Don't Throw Out A Tangled Roll Of Aluminum Foil. Try This Trick For An Easy Fix

That recipe you found online for foil-wrapped fish looked incredible in the photo. But when you go to do it, you just run into problems. In particular, with that pesky roll of aluminum foil that just happens to be an integral part of the recipe. As you go to tear off a fresh sheet, one side catches and the whole thing rips unevenly. You're left with a tangled roll and nothing to wrap that filet in. Your guests are arriving soon, and panic starts to set in. Boy, do we have a genius aluminum foil hack you should be using in the kitchen! Rub a ball of scrunched foil over the ripped roll horizontally, and voilà! Like magic, you'll be able to peel off a full sheet once again.

Why this method works is, however, far from sorcery and firmly grounded firmly in science. The force at play here is abrasion. Just as rough sandpaper removes layers of old paint from a piece of furniture you're restoring, the jagged bits on the foil ball catch on the edges of the irregularly torn foil sheet still on the roll, lifting and cutting them away from the roll in one spot. As you can see, the quality of your aluminum foil is more important than you thought. Better quality foil is less likely to tear, though if it does, a stronger ball is going to work better for this fix.

How to repair that poorly torn roll of aluminum foil

First things first, stop trying to peel more foil off the roll! We know it's tempting; there's something oddly satisfying about trying to fix the problem by randomly picking at the bits of sheet. But, trust us, continuing down that path will make the situation worse. Instead, pick up just the biggest tab from the torn sheet and peel it back enough to give you a decent square or rectangle of foil. Tear that piece off the roll and scrunch it in one hand, forming a ball. You don't want to scrunch it too hard — leaving distinct peaks and troughs will give the ball better purchase on the roll.

We're pretty confident this method works, but if you try it without success, the only other real (and far less efficient or precise) option is to cut horizontally across through the top few layers of the roll with a pair of scissors  and peel back where you make the cut until you reach the uncut layer beneath. If you run out of aluminum foil in a bind or can't get any off the roll, you could also use baking paper, a heat-proof dish, or a silicon baking mat — all depending, of course, on what you're using it for. Or, properly storing your aluminum foil in a way that avoids tangles will ensure you never have to make use of these ideas in the first place.