7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do with Aluminium Foil

You'll be surprised how many varied uses for aluminium foil there are. You'll want to start making more use of it yourself. Here are the 7 best uses.
7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do with Aluminium Foil

Last update: 16 May, 2021

Aluminum foil has several functions in everyday life. For example, it can help preserve food and for other various tasks at home, even contributing to the washing and ironing of clothes.

Below, we’ll tell you about the possible uses of this element and also about the precautions to take during its handling. Ready to take note?

Aluminium foil and its uses

The various uses of this foil range from restoring the blade of worn out scissors, to using it to make a cake. How is all this possible? First, we must understand some of its properties that make it so versatile:

  • It has thermal tolerance, as it withstands both high and low temperatures.
  • It’s electrically and thermally conductive (the matte part retains heat, while the shiny part reflects it).
  • It has impermeability: it doesn’t allow the passage of water or humidity.
  • It’s malleable and flexible.
Roll of aluminium foil.

Warning about the toxicity of aluminium foil

One traditional use for aluminum foil is to wrap food during cooking in the oven. However, a 2016 study conducted by researchers at the Juan Agustín Maza University in Argentina explains that aluminum can be toxic.

Specifically, it explains that aluminum can migrate into the food, especially when exposed to heat. The accumulation of this element can favor the appearance of chronic diseases such as renal insufficiency, senile dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

This isn’t the only source describing these effects of aluminum foil. A 2012 study published in the International Journal of Electrochemical Science supports this claim, while noting that the World Health Organization considers the results ‘unacceptable’.

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Possible uses for aluminium foil

In addition to the previous comments regarding its handling during contact with food, we must also consider that aluminum foil can’t replace the medical treatment of the problems listed below. If you have any health problem, do see a doctor.

1. Alleviating pain

Woman with neck pain.

On this alleged use of aluminum foil, there are different points of view. First, as mentioned above, chronic exposure to aluminum —for example, when using it for cooking or if drinking water contains it— causes inflammatory responses that are harmful to the brain. This is confirmed by a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research.

However, there are those who claim that certain uses of aluminum foil could help alleviate pain. This is due to the fact that the heat generated by the body remains in contact with the skin for a longer period of time, because aluminium traps and conducts it.

Indeed, medical sources such as Merck Manuals confirm this application of heat to treat inflammation. However, this doesn’t refer to body heat, but to an external source, usually specifically designed for therapeutic purposes.

In short, it’s a popular technique, but without evidence that supports it. Below we describe an alleged use, but it should be noted that it’s not advisable to resort to this procedure without the prior approval of the professional.

  • Cut the aluminum foil and cover the painful area.
  • Place a bandage over it.
  • Let it act for while and remove it.

2. Speed up ironing

Speeding up ironing is one of the many uses of aluminium foil.

In order to reduce ironing time, there are popular beliefs that recommend placing aluminum foil on the ironing board and placing the clothes on top of it. This way, in theory, you’ll be able to iron both sides of the garment at the same time, since the heat is reflected.

3. Removing static when doing the laundry

Many times clothes in the washing machine get torn. This is due to the static electricity generated and causes the clothes to stick together during drying. Another popular use of aluminum foil says that making three balls of aluminum foil and placing them in the washing machine could eliminate static, as the foil absorbs the charges released during washing.

4. Fixing a battery connection

It may happen that remote controls don’t work well even though they have new batteries. What may happen is that the springs that hold the batteries loosen and don’t hold very well after a while.

A popularly recommended solution is to add some aluminum foil in between the battery and the spring. As a good conductor of electricity, this would allow it to pass through, which can make the control to work again.

It’s necessary to be extremely careful when handling these devices, as batteries can emanate toxic substances that can cause great damage to health, as reported in a Medline Plus article.

5. Sharpening Scissors

It depends on how much and how often you use them, but it’s no secret that scissors progressively cut worse. This happens even quicker if you’re cutting fabric or hair.

So, what many people recommend is the following: grab some aluminium foil, fold it three times, and cut it with the scissors. As you keep cutting, you’ll notice that they’ll get sharper.

6. Cake mould

Cake mould made out of aluminium foil.

If you want to make tarts of different shapes, like stars, hearts, a rugby ball, or any other idea that may pass through your mind, and you don’t want to spend money on a mould you’ll only use once, try making one out of aluminium foil.

Only make sure to use double sheets to make it a bit firmer. As it’s such a good heat conductor, your tart will come out perfectly in the shape that you want.

7. Sealing bags

Maybe you need to seal a bag to preserve some food and you only have ordinary carrier bags. Don’t worry, you can make an airtight bag out of aluminium foil.

All you have to do is place the aluminium over the opening you want to seal, and run an iron over it. In a few seconds, you’ll have your own home-made bag with a seal. But remember to be very careful while handling these elements.

Be responsible while using aluminium foil

In conclusion, it’s important to take due precautions for the use of aluminium foil. Of course, only adults can use it in the ways mentioned above, and children shouldn’t be allowed to try it.

Finally, keep in mind that these uses can help you to get out of a tight spot, but they’re not a definitive solution to the problems mentioned. Especially when speaking of health problems, it’s best to resort to proven methods and let the professionals in the field advise you.

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