12 Unique Ways to Use Aluminum Foil Around the House

02 September, 2020
Did you know that aluminum foil is one of the best materials for removing grease from the oven or burn marks from pots and pans? Discover other uses for it here!

Aluminum foil is used in many homes to store many types of food. This thin and flexible sheet can be used to cover anything with ease.

Most people have a roll in their kitchens, because, as we mentioned, it can be used to cover foods. However, there are many other ways you can reap its benefits for the simplest home chores.

Uses of aluminum foil

Below, we reveal 12 of its alternative uses so that you don’t hesitate to take them into account when necessary. But before we begin, it’s important to clarify that some of them require certain precautions.

1. Sharpen scissors

A person cutting aluminum foil.

If your scissors aren’t cutting as they used to and you suspect they may no longer be sharp, take a piece of aluminum foil and fold it in half several times. After it has gained a little thickness, use the scissors to cut it into thin strips. This action will sharpen the blades.

2. Clean silver

When you notice your silver tarnishing, line a large container with aluminum foil. Add hot water and a little salt. Now, submerge the silver you want to clean and let it work for 20 minutes for the desired results. Many state that it works!

3. Prevent heat loss in a stove

Wrap a wooden board in aluminum foil and place it behind the stove to prevent heat from being lost through the wall. For this, keep in mind that the glossy part of the aluminum foil is the one that rejects heat, while the matte side retains it.

4. Clean your pots and pans with aluminum oil

Shiny pots and pans.

Crumple some aluminum foil into a ball and use it to scrub burnt pots and pans. People have used aluminum foil for this purpose for many years!

You should read: Four Quick Tricks to Clean Pots and Pans

5. Remove oven grease

Instead of using aggressive wire sponges, use a ball of aluminum foil to scrub the surfaces of greasy ovens. Scrub with a natural cleaning solution of baking soda and lemon juice, another traditional remedy. Let it dry for five minutes, then scrub again with the ball of foil to make it shine.

6. Avoid rust in steel sponges

The moisture that’s retained in steel sponges after use causes them to rust. To avoid staining the surfaces they’re placed on, cut a rectangle out of aluminum foil and place it under the sponge. Try to change it at least every two days, so that it doesn’t retain bad odors and mold.

7. Clean your iron, another use of aluminum foil

Over time, an iron accumulates a black layer of grime that can ruin clothing. To get it looking like new again, place a sheet of aluminum foil on your ironing board and sprinkle it with salt. Move the iron around as if you were ironing an article of clothing.

8. Keep foods fresh

If you want to keep your bread, cookies, or other bakery edibles fresh, a popular recommendation is to wrap them in aluminum foil as soon as you get home. However, it’s best to place a bag or paper in between to avoid direct contact with the food.

In this sense, something very important that you should know is that aluminum can be transferred to food and ‘contaminate’ them with excessive levels of this metal. A 2012 study by researchers from the Juan Agustín Maza University confirms this fact.

9. Make batteries work

Sometimes, the batteries in toys and appliances stop working because one end of the battery can’t reach the conductor. To fix it in minutes, fold a piece of aluminum foil several times, cut to the size to fill the gap, and restore contact. Make sure the battery is securely in place, then turn on the device.

It’s important for you to do this procedure very carefully. As this MedlinePlus publication warns, batteries contain toxic substances that can be very harmful to health.

10. Clean the kitchen grill

A clean kitchen.

To remove food residue that accumulates on the surfaces of the grill, wait for it to cool, then scrub it energetically with a large piece of aluminum foil.

This article may interest you: How to Clean Stainless Steel Naturally

Aluminum foil: popular uses experts don’t recommended

As we previously warned, certain ways of using aluminum foil could pose a health hazard. To finish off this list of uses of aluminum foil, we’ll talk about two methods that, although they’ve been popular for a long time, it’s best to avoid.

11. Cooking with aluminum foil

When preparing a cake in the oven, it’s common for its corners to burn even though the inside is still uncooked. To avoid this and get it to be perfect, many people covered it with aluminum foil before inserting it into the appliance. It’s one of the traditional uses of this element.

However, the truth is that this could be dangerous to your health. The study conducted by professionals from the Juan Agustín Maza University of Argentina cited above found that heat can cause aluminum to transfer to food.

Yes, it’s true that it’s an element present in foods such as tea, vegetables, and spices, but the concentrations that would be obtained as a result of its contact with food at high temperatures would be ‘unacceptable’ for the World Health Organization, as detailed in a study published in the International Journal of Electrochemical Science.

12. Bleach hair with aluminum foil?

Many stylists use foil as an alternative to hair dye caps that are used for bleaching. Although they’re very different systems, the reason they do it is because those types of hats tend to break hair strands.

However, basing ourselves on the results of the studies we cited above, we’d infer that the contact of aluminum with the chemicals in hair products could cause it to transfer to the skin.

Due to the fact that its main effects are manifested in the brain, the Argentine study links aluminum to chronic diseases such as senile dementia or Alzheimer’s, it seems unwise to use this material to work on hair. Instead, it’s best to opt for safer elements.

Have you used aluminum foil for something else?

Due to everything we mentioned here, you can see that aluminum foil has many uses. However, we must also emphasize that it can have health consequences. For this reason, it’s best to avoid some traditional and popular uses.

Do you know more uses for aluminum foil? Now that we’ve given you some ideas, we hope you can get more out of it in your home. Be careful with the risks we mentioned above!

  • Yesica Yamila Corbalán. 2016. Efecto tóxico del aluminio por migración en diferentes preparaciones alimentarias. Universidad Juan Agustín Maza, Mendoza. http://repositorio.umaza.edu.ar/bitstream/handle/00261/615/CA_Poster_Salud_Corbalan_2016.pdf?sequence=1
  • Loreto Suay Llopis y Ferran Ballester Díez. REVISIÓN DE LOS ESTUDIOS SOBRE EXPOSICIÓN AL ALUMINIO Y ENFERMEDAD DE ALZHEIMER. Escola Valenciana d’Estudis per a la Salut (EVES). Unidad de Epidemiología y Estadística. Consellería de Sanidad. Generalitat Valenciana. https://www.scielosp.org/article/resp/2002.v76n6/645-658/es/#
  • Bassioni, Ghada & Mohammed, Fathia & Al Zubaidi, Isam & Kobrsi, Issam. (2012). Risk Assessment of Using Aluminum Foil in Food Preparation. International journal of electrochemical science.
  • Campbell, A., Becaria, A., Lahiri, D., Sharman, K. and Bondy, S. (2004), Chronic exposure to aluminum in drinking water increases inflammatory parameters selectively in the brain. J. Neurosci. Res., 75: 565-572. doi:10.1002/jnr.10877
  • Alex Moroz. 2017. Treatment of Pain and Inflammation. Merck Manuals. https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/fundamentals/rehabilitation/treatment-of-pain-and-inflammation#v713703
  • Intoxicación con pilas. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/ency/article/002805.htm