All The Ways You Can Repurpose Aluminum Foil Around The House

We typically use aluminum foil in the kitchen when covering pasta dishes to keep them warm or when lining baking trays for easy cleanup. Because this material is useful for these common tasks, it's a popular household stable, but it has many more uses in other areas of the home as well. Aluminum foil is a versatile tool that's great for cleaning, gardening, preserving food, and laundering clothes, to name a few of its qualifications. These foil hacks are inexpensive, easy to complete, and effective. Further, instead of throwing this material away after each use, it can be cleaned by hand or in the dishwasher and then reused over and over again. This means that, even after a sheet has been used to cover leftovers, it can then be repurposed in another area of the home.

However, there are some mistakes you should avoid making with aluminum foil, including using super thin and flimsy wrap. Some of these tricks require heavy-duty foil for the best outcomes. Then, you can enjoy all the beneficial properties of the metal, which include its flexibility, durability, reflective surface, and temperature and corrosion-resistant qualities. Further, it's non-toxic, so it can be used anywhere. Once you discover these uses, you'll be tempted to keep a roll in every room.

Scour dirty dishes

Tough stains on your pots and pans? A ball of aluminum foil can transform into a scour to scrub off caked-on grease and stuck-on food particles. Just crumble the sheet into a thick ball and apply dish soap directly to the DIY buffer before tackling the soiled surface. This hack is great for cast iron or non-coated metal but not for non-stick or enamel pans, as it could scratch the coating.

Replace painter's tape

When it is time to whip out a fresh can of paint, do not forget the foil. You can wrap door handles, faucets, cabinet knobs, and other fixtures with aluminum paper as a stand-in for painter's tape. It will mold perfectly to the object, and once the painting is over, the removal process only takes seconds. Plus, it is reusable, so keep the painted foil with your other painting tools.

Make a DIY funnel

Whether you need a funnel to refill a cleaning product spray bottle or to water a houseplant, you can DIY one with foil. Heavy-duty aluminum works best for this trick. Just roll the sheet at one end into a cone shape, ensuring it overlaps for layers of protection. It's water-resistant and can also be used over and over again for multiple uses. 

Extend the life of your scissors

Each time you use your scissors, micro divots coat the blades and increase the friction, which makes it harder to cut things and wears down the edges. Foil removes those imperfections so the blades don't dull as quickly. To sharpen your shears, take a foot-long sheet of foil and fold it until it's six layers thick, then cut the metal at least 10 times (the more, the better) with the entire length of the blades. Test your refreshed scissors on a sheet of paper until you get a smooth slice.

Speed up ironing

Adding foil underneath your ironing board cover will speed up the process and make your clothes wrinkle-free faster. The metal reflects the heat from the iron, helping you tackle both sides of the garment without needing to flip it around. This is another hack where heavy-duty foil reigns supreme. Unhook the ironing board cover, wrap the table in foil, reattach the sleeve, and iron as usual. After all your garments are crease-free, remove the board's cover so any moisture on the foil can dry.

Reduce static cling in the dryer

Another way foil can help with your clothing is in the dryer. Crumple the wrap into 2 to 3-inch balls and throw them into the dryer with your clothes. The metal orbs neutralize the electron transfers happening in the appliance, which is what causes static build-up. It might make the cycle slightly noisy, and you won't get a fresh smell like you would from dryer sheets, but your garments will be static-free.

Shine silverware

Silver tarnishes over time due to air exposure. Foil, with the help of baking soda and hot water, will get your possessions shining like new. First, cover the silver item in foil with the dull side outward. Next, boil a pot of water with enough liquid to submerge the pieces. Add a cup of baking soda per gallon of water and put your foil-wrapped silverware in the solution to soak for 30 minutes. Once the time is up, unwrap the foil to reveal your tarnish-free pieces.

Boost Wi-Fi signals

Foil isn't just for cooking and cleaning, as it can also be used to benefit your techno gadgets. Placing a piece of aluminum behind your Wi-Fi router can strengthen its signal. The metal acts as a reflector, sending the digital wavelength out further. To boost the signal, form the foil paper into a "C" shape with the shiny side inward, then prop it behind the router's body or antennas and point the foil in the direction where you want the Wi-Fi to reach.

Deter garden pests

Adding pieces of foil to your mulch is an eco-friendly way to keep bugs out of your garden. The shredded aluminum mixed into the leaves and grass clippings reflects light onto your plants, deterring pests who may otherwise see your yard as an open buffet. Wrapping the metal around the base of young trees and plants can also keep away deer and snails.

Move heavy furniture across carpets

Don't hurt your back lifting the sofa. Instead, use a few tears of foil to slide that beast across the carpet. The dull side of the aluminum is super slippery, so you can use it as a furniture coaster to rearrange heavy pieces with ease. Plus, it will stop a bulky dresser from bumping around as it glides. Just attach a folded piece to the legs of your furniture with the dull side facing the floor, and you're good to go.

Reseal plastic bags

With foil and an iron, you can reseal plastic bags. Forget about using a rubber band to tie that bag of beans. Instead, secure it with an airtight finish by fusing the open end closed. Just place a strip of foil around the opening and iron the metal paper for one minute. Make sure the iron only touches the aluminum and not the plastic directly. The heat will melt the material and seal it closed, while the foil will keep the plastic from disintegrating.

Stretch the life of bar soap

Is there any residue or a puddle of water left in your soap dish? That slimy mess is preventable with, you guessed it, foil. Line your holder with the metal paper to create a waterproof shield that protects the dish from the mess while wicking moisture off of your soap. You can also wrap the entire bar in aluminum to keep it dry and prevent it from dissolving.

Line shelves and drawers

Foil is an inexpensive way to line your shelves and drawers. It is easy to clean, install, and swap out. Plus, the reflective surface can even bounce the light around inside dark cabinets, brightening the small space. Just cut the paper to fit the shape and size of your shelf and place it into the drawer with the shiny side up. You'll have an ultra-modern look that is recyclable — when you're ready to change it, you know how to repurpose that foil in countless ways around the house.