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.
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
Brown sugar that has been left in the cupboard to harden can quickly be softened and broken down. 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 to loosened granules.
For more kitchen hacks like this, check out these strange kitchen tips that actually work.
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 them 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
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 that 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 off 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 fresher 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
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, and check out the ultimate guide to cleaning your clothes for more tips like this.
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!
If the worst has happened, check out my smart guide to mattress cleaning to get rid of leaks and stains.
12. Move heavy furniture with ease
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 plant that is looking worse for wear, build it a little foil home. Create a sunbox by using a cardboard box and lining three sides and the bottom with aluminium foil - shiny side up - in order for the sunlight to surround the plant giving it an extra boost.
Cleaning tips using tin foil
15. Clean your iron
Starch can build up quickly on your iron if you forget to clean it regularly. 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
Scrub off baked-on foods on glassware by scrunching up tin foil and using it as a scrubber. Use with warm soapy water and you should see quick and effective results.
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 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.
Camping & outdoor tin foil hacks
22. Keep moisture out of your sleeping bag
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!