3 Aluminum Foil Laundry Hacks To Try (And Other Easy Tricks To Know About)

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You may be used to using aluminum foil in the kitchen — to line your pans for roasting vegetables, covering leftovers, and the like. But did you know it can also be put to good use in the laundry room? Laundry is one of the most time-consuming chores and one of the most dreaded – possibly because of how long it takes and how frequently it needs to be done. That's why we gladly welcome any and all hacks that can make it easier to keep our clothes clean, neat, and taken care of. And, if we can do that with items we already have lying around the house — like aluminum foil — all the better!

As long as we have to get dressed each day, cycling loads in the washer and dryer will remain on our list of perpetual household tasks. But, in an effort to make laundry day more enjoyable, we're sharing three unexpected hacks that use aluminum foil to get the job done. And, if foil isn't the solution to your laundry woes, keep reading for even more tips that make use of other convenient household products.

Use aluminum foil to remove static from clothes

If you've ever found yourself out of dryer sheets but still need to dry a load of laundry, you can eliminate static cling with this aluminum foil laundry hack. Expert Patric "The Laundry Guy" Richardson, owner of The Laundry Evangelist, suggests rolling foil into a ball to use in lieu of dryer sheets or wool dryer balls. Specifically, he recommends using about a yard's length of foil, rolling and scrunching the two ends inward to create a ball about the size of a softball. The aluminum will pick up and neutralize the ions causing the static cling. For that same reason, he warns that you should use just one foil ball at a time, explaining, "If for some reason you have two, and you put them in the dryer, and they touch each other, they discharge all of the static back into the clothes."

Not only is this hack incredibly simple — it's cost-effective too. It's more than likely you already have a roll of foil at home. But, even if you have to restock, a 50-square-foot roll of Reynolds Wrap will only cost you about $5 on Amazon. And, moreover, one ball can last 30 to 60 dry cycles before you need to toss it in the recycling and make a new one.

Add a tennis ball wrapped in aluminum foil to your dry cycle

This idea works similarly to the aforementioned hack, except it uses foil and a tennis ball to reduce static. For the best results, you will want to use an ample amount of foil to cover the entire surface of the tennis ball. Try using one longer piece to wrap the ball continuously, which will help avoid pieces breaking off in the dryer. And, as a completely optional step, try adding a couple drops of essential oil to the ball before wrapping to impart a nice scent to your clothes and linens.

We already know that the aluminum foil will help reduce static between clothes. But, the added weight of a tennis ball also helps your load to dry more quickly and evenly by continuously creating space between items during the cycle. This process also helps to prevent wrinkles from forming. If you are washing any items like comforters, pillows, or down-filled jackets, a tennis ball will help redistribute their filling, ensuring an effective dry on those notoriously hard-to-dry items.

While a foil-wrapped tennis ball may be a budget-friendly, multipurpose laundry tool, there is a notable caveat worth mentioning: it isn't exactly quiet when being tossed around in the dryer. If noise is a concern, you might want to avoid this hack and instead opt for lightweight wool dryer balls. 

Iron at double speed by adding a sheet of aluminum foil

If you find ironing tedious but can't stand the thought of wrinkled clothes, this tip is for you. All you need to do is remove the cloth cover of your ironing board and wrap the board neatly with sheets of aluminum foil, making sure to keep them as flat as possible. Then, simply replace the original cover on top of your board, and iron away.

This hack cuts time spent ironing in half because the foil will reflect the heat to the backside of your garment while you iron the front. It's essentially like using two irons at once. You'll know it's time to replace the foil on your ironing board once it starts becoming wrinkled. However, one application of foil should last several ironing sessions before it needs to be recycled and replaced. You can also repurpose the wrinkled foil for other home cleaning tasks, like scrubbing hard water buildup off of your faucets.

Avoid ironing altogether by steaming in the dryer

If you can't be bothered to pull out the iron at all, try ridding your clothes of wrinkles by throwing them in the dryer with a dampened hand towel. Run the towel under the faucet, wring it out so it's not dripping, and then toss in the dryer with the wrinkled clothes in question. You don't need to run the dryer for long — about five minutes should do the trick. But, the one damp item combined with the dryer heat will effectively steam your clothing, ensuring it comes out wrinkle-free!

Another variation of this dryer-steaming technique involves ice cubes. Achieve the same effect by adding just a couple of ice cubes directly into the dryer with the creased clothes. With this technique, be warned that the ice cubes may clank around in the dryer drum for a minute or so before turning into wrinkle-releasing steam. We tried the ice cube dryer hack, and we recommend keeping the number of items steamed at once to a minimum. Also, you may have to experiment with dry times and ice cube or water amounts depending on how powerful your dryer is. Once you dial in those factors, you can take advantage of this quick, simple, and free trick over and over again.

Use a common household ingredient to brighten whites

Another household product found in the kitchen, cream of tartar is typically used as a stabilizer in recipes for cookies, cakes, and meringues. But, much like aluminum foil, this baking cabinet staple works wonders in the laundry room. Namely, it's an effective treatment for discoloration on white clothing because of its acidity. Eliminate ring-around-the-collar or unsightly armpit stains by first dampening the discolored area with water. Then sprinkle and massage cream of tartar into the spot. Allow to sit for at least a few minutes before laundering like normal.

If you don't have cream of tartar on hand in your kitchen, you can also use a dish soap with grease-cutting capabilities to deal with dirty whites. It's likely that the dishwashing liquid you already have at your kitchen sink will do the trick. After that, all you need is water and an old toothbrush. Just dip the toothbrush into the soap, and work the soap into the discolored spots on the shirt. Then dip the brush into the water and rub well into the soap so it suds up. Launder as usual, and enjoy your refreshed white clothes.

Banish tough-to-treat oil stains with products you already own

Dish soap is one of the most effective agents in the fight against oil stains. Whether you got splattered while cooking or missed your mouth while eating, make those stains a thing of the past with this hack. A reminder: the best time to treat an oil stain is as soon as possible after it happens. So, move quickly for the easiest process.

On a fresh stain, use your finger to work in a small dot of dish soap. Then, follow with a bit of warm water. Then, wash as normal. On this first pass, we recommend line drying the affected item instead of sending through the dry cycle. If the stain isn't entirely out, and you have to repeat the process, it's better to do so on a stain that's not set-in.

That said, not all hope is lost for an old, set-in stain. Follow the aforementioned steps, up until laundering. But after you add water to the dish soap, this time, follow up by rubbing a dot of your regular laundry detergent and some more warm water into the spot. Then, sprinkle baking soda on top of that, and massage well. Allow the mixture to sit overnight. The time is crucial for the oil to fully dissolve. Finally, launder like normal, and marvel that the spot you never thought you'd get out is gone at long last (we sure did!).

Use a pool noodle to prevent air drying creases

Have you ever hung a shirt over the rung of a drying rack, only for it to dry with a misshapen dent in the middle? This laundry hack repurposes an old pool noodle to ensure you never have to deal with that unsightly crease again (not to mention the added steps of steaming or ironing). Start by cutting the spare pool noodle to a size that will fit the length of a hanger or your drying rack. Then, make a slit lengthwise so the noodle can slip over the hanger or drying rack bar. The broad, smooth surface of the pool noodle allows your clothes to dry without creasing, making your laundry day much more pleasant.

In addition to repurposing a pool noodle, another way to avoid creasing is to use hangers to air dry. This will not only prevent that very specific type of crease, but it will also help to keep hang dry clothes wrinkle free. Of course, you will need ample space to hang things to dry on hangers. But, if you can find or make the space, you'll enjoy a neater, faster air-drying process. Always read your clothing labels for specific instructions. And know that even if it is more time-consuming than a cycle in the drying machine, air-drying is a great way to preserve the integrity of your clothes and make them last a long time.