Entertainment, Health and Lifestyle

11 Ways to Use Aluminum Foil Around the House to Make Life Easier

Using aluminum foil to line cookie sheets or to keep a steak hot while you finish getting everything ready to eat are nothing new when it comes to useful household tips. But there are many other ways to use aluminum foil you haven’t heard of — ways that can save you time, money and effort.


Line a bucket or bowl with aluminum foil. Add the silver items you want to polish into the bucket. Fill the vessel with 2 tablespoons washing soda (aka soda ash), 2 tablespoons ordinary table salt, 1 cup plain white vinegar and 2 cups boiling water. Leave the silver in the water for about 15 minutes. The tarnish that has covered your beautiful silverware is attracted to the foil, making it easier to clean the silver.


You have undoubtedly noticed that one side of aluminum foil is shinier than the other. Maybe you see the shiny side as the “right” side and always have it facing out. Have you ever thought about why the two sides have different finishes?

According to the largest manufacturer of aluminum foil, the different appearance of each side of aluminum foil is simply a result of how it’s manufactured. The performance of the foil is the same on both sides; use it either way. The folks at Reynolds Wrap assure us that there is absolutely no difference.


Crumple up a sheet of aluminum foil. Now use it along with some elbow grease to make the chrome on appliances, strollers and older car bumpers shine like new. Aluminum foil will even remove rust spots. Caution: Most “chrome” on new cars is not chrome at all but plastic. DO NOT rub plastic chrome with aluminum foil!


Those who color their hair know that it involves time for the color to process — time to just sit there and wait. You want to catch up on your reading, but you can’t read without your specs. If you put them on, they’re sure to end up stained by the color. Solution: Wrap the temples of your glasses (side arms) with a piece of aluminum foil. This won’t wreck the color but it will protect your glasses.


Car keys that have the keyless start system work via a wireless connection. This signal only works when you’re within about two meters of your car; otherwise, it won’t connect. Unfortunately, clever thieves have found a way to hack this signal, which means they don’t need your keys to open the car, start it and drive off.

The cheapest and easiest way to foil their plans is to wrap your cars remote key fob in a piece of aluminum foil before you put it in your pocket or bag. This disrupts the signal. Still not feeling at ease about this? You can ask the car dealer to block the keyless feature. That way, no one can use it including you. But you’ll still have the manual key.


When preparing to bake a gorgeous pie, lasagna or another casserole, you can catch all those messy drips before they mess up the oven by laying a sheet or two of aluminum foil over the rack below. Caution: Don’t line the bottom of the oven floor with foil, as that is not safe. But foil on that bottom rack does a great job. Once you remove the baked item, gather up that foil and put it in the trash along with any burned-on mess.


Need a funnel but don’t have one handy? Fold a piece of aluminum foil to easily make a funnel that will help you accomplish the task without leaking and making a big mess


If you have ever been tasked with cleaning the barbecue grill, you will know it’s a horrible chore. You can make it a lot easier if you use aluminum foil, though. Scrub the grill with a scrunched-up ball of foil and it will be clean in no time at all!


Don’t have a scrub pad? Crumple up a handful of aluminum foil and use it to scrub your pots. Works every time!


Use aluminum foil to sharpen dull scissors. Fold a piece of foil into several layers and start cutting into strips, through all of the layers. Seven or eight passes should do the trick. Can’t get more simple than that.


To some people like myself, ironing is very relaxing, while others hate the chore. It doesn’t matter what you think of it, though; it’s a task that can’t be put off forever. But you can speed up the process! Place a sheet of aluminum foil underneath the cover of your ironing board. The foil will reflect the heat coming off of your iron, which speeds up the ironing. And it prevents moisture from the steam penetrating the fabric cover, keeping the board’s surface from developing rust.

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Mary Hunt

Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at tips.everydaycheapskate.com/ . This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

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