Aluminum makes up about 8.3% of the Earth’s crust and 1.59% of the Earth’s surface. It is one of the most abundant metals on the planet, it is present in more than 270 minerals and it ranks third in the list of the most abundant elements, after oxygen and silicon. It’s no wonder humans have found so many uses for this metal. People began using aluminum for various purposes as early as the 5th century.
Aluminum foil is the shape most associated with metal these days. You might only think of foil in the context of cooking, using foil to line pans, or to cover a dish in the oven. While aluminum foil is very valuable in the kitchen, cooking is just scratching the surface of all the ways it can be used. Here’s a list of some of the many ways you can use aluminum foil to help simplify your life …
1-Preserve Your Bananas
All fruit faces the threat of exposure to some type of elemental or pathogenic factor that can make it go bad quickly. Bananas are one fruit that rarely suffers from an attack by insects. However, this doesn’t mean your bananas are safe. You know all too well the certain doom of decay. As soon as you buy bananas, it’s a fast journey toward black.
No one wants to eat bananas once they’ve started to oxidize and break down. Aluminum, however, might just save you from gooey bananas. Aluminum can slow down the banana’s process of decay by blocking exposure to the air. Simply wrap the stem area that holds the individual bananas together. This will allow you to maintain your banana bunch for several more days, or even a week.
2-Shed Some Light On Your Cabinets
Do you have a cabinet with deep shelves? While great for providing maximum storage space, chances are that not a lot of light is going to reach the back, leaving you with some dark corners. Deep, dark corners can attract some unwanted guests, like roaches and other creepy crawlies that you don’t want in your home. Is that a pan you’re grabbing, or is it something else?
But, what can you do about it? That’s just how those kinds of shelves were made. Well, not so fast. If you line your shelves with aluminum foil – shiny side up – you could eliminate those dark corners once and for all. Aluminum is shiny and reflective, so it’ll bounce light into every corner and eliminate the shadows, making it less likely that you’ll be an unwitting host to bugs.
3-Custom Cookie Molds
Everyone can relate to the joy of making cookies, and decorating them in the company of loved ones is the high point of many people’s holidays. Perhaps the most fun part of the process is getting to choose what shapes you cut your cookies into.
Relying on packages of premade cookie-cutter shapes can get boring. It’s way more fun to make any shape you could want. With aluminum foil, this is made very easy. All you need to do is fold strips of foil, making them a bit stronger, but still able to be bent into any shape or form you could dream of.
4–Ice Cream Management
Children are often very messy eaters. Whenever you give a kid food that can run or drip, you always run the risk of coming back to them covered in it. Ice cream is perhaps the most common example of this. Give them a cone of soft serve and you’ll soon find it’s dripped all over their shirt and pants. If only there were a way to catch the drips before they fall.
Well, there is. Using aluminum foil, wrap a makeshift cone over the actual cone. This creates a barrier between the child’s hand and the cone. This way, when the ice cream melts, the liquid seeps into the aluminum cone rather than falling on them. Now your kid can be as messy as they want without the risk of completely ruining their clothing.
On a cold day, sometimes all you want to do is curl up next to the radiator. However, sometimes the heat emitted from your simple radiator just isn’t enough to keep you warm. Upgrading to a stronger machine is one option, but this can hike up gas and electric bills. Rather than spending more money to get warm, you could just use some aluminum foil.
Get some pieces of cardboard and cover them completely with aluminum foil. Place these around the radiator, and they’ll help to reflect the heat. This will extend it to the whole room, and multiply the strength of the heat itself. Doing this simple hack will help improve the efficiency of the radiator; get the room warmer faster, and make you more comfortable in the process.
Imagine you need to iron something at the last minute and notice that your iron is covered in dirt. If you use it as it is, you’ll simply ruin your clothing, making it necessary to wash it again. This situation is tricky, especially when you’re in a hurry. Luckily, once again, aluminum foil comes to the rescue, to save your clothes from dirt and damage.
Simply take a piece of aluminum foil and roll it up into a ball. Scrub this foil ball all over the surface of the iron; the foil with help to remove all of the dirt from the surface. The only downside is you may scratch up the surface of your iron a little bit. But it’s better than using an iron that’s going to ruin your clothes.
Large pieces of furniture are always a struggle when they need to be moved. Besides the fact that they’re heavy, the bigger concern is how easy it can be to scratch up the floor if you’re not careful. If you don’t have someone to help you carry it, you’ll be forced to drag the furniture across the floor, which is a recipe for disaster.
What should you do? Instead of dragging the furniture directly across the bare unprotected floor, place pieces of aluminum foil under each leg. This will help to create a buffer between the furniture and the floor and will limit the possibility of scratching. Your furniture will get moved to where you want it, and your floor will be saved in the process.
When you have lots of work to do on the computer, nothing is more frustrating than a poor Wi-Fi connection. The sudden loss of signal leads to rebooting your computer, restarting the router, trying to figure out what cables connect to the box, and so on. And, you might find that all of the experiments still don’t help. You may find that you simply have a weak signal.
You might be surprised to find out that aluminum foil can often help to strengthen the Wi-Fi connection. Simply construct a folded card flap, and cover it completely with foil. Place this little gadget directly in front of the router. The aluminum foil will help to strengthen the signal emitted from the box and allow it to reach farther.
9–Glue Gun Cleaner
Glue guns can be a very useful tool for a variety of projects, including arts and crafts, and repairing small things. However, some issues can arise with a glue gun when using it. Sometimes, after using the gun, a layer of glue will be deposited on the tip, building up over time to create a thick film.
This can make it difficult to use the glue gun over time, as the deposits will eventually cover the opening. Aluminum foil can help to clean up the surface to make it easier to use. Simply ball up a piece of foil, and use it as a scrubber. It’ll help to scrape away all of the extra glue remnants, restoring your glue gun to its proper function
10–Reseal Your Plastic Bags
Do you know how your chips never quite taste fresh again once you’ve opened the bag? Sure, you can use a “chip clip” to hold the bag closed, but the air still gets in, causing your chips to get stale and a little bit chewy faster than you might be able to eat them. No one wants chewy chips with their salsa and guacamole.
A stale chip – or any plastic – bag situation can be easily fixed with an iron and a strip of aluminum foil; no fancy (and expensive) resealing machines are needed. All you need to do is tear off a strip of aluminum foil, and fold it over the open end of your bag. Then, take your iron and press it over the top of the foil. The heat from the iron will melt the bag back together and your chips will stay crispy and fresh until you’re ready to use them again.
When you are painting a room, you always need to protect some areas of the room from being painted, such as the metal accessories on the door frames, and light switches. The tape is generally the go-to option for protecting these areas. However, in the more curvy parts of the room, the tape can get a little tricky to work with. For instance, trying to cover a doorknob with tape might prove difficult, requiring several pieces to make a rounded shape.
Instead, you could simply make your shape around the doorknob using aluminum foil. Because the foil is so thin and flexible and can be formed into pretty much any shape you want, it’ll make protecting your doorknobs or locks much easier. Once the paint has dried, simply remove the foil and no residue will be left
12–Barbecue Made Easy
It’s always a fun time to get the family together and have a barbecue. However, what isn’t so fun is the cleanup that comes after everyone leaves. While barbecue is delicious, it’s also very messy. The grease that drips during the cooking process can create a thick film around the inside of the grill. Cleaning the grill can take hours, depending on what was made.
However, creating a protective barrier within the grill before you start cooking can significantly reduce the need for cleanup. Simply layer a few pieces of aluminum foil on the grill so that the excess grease isn’t able to drip onto the charcoal and make a mess. After you finish grilling, you can even use the same foil with some soap and water to clean up the rack.
13–Prevent Aliens From Reading Your Mind
This is for those of us who are a little more in touch with the paranormal world. Do you know all those movies that show how aliens can come to Earth and read our minds? Well, some people wear foil to protect themselves from such dangers. Yes, this is a real thing.
Now, considering how much you probably loved these aluminum foil hacks, let’s move on to another super handy household staple that has tons of hidden uses. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to show you all the plastic wrap hacks you’ve probably never thought of. Word of caution – don’t let your kiddos get a hold of plastic wrap…
14–Restore The Shine To Your Mirror
Mirrors have long been a staple in interior design. They can add a feeling of luxury to just about any room. But, their purpose is just as practical as it is decorative. A good mirror can reflect some much-needed light into a dark space, and even add the illusion of more depth to smaller rooms. Over time, though, you might notice the shine starting to wear off and see scratches start to appear.
Don’t fret, though; you can easily restore the shine to your mirror with some aluminum foil and tape. Gently remove your mirror from its frame and locate the scratch on the back. Cut a piece of aluminum foil that’s a little bit larger than the scratch, tape it in place, and return the mirror to the frame. It might not be as shiny as before, but it sure is a lot more cost-effective than re-silvering your mirror.
15–Protect Your Plants
In a beautiful garden, one of the biggest threats to your plant life is various insects that eat the plant material and increase the rate of decay. There are many steps you can take to try to limit this, such as mulching around your plants. However, aluminum foil can provide additional support against critters, and can enhance the benefits of mulching.
Aluminum can inhibit various pathogens, including insects and non-beneficial bacteria. An additional benefit, as has been described before, is that the foil will help to provide extra sunlight to your plants by reflecting the light toward them. Using aluminum foil, you can protect your plants and supply them with needed extra light all in one go.
16–Boost Your Phone
Do you know how some people use a DIY aluminum foil dish or pair of rabbit ears to amplify a weak Wi-Fi or cable signal? Well, some think you can do the same thing with the Wi-Fi signal on your cell phone. Keep in mind that this isn’t verified, but testing it out for yourself won’t harm you or your phone.
This is probably one of the most straightforward hacks out there. Simply take a small piece of aluminum foil and form it around your phone over the Wi-Fi receptor. You’ll have to know where that is on your phone model, but a quick internet search can help you there. Who knows? Soon you might be streaming cat videos at lightning speed. Or, maybe nothing will happen.
Lighting a fire in your fireplace is such a cozy way to warm up on a winter evening. The only downside to this is that burning wood can get very messy. Lots of ash and soot build up during the fire and need to be cleaned out, as to not build up more and more over time. Trying to sweep it up is tedious, and can brush some soot into the air, which isn’t ideal for your lungs.
Aluminum can withstand very high heat and can make a simple, yet effective, floor along the bottom of the fireplace. All of the ash will collect right on the foil. After the fire has died, you can simply pick up the foil with all of the debris, and remove it from the room. As an added benefit, you can use this wood ash in the garden to increase potassium in the soil.
18–Patching Pants Without The Stick
Unfortunately, your favorite pair of jeans is bound to rip one day. Luckily for you, these days you can always fix those jeans right up with an iron-on patch. However, when ironing the patch on, things can go awry very quickly. It’s very easy to iron a patch right onto the ironing board, creating a sticky situation – literally.
can keep this from happening. Simply put a few pieces of aluminum foil under the opening in the jeans. This layer of foil will absorb the heat, and prevent sticking in unwanted areas. After the patch is ironed on, just take the foil out, and your jeans are ready for action.
19–A Plant Sun-Bed
If your plants are struggling to survive due to a lack of exposure to sunlight, you’ll have to figure out a solution quickly, or your plants probably won’t last very long. Of course, the best option would be to simply move the plant. However, this isn’t always possible, especially if the plant is in a large, heavy pot. Making a sunbed for your plant could be the perfect solution to this issue.
Aluminum is a great reflector of light waves. Find a cardboard box and cut one of the four sides out. Cover what’s left with aluminum foil to create a makeshift reflector box. Place your reflector next to the pot, in a position that allows it to catch the light. This will focus more light on the plant and boost its growth.
Those of you who’ve gone fishing in the past may be familiar with the fact that fish tend to be attracted to bright lights. Instead of using bait to catch them, it’s possible to attract fish to your hook using only light. As mentioned in some of the other items on this list, aluminum can reflect light.
Now you’re starting to catch on. This concept has been used successfully by thousands of fishermen for many years. Simply wrap a small piece of aluminum foil securely around the hook. You’ll quickly find that the fish in the area are increasingly attracted to your line due to the reflection of light they see in the water.
Those who paint will be able to relate to the frustration that comes with losing the cap to your paint tube. This often leads to not being able to use the paint, as the opening dries up, clogging the top with a hard layer of paint. Many will try to cut the tube open to access the paint located inside, while some just give up and throw it away, wasting all of that unused paint.
If you lose a cap, aluminum foil can be a perfect solution to making a new one. Just fold up a piece and place it on the tube, pressing it tightly against the top to minimize as much oxidation as possible. If you do it well, the aluminum top will block off all access to the air, and the paint will stay perfectly good
22–Custom Frying Pan
Everyone enjoys going camping with friends or family. For some, the most exciting part is the cooking, using minimal equipment, and cooking right over an open fire. This way of cooking feels so primal and is a nice, kind of wild escape from everyday life. Some chose to lug a frying pan with them to put in the fire and cook various foods.
While this works, it’s not always ideal to put a pan right onto the coals, as you can burn the bottom. Also, it’s best to pack light when you’re trying to get away. Instead of bringing a pan, you can just pack some aluminum foil and make a makeshift pan on the spot. Stack a few pieces of foil together to strengthen it, then shape the foil into whatever shape you need for the pan, and place it right onto the coals.
23–Vinyl Tile Fixed
If you have vinyl tiles in your bathroom, you may have noticed that some of the tiles tend to pop out over time. Many people will automatically get a new one and replace it, thinking that the tile was faulty. In reality, oftentimes the adhesive just dried up and cracked off, making the tile come out of its place. The tile itself, though, is perfectly fine.
Put the tile back in its place. Then, put a piece of aluminum foil over the tile and place a hot iron on top. The aluminum will help to radiate the heat down under the tile. This will warm the adhesive, allowing it to stick once again. This, in turn, will secure the tile back into its rightful spot on the wall.
24–Credit Card Protector
Nowadays, more and more people are getting credit cards that allow them to tap the card reader rather than swiping and entering a pin. These cards can be more convenient, but they also pose more risks of being ripped off. Because they are easy to scan, it’s much more accessible for a thief to tap into their device and steal money right from the card.
Luckily, the mechanism that allows the card to be read by tapping is disrupted by aluminum. Therefore, you can wrap your card in aluminum foil to keep it safe by making a small pouch and putting the card inside it. This way, no one will be able to sneak any unauthorized tappings, and you won’t find any surprise charges when you get your next bill.
For beginner photographers wanting to take their work to the next level, one of the main factors that separate their amateur work from professional photography is the quality of the lighting. There are, of course, higher-quality flashes, but these can get very expensive, setting you back quite a bit just for a little extra light. Don’t fear, aluminum is here.
Take a piece of cardboard and wrap it with a few layers of aluminum foil. This board can be used to focus all of the ambient light in an area toward the main subject of the photo. This provides more light and helps to produce a beautiful image. Using material worth only a couple of dollars, you can take your photography to the next level.
26–Matchsticks Kept Dry
Matches are a very critical tool in some cases. For instance, when you go camping, without the ability to start a fire, you may have a hard time keeping warm and getting yourself a hot meal. For matches to be viable, they must remain dry. If even a little moisture gets on them, they might not light.
Therefore, if you want to take extra precautions, aluminum foil can help to preserve its quality. Take just a small piece of aluminum foil and wrap it around the head of the match sticks. You could also just wrap all of the match sticks together, then take one out of the foil at a time as needed. This extra protection will keep any surrounding moisture out of the matches.
Many of us can relate to trying to use scissors and ending up with creases in our paper rather than cuts. This is because scissors that have worn down and become blunt over time simply will not cut well. Continuing to use these will require much more time to get good cuts, and you may just wind up getting some new scissors. But you don’t have to.
Take a piece of aluminum foil and just start cutting it with your scissors. Though it may look like nothing is happening, each cut is sharpening the scissors slightly. After just a short time, you’ll see that the scissors are making better cuts. This method might sound like it won’t do anything to help this situation, but try it out and you’ll be surprised by the results.
Soap, of course, is used to help us stay clean. However, when a bar of soap is overused and sits in its moisture for a considerable length of time, it can sometimes feel like the soap needs to be cleaned too. It’s ironic, but soap can get pretty nasty over time. Luckily, aluminum foil provides a very simple solution to this issue.
Simply place the soap on top of a small piece of foil after it’s been used. How it does this is a bit of a mystery, but the aluminum foil helps to dry the soap out and keep it strong and in its shape, rather than starting to fall apart or get too flexible. The aluminum foil also absorbs some of the less-than-ideal chemicals that are contained within the soap. This helps to make it a bit gentler when used on the skin.
Over time, even the brightest jewelry tends to become a bit dull in its appearance. When you’re looking to dress your best, you want your jewelry to be as shiny as possible. Unfortunately, polishing jewelry isn’t like cleaning clothing; you can’t just put it in the washing machine and expect it to come out as good as new.
Instead, place your jewelry into soapy water along with a piece of aluminum foil. It may seem like nothing is happening at first, but pretty quickly, the shine will return to the jewelry. The aluminum creates a type of chemical reaction with the metals in the jewelry, restoring the original shine and brightness that’s been worn away over time.
When it comes time to paint a room or even an entire house, it’s not very likely that you’ll finish the entire job in one day. Often, you’ll have to take a break for the night and start again the next day, as the job can be quite tedious and time-consuming. Cleaning the brushes every time you take a break can get annoying, particularly when you know you’re going to pick up the brush again soon after.
Instead of washing the brushes over and over again, simply wrap a piece of aluminum foil around the brush and squeeze it tight, so that the air can’t get to the paint in the brush and dry it out. The aluminum also has other properties that will preserve the paint during the time that the brush isn’t being used.
31–Amplify Your Outdoor Solar Lights
Outdoor lighting is essential for enjoying your backyard, porch, or patio after the sun goes down. Solar lights are the perfect, energy-efficient solution – plus, they’re 100% eco-friendly. But, sometimes the light from your solar lights just doesn’t quite reach far enough and can leave you stumbling around in the dark. So, how do you fix it? Enter (you guessed it) aluminum foil.
Just like using aluminum foil to reflect light into the dark corners of your shelves, it can also bounce and amplify the light coming from your outdoor lights. To create a wider and brighter beam of light, create an angled foil cone, topper, or ring to attach to your solar lights, and be amazed at just how much brighter your outdoor space will be.
When decorating cakes, what sets a professional quality cake apart from a regular homemade cake is the fancy embellishments, like flowers or animals. High-end cake shops make these out of frosting, using very special techniques. However, even if you aren’t a practiced cake decorator, you can still achieve some beautiful embellishments. How you may ask? Well, it’s easier than you might think.
Take pieces of aluminum foil and fold them into whatever shape you would like. Then simply cover the form with frosting, and it’s ready to place on the cake. It won’t be as professional as what you’d get from a cake shop, but it’ll still turn out beautifully. Just make sure that your guests don’t try to eat the foil.
33–Hair Curling Made Safer
Curling your hair is always a fun way to change up your look. However, using a curling iron can damage your hair if it’s used excessively or improperly. They can even burn your hair right off, or burn your skin if you’re not careful. Curling irons can get super hot and can be quite dangerous, even for the highly practiced user.
Aluminum foil can help to conduct heat and protect you from applying too much heat in a concentrated area. Take pieces of aluminum foil and wrap them around the curling iron. In no time, you have a protective barrier on your iron to help lower the likelihood of burning yourself or doing some serious damage to your hair.