9 Surprising Uses for Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil isn't just for wrapping up leftovers and lining baking trays. Our Community Cook shows you nine ingenious ways to use foil around the house.

aluminium foilPhoto: Taste of Home

We all have that long box of shiny metallic stuff wrapped around a tube, sitting in a kitchen drawer. We use it to tent a turkey, cover a potluck dish, or catch spills inside a stove burner. Let’s look at more ways to put your aluminum foil to work.

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1. Keep your celery fresh longer.

Remove the plastic wrap when you get your celery home, and wrap it tightly with a large piece of aluminum foil. It will last two to three times longer than in the plastic bag.

aluminium foilPhoto: Taste of Home

2. Polish your silverware.

Line a pan with foil, fill it with cold water, and mix in 2 teaspoons of salt. Soak silverware in solution for five minutes, remove, rinse, and wipe with soft cloth or paper towel.

aluminum foilPhoto: Taste of Home

3. Soften brown sugar.

A baker’s worst nightmare: You go to measure brown sugar for your favorite chocolate chip cookie only to find the sugar is dried up and hard. To restore your sugar, break off a chunk and wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. Pop in the oven at 300ºF for five minutes and you’ll have soft sugar again!

Aluminum foil; GrillPhoto: Taste of Home

4. Ditch that metal grill brush.

We all have that dingy grill brush hanging in the garage. Besides being grimy, these brushes can also be dangerous—bristles can come loose, stick to the grate, and find their way into your food. Forget the brush and crumple up a wad of foil instead. Take this ball and scrub both sides of your grate for a squeaky clean grill.

aluminum foilPhoto: Taste of Home

5. Make a disposable grill pan.

Speaking of grills, for stick-free fish and chicken (like these tasty recipes), spray a piece of foil with vegetable or olive oil spray. Poke a few holes in it, lay it across the grill, then add your food. When dinner is over, you can crumple and toss!

aluminum foilPhoto: Taste of Home

6. Sharpen your scissors.

Dull scissors got you down? Sharpen them easily by folding a sheet of foil in half a few times. Cut this into ribbons with your scissors to sharpen them easily.

aluminum foilPhoto: Taste of Home

7. Preserve your steel wool.

Steel wool, while handy, can be frustrating. More often than not you find that your pad has turned into a rusty mess before you get your use out of it. Next time, wrap the pad in foil and toss in the freezer. This will keep the pad rust-free until you need it next.

Aluminum Foil; Garden; Pests; Garden Pests; Plants; Protect PlantsPhoto: Taste of Home

8. Keep garden pests at bay.

Have you ever had problems with cutworms, slugs or other garden varmints destroying your plants? Lay circles of aluminum foil underneath and gently snug up to the plants’ stems. A spring bonus: The reflected sunlight will warm your plants after cool nights.

aluminum foilPhoto: Taste of Home

9. Flashlight quick fix.

Is your flashlight or other battery-operated device working sporadically? It might be that the battery compartment spring has, like many of us, lost its springiness. Fold up a small bit of foil and place between the battery and the spring to tighten the connection.

I have a feeling that you’ll be using a few of these hacks in your own home, and maybe you’ll discover a few new uses, too, once you start thinking outside the aluminum foil box!

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