me that saran wrap is better because foil alters the taste of food. Is this true?
Because Saran Wrap allows oxygen to pass through whereas foil does not, foil is actually superior for preventing freezer burn. But if the food is only stored for a short while this may not be worth consideration. Wrapping a hobo dinner requires the foil to be creased tightly to keep the steam in. When foil is used to cover a dish, say, in the fridge, there is not as tight a seal as saran wrap. So basically foil is superior for long term freezing and for hobo dinners.
Use of fluoridated water with aluminum cookware tends to also increase the amount of aluminum consumed; not just acidic foods. The non-stick coating in pans contains aluminum. Aluminum is one suspected cause to dementia and definitely is not good to eat.
If the foil does not touch the food, you should have no problem.
wilgubeast (author)  AlexandraBristow3 years ago
Yes, especially foods with a lot of acid. The acid interacts with the aluminum and can leave a metallic taste.
Thanks! I guess I will have to start buying saran. Yuck! So that being said, would it affect the taste of polished silver while eating food?
wilgubeast (author)  AlexandraBristow3 years ago
Aluminum shouldn't change the taste of anything besides acidic foods. The silver polishing trick will just take off the oxidized layers of silver from your silverware; it should have no effect on taste whatsoever.
Thank you! You = Genius!
kedwa302 years ago
Metallic fabric is sold specifically for people who want to create a faraday cage around their bed because it has been shown that EM radiation can disrupt sleep. Grounded AF strips hung around the bed are a cost effective alternative to reduce the disturbing EMR. Light is electromagnetic radiation. Some people's pineal gland is sensitive to non-visible EMR as well.

When one shapes it into a dish on the head, then it makes sense it would reflect the signal from the inside of the dish only to concentrate it at a point inside the wearers head. Signals from behind the head will bounce off harmlessly. When grounded, the AF should absorb the EMR rather than reflect it. A potential solution would be to shape a hat that did not have the concentration properties of a satelite dish. Or create an aluminum face shield. Silver Surfer anyone?
nisoe2 years ago
like number 4!!!!!!!!
apender3 years ago redirects to unrelated general section page. must have expired.
haclil3 years ago
Yet another use for foil is to fashion a pipe for smoking things. Start with a piece about 1 x 1 foot. Crumple it up bit by bit, shaping it as you go. Bunch-up and press some of the foil around a fiingertip to make the bowl.

Of course when you get to making the stem, flatten out several layers of the foil, lay a stick about the diameter of a matchstick on it, and form the stem around it. As you go along keep pressing the foil mass harder and harder until voila! you have a little pipe.
wilgubeast (author)  haclil3 years ago
This always seemed a little bit unsafe. Heating and inhaling aluminum seems unsafe. Find an apple or something and go to town with that.
cbg38683 years ago
A question: what is the difference between tin foil and aluminum foil? With heavy duty foil you can cover a bird house roof, directed in the right direction it could cool the bh some.

One of the most useful for camping. One could go on forever on this subject.
As explained to me many many years ago by a mother born in 1911 and a grandmother born in the late 1880s, "Tin" foil was the predessor to Aluminum foil, and tin foil was almost pure tin in a very thin foil, but Aluminum for foil making was both lighter, and cheaper. FYI, a similar explaination was given for "tin" cans, which very long ago stopped using tin.
I frequently do what REA said but specifically with an Xbox 360 controller. Only problem is a reduced battery life because of lower mAh from a AAA than a AA.
luig3 years ago
umm about the aluminum helmet, aluminum absorbs and sends (possibly amplify too) radio signal very well, thats why when you buy an RC car and look at the antenna you will notice its made out of aluminum.
REA3 years ago
it can also be used with AAA batteries as a spacer so you can put them in AA slots
tafelice3 years ago
For the Silverware cleaner, I was through that last year and researched it til ad nauseum and the way you recommend is one of the best cleaners BUT it is also the most destructive to the silver surface ie it removes more silver than other methods. Scrubbing with lemon and salt requires the scrubbing but keeps more of the silver.

I'll try the af ball in the dryer. Sounds good.

Also, with regard for a backing for glueing pants patches, we are of the belief that AF is too costly for that and if using wet glue will use a Kroger bag, sometimes with a piece of cardboard inside, and for a hot patch, just the cardboard, that patch hot glue backing is not that aggressive. But thanks. Was really hoping for the more bizarre like: You can form it into little hearts and include it in a greeting card and freak out that girl or guy you've been trying to dump. You can cut it to the size of a dollar bill and approach the cashier, pull it out of your wallet and ask "Can I have change for a Zorg?" Tear a little piece of AF and put it into a special box or pressed in a book, then when you have finished watching Wizard of Oz with your niece and nephew take it out and show them "a piece of the real Tin Man!"
the AL hats amplify the signals(so it wouldn't be a good idea when they come)
BUT has someone tested the hats with them grounded?(I think there will be a different result) =)

Also one more use as a temporary fix for a blown fuse. warp alittle foil around the fuse and plug it back in(as soon as you get a replacement)
Old sci-fi film 'They Came from Beyond Space' features a tinfoil hat used as a protection from alien mind control, thus proof of the excellence of this instructable