Step 6: 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.

<p>Okay, I didn't take the time to read all these great comments, so maybe someone might have stated this before. </p><p>Some weeks ago I watched a report about aluminum in food and the effects this might have on peoples' health. While being a widely used kitchen item for being versatile as hell, aluminum in contact with acid is something you might not want to let into your organism. Scientists found out that aluminum is being absorbed by food up to levels that the WHO claims to be poisenous on the long run by accumulation. Aluminum diluted in acid (which many food items contain in big quantities without people even realizing it) is capable to cross the brain barrier with your blood stream and is suspected to be an important factor in the development of nervous diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson. This would explain the tremendously increasing number of these diseases since the late 50s. </p><p>I banned aluminum widely from my kitchen and food preparation. I cannot say I can think better ever since, but why take a risk... ;-)</p>
<p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/member/Azze01" rel="nofollow">Azze01</a></p><p>I had wondered about the interaction between aluminum and acid. I was fond of cooking fish in aluminum and squirting lemon juice over the fish before baking it. For sometimes now I've been placing the fish onto a piece of Reynolds Wrap before cooking it. I think now tho' that I will bake fish w/lemon juice in a glass casserole with a piece of crumpled parchment paper on top. </p><p>Thank you for that!</p>
<p> Wow, finally someone to reflect about contents, not spelling... ;-) Thanks! </p><p>Parchment paper (baking paper as we call it here) may be fine for that application; only you might have to fiddle around with the temperature setting for a while as the paper does not reflect heat back into the fish the way aluminum foil does. When you feel you just cannot do without the aluminum, one option would be to cover the glass casserole with aluminum foil making sure to form a ridge in the foil i.e. to create an aluminum &quot;roof&quot; of sorts. This way aluminum loaded condensed water will run down the inside of the &quot;roof&quot; and down the outside of the casserole instead of into your dinner. Be inventive. </p>
<p>I used aluminium foil to shield the inside of my Fender Strat. It works just as well as copper sheet or tape and is a good deal cheaper.</p>
<p>Finally, somebody has spelled it correctly. It's aluminium not aluminum!!!! :D Sorry, I hate the wording aluminum nearly as much as I hate it when people say soddering instead of soldering.</p><p>Good collection of uses for aluminium foil though :)</p>
<p>Nice to see my native spelling here. Been in Canada so long now, I've adapted I suppose.....but lovely to see SPELT again! My biggest beef here with language is the use of lay........it's incorrectly most of the time!!</p>
<p>&quot;...it's incorrectly most of the time!!&quot; That sentence needs help.</p>
<p>You are correct, it does need help. So, regarding lay or lie - it is incorrectly used most of the time! lol........fingers could do with help as well. :-)</p>
<p>I am now suddenly reminded of English grammar lessons from nearly 50 years ago. The use of certain words for past tense and present tense. 'Spelled' being for past with 'spelt' as present. :)</p>
<p>Actually Kevan, both spellings are correct. Do some research.</p>
<p>Actually, Pete, aluminum is an incorrect spelling here in the UK. I'm in the UK therefore the correct spelling for us is aluminium. It is highly relevant by the way because for years (when I was much younger and I am talking decades ago) I genuinely thought aluminum was a different aluminium alloy just as duralumin is. </p>
<p>It's our language, we know how the words are correctly spelt!</p>
<p>Yeah, but we won the war, so let us spell it how we want!</p>
<p>You're right <a href="http://www.instructables.com/member/Kevanf1" style="">Kevanf1</a>. According to Google; &quot;<b style="">Aluminum</b> is the American <b style="">spelling</b> and <b style="">aluminium</b> is the British <b style="">spelling</b>&quot;</p>
<p>Actually Kevan, BOTH spellings are acceptable. I already knew that it depends on what part of the globe you live. And seeing as it was a North American who wrote the article, he has it spelled correctly. You see, Kevan, your part of the world is not the only one that counts.</p>
<p>Finally! Someone has spelled Kevan correctly</p>
<p>I am very grateful for this :) </p>
<p>Reminds me of the old Players Weights joke that one. Just trying to lighten the mood here :) I'd relate the old joke but I would need a packet of Players Weights cigarettes. Old timers will know what I mean :)</p>
It is a good thing you don't live in N. America Kevan! When I first come here it was very difficult to understand what was being said. Ends are dropped off words often and naturally my spell checker is very busy underlining words I've 'spelt' in the English way!
<p>I really don't have a problem with spelling a word the way it is spelled in a particular country. As long as I am in that country. I just pointed out that the spelling was incorrect for the UK (maybe I went about it the wrong way I don't know?). I fully accept that in the USA aluminium is spelt aluminum. It's the same as colour being spelt color. I suppose really it is good that we have people on both sides who are passionate about spelling and long may that continue :)</p>
<p>Correct, although it should be SPELT and not spelled to be proper English.</p>
<p>Aluminium and Aluminum are both acceptable spellings.</p>
<p><strong style=""><em>According to </em></strong>http://grammarist.com/, <strong style=""><em>Aluminum </em></strong>is the American and Canadian spelling.</p><p>Back in the 1960's, I was in the US Army Reserves. An old Sergeant had a piece of aluminum foil inside his helmet liner (the light weight plastic piece that fits inside the steel helmet). I asked what that was for. He replied, &quot;It keeps my head cool&quot;. At summer camp, everyone wore the helmet liners and they were like having your head in an oven. I put a big piece of aluminum foil in my liner and it was like wearing a straw hat. MY HEAD STAYED COOL. Since then, I have put the foil on the under side of my sunshade on my tractor and my riding lawn mower with spray adhesive. It works great. </p>
<p>Is the dull side or the shiny side next to your head?</p>
I am in &quot;that&quot; country, but my life as a young girl at school was in another country. I automatically use UK spelling just because it's how I was taught. Can't teach an old dog new tricks! :D<br>
<p>Your excellent writing skills and dry wit made this one of my favourite instructables ever. </p>
<p>So many great ideas! I had no idea! You can also store your silver jewellery or silverware with a sheet or wad of foil to keep it from oxidizing. The aluminum attracts moisture more readily than silver.</p>
<p>You left one out - line cookie sheets with a sheet of foil. No washing!</p>
<p>I would argue parchment paper does a much better job.</p>
I personally stick to SOS pads for getting cooked on gunk unstuck from my pots and pans. They're also great for getting sticker residue off of nearly any type of surface, glass, stainless steel, porcelain, plastics, etc. I've also found SOS pads quickly remove paint/ spray paint from all those same surfaces too. And here's where the almighty Aluminum comes in : place your SOS pad on a small square of aluminum foil and next time you're ready to use it, it will still be usable instead of crumbling apart in your hand!
<p>you know what else is really good for getting sticker residue off commercial goods? Peanut butter. Also, the peanut butter wont leave any markings behind on the porcelain nor gouge your plastics... Smear it on, rub it about, let it sit for a bit then clean off as normal. It is my go to when buying new items for the kitchen.</p>
<p>&quot;Sometimes the springs that hold batteries in place loose their springiness&quot;.</p><p>lose, not loose</p>
<p>:) absolutely with you on this one Pete. Another one is the incorrect usage of accept and except :(</p>
<p>The idea that you cannot put metal in a microwave is Urban Myth. Microwaves are not absorbed by metal, merely reflected off. I often heat food in a dish with the spoon or fork left in it. Philips Electronics included a cookbook with my first microwave cooker in 1980. Cooking chicken legs is difficult because the thighs cook slower than the thinner bit, so Philips recommend wrapping the thin bits in aluminium foil. The microwaves reflect off the aluminium and the thin bits remain OK while the thighs cook more slowly.</p><p>If you leave a knife standing upright in a dish and it comes close to the microwave waveguide opening, it may give off a shower of sparks ( been there, done that ), but that has to do with some high-voltage breakdown.</p><p>HTH</p>
<p>Just A suggestion but you cant rlly microwave foil because its metal/conductive and it could most likely break ur microwave because I think most of us have the understanding of what happens when you put metal in the microwave lol so just to let you know but I dont know if I'm wrong plz call me on it because I dont want to be one of those people that go around telling people false stuff.</p>
<p>Links to handy printer template for paper and foil antenna reflectors:</p><p><a href="http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template2/" rel="nofollow">http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template2/</a></p><p><a href="http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/Ez-10/" rel="nofollow">http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/Ez-10/</a></p>
<p>For house painting, foil conforms easily to mask ackward shapes instead of tape.</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.
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!
<p>So are you saying this is wrong? (It's a UK 240v mains plug)</p>
Could be worse: http://www.darwinawards.com/legends/legends1998-04.html
<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>
<p>I just wanted to share a little love over your use of &quot;disemvowelled&quot;.<br>Well played, my friend, I love a good piece of wordcraft.<br>DtB</p>
<p>LMAO! This was as much fun to read as it was informative :)</p><p>Here's another one - back in the day when I didn't have air conditioning and didn't want to heat my apartment to resemble Vulcan (much as I love Spock, I don't think I could live with him), I pulled off a long strip of aluminum foil and loosely wadded it into a long snake. I coiled that into the bottom of a stew pot, added water to about half way up the foil, then put my beef roast on top of that. Rather than heating an oven, and the rest of my apartment, to 300 to cook the thing for several hours, I steamed it for about one hour. It worked in ways I can't even describe! The roast was thoroughly cooked but still juicy and tender since I used wet heat rather than dry, I had a nice broth underneath to cook my potatoes in, it was finished much quicker, easier cleanup - the list goes on. Even later in life, when I had air and the money to pay for running it, I still cook my beef roasts this way. Much better than oven roasting it!</p>
<p>With the comment about heating an apartment, I thought you would be describing how to cover windows in foil to reflect outside heat away from the apartment during the summer... or maybe foiling the insides of the windows to keep it warm in the winter.<br><br>But learning about the improved cooking time was a really wonderful thing!</p>
<p>It sounds much like a camp oven that you would use out in the bush? It turns out just like he said,juicy and tender, just add a bit of water and cook on low to medium heat. </p>
<p>T, look into Sous Vide. Another inexpensive way for cooking and works great. Lots of DIYs available </p>
I'll do that. Thanks! :)
<p>You forgot helmet... you know... to keep them from reading your thoughts... and sending you signals. </p>
<p>The government started the whole tin-foil hat idea because tin foil hats actually amplify, not block, signals. </p><p>/sarc</p>

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Bio: I'm an English teacher and former Instructables staff member.
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