Tin foil is a kitchen cupboard essential for many of us, but did you know it had this many uses?
It's impermeable to oxygen and water, a fantastic insulator and has a reflective surface, making it useful for many tasks around the home. Find out how you can utilise your new and used pieces of tin foil...
Alternative uses for tin foil in the kitchen
1. Sharpen blunt scissors
Give your blunt scissors a good sharpening by cutting through layers of used tin foil strips or scraps. If they're particularly blunt, fold them into several layers to get a nice thick wedge to cut through. You can also use sandpaper in the same way.
2. Create different shaped cake tins
If you would like to make a heart-shaped cake or something similar but don’t want to buy a cake tin you’ll only use once, grab yourself some heavy-duty tin foil. Form the shape you want using double layers of tin foil and place it within a normal cake tin.
3. Soften hardened brown sugar
This is a great kitchen hack! Brown sugar that has been left in the cupboard to harden can be softened quickly. Cut a chunk off, wrap it in foil and bake it in the oven at 150 degrees celsius for just five minutes. Take a spoon and gently break down the loosened granules.
4. Ice a cake without a piping bag
If you don’t own an icing bag, don’t worry! Make a funnel with heavy-duty tin foil. You can also use a paper cup with the bottom cut out as a reinforcement. Pinch the ends to create a small opening.
5. Bake the perfect pie crust
The edges of a pie burn quickly, so protect them by covering with strips of aluminium foil. The foil prevents the edges from burning while the rest of the pie cooks.
6. Create makeshift cookie cutters
Make DIY cookie cutters using just tin foil and tape. You'll need to fold the foil down a few times to make it sturdy enough before you attempt to shape it.
7. Catch sticky ice cream drips
This is one of those cleaning tips that all parents should know! Prevent young ones from making a sticky mess by wrapping the bottom of an ice cream cone with some tin foil. It'll catch all the melted ice cream and sprinkles!
8. Make a DIY roasting rack for tastier, healthier bacon
Crimp heavy-duty foil so the ridges elevate the bacon an inch or two from the baking sheet and lay the bacon horizontally across the rack. The ridges will help catch fat making it healthier, crispier... and easier to clean up!
9. Keep bananas fresh for longer
Don't let your bananas spoil. Wrap foil around the stems to slow the production of ethylene, which makes them ripe. Give it a go!
Clever home hacks for tin foil
10. Use foil balls as an alternative to dryer sheets
Never mind dryer sheets! Prevent static from your drying load by adding tightly formed balls of tin foil to the drum. Visit CNET for more details on how to use them safely.
11. Protect a child’s mattress
Prevention is everything when it comes to mattress maintenance. If your child is going through potty training, protect your mattress by laying several sheets of aluminium foil across the width of the mattress, then cover with a thick beach towel before putting on your fitted sheet. There’ll be no leaks getting through this!
12. Move heavy furniture with ease
To slide big pieces of furniture over a smooth floor, cut up small pieces of tin foil and place them under the legs. Just remember to put the dull side of the foil down, it’s more slippy than the shiny side.
13. Enhance radiator heat
This is a clever winter hack. Take a piece of plywood and wrap a sheet of tin foil around it before placing it carefully behind your radiator. It will help reflect heat directly into the middle of the room - give it a try!
14. Nurse dying plants back to health
If you have a houseplant that is looking worse for wear, build it a little foil home. Create a sun box by using a cardboard box and lining three sides and the bottom with aluminium foil, shiny side up. The sunlight will surround the plant, giving it an extra boost.
Cleaning tips using tin foil
15. Clean your iron
If you forget to clean it regularly, starch can quickly build up on your iron. To remove any starch, run your iron on a hot setting over a piece of aluminium foil.
16. Clean your BBQ grill
After the last sausage has been grilled, and while the coals are still hot, lay a sheet of aluminium foil over the grill to burn off any remaining food. The next time you BBQ simply crumple up the foil and use it to scrub off burnt food before you start cooking again.
17. Make an impromptu platter - saves on cleaning!
Construct a platter using tin foil for when you need a convenient, disposable platter. You can layer it over a piece of cardboard for extra strength if it needs it.
18. Scrub your dirty glass pans with tin foil
Scrape off baked-on foods by scrunching up tin foil and using it as a scrubber. Use with warm soapy water and you should see quick and effective results.
TOP TIP: This works best on glassware and could scratch metal finishes.
19. Prolong the life of steel wool balls
Wrap your steel wool scouring balls in tin foil and store them in the freezer to help prevent rust and prolong their life.
20. Remove rust from fittings
If rust has only just started to appear, take small pieces of tin foil and dip them in water before gently rubbing the rust away. This works well on smaller items like bicycles and the legs of garden furniture.
21. Make an artist's palette
Cut out an oval onto some cardboard or strong card and cover it with tin foil to create an artist's palette for you or the kids. Easy and disposable. What a great way to keep the kids busy!
Camping & outdoor tin foil hacks
22. Keep moisture out of your sleeping bag
Do you love camping? Place a piece of heavy-duty aluminium foil under your sleeping bag to insulate and keep moisture out. You won’t wake up in a damp mess again!
23. Keep matches nice and dry
This is a tried and tested soldier’s trick! Wrap your matches in aluminium foil to prevent them from getting damp on camping trips or at BBQs.
24. Make a handy funnel
Roll your aluminium foil into the shape of a cone and use it as a funnel. The foil funnel has distinct advantages over a permanent funnel – it saves space when you’re packing light and you can also manipulate the foil to reach awkward holes or spaces.
25. Make camping cutlery
Why carry around clunky cutlery when you can fashion your own spoons out of foil? Clean, unravel and use the foil again. Genius!
Thanks for reading. If you have any more brilliant uses for tin foil please let me know in the comments section below. Feel free to share this article with your friends and family too!
Hi, Can you stop tarnish reappearing on silver plate? All help appreciated. Regards, John.
Hi John, I believe you can use foil for this purpose. Here is a good post about it - http://84thand3rd.com/2013/05/31/8-tips-to-clean-silver-naturally-keep-it-tarnish-free/
Will be trying the cake tin sounds really good amazing ideas ?
Thanks Maureen, please feel free to share the post with your pals!
When there is a loose connection and the battery moves in its compartment you can fill in the gap with a piece of tinfoil in, for example, a clock.
Thank you Sarah, that is an expert home tip!
i was told years ago that to keep bananas fresh peel them then wrap in foil individually and keep in the fridge, it really works, also lettuce, dont use a metal knife , tear leaves off instead of cutting them and a lettuce wrapped in foil and kept in the fridge can last for weeks.
Hi Pamela. Some interesting tips you've got there! I actually prefer my bananas slightly over-ripe, so tend to pop them in a brown paper bag to speed up the process. I also like to freeze them - they make delicious ice cream! Thanks for stopping by :)
With all the recent publicity about contactless credit/debit cards, I am sure I have read somewhere that wrapping them in tinfoil will prevent thieves accessing them.
Hi Sandy. I haven't heard about this, but it's certainly an interesting idea! :)
I am worried about recent claims about aluminium foil being dangerous to use in cooking as parts of it breakdown and enters the food, seems its OK for use with cold foods I was wondering if anyone else knows of this as I have used foil in cooking for years and have found it very useful.
Hi Susan. I have never experience problems with using aluminium foil during cooking - nor has my Mother or granny! :)
Hi, I did hear the same thing not so long ago, about the aluminium particles. Some research necessary I think, but I've been using it for years and I'm OK...more by luck than judgement though ;-)
I soooo love reading your tips for using every day products and objects. Tin foil as a funnel is such a great idea. I can never find a funnel when I want one - thanks XXX
Hi Louise. I love our tip articles too! Thanks a lot for your kind comment and stay tuned for more like this :)
Reuse foil as often as possible as although it is an amazing product, like almost everything, it's disposal has an impact on the environment.
It is important to remember the environmental effect of doing these things; aluminium is a limited resource and producing it uses a lot of energy. Don't use it just because it is easy - I would say that the use to cook bacon on in particular, is not a good one. If you really want to eat bacon eat a small amount so that you keep the calories down in that way, and cook it without wasting lots of aluminium. If it is covered in bacon fat it is not feasible to recycle it... So use foil sparingly, and if you do need it make sure you recycle it!
Hi Alison! Thanks for sharing your opinion on using tin foil. We have a lot of posts about living sustainably too! Check out this one on reducing plastic use: https://experthometips.com/reduce-plastic-use-environment We'll talk about sustainability in more blog posts in the future!
Use tin foil to keep your pets off the good furniture. Just put a piece on the seat of a chair or sofa, and they will never get on it again.
That's genius, Ronnie! Is that because of the noise/texture startling them? Thank you for sharing.
Use it to make a faraday pouch in which to put your car keyless entry thingy.
Interesting idea, Gerry!
Put a layer in your wallet to stop your contactless debit or credit cards from being scammed.
Wrap celery in foil to stop it going all limp and floppy and wrap broccoli in foil to stop it oxidising and getting the nasty brown bits! Once wrapped put them in the fridge as normal.
Remove wrapping from celery and wrap foil around it to retains its crispness and freshness. It will last much longer.
Thanks for sharing!
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