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15 Brilliant Uses For Aluminum Foil That Will Save You Time

Uses For Aluminum Foil

There are a lot of versatile materials out there, but aluminum foil has to be one of my very favorites. It can be used as a barrier, as a heat reflector, as a light reflector, and so much more! Occasionally I happen upon a particularly good idea for using aluminum foil, and I’ll store it in my secret files for later use. Well I finally have enough hot aluminum foil tips that I simply can’t keep them to myself any longer! So here are 15 ways to use aluminum foil, which are certain to save you time, effort, and money in the long run! :-)

15 Uses For Aluminum Foil

Uses For Aluminum Foil

1. Soften Brown Sugar

If your brown sugar has turned into a rock-solid lump, it’s tin foil to the rescue! Wrap the brown sugar up in tin foil, and put it in your oven. Bake the tin foil package at 300 degrees for 5 minutes, and your brown sugar will be soft and ready to use!

Uses For Aluminum Foil

2. Piping Bag

Nothing elevates cakes and cupcakes like piped frosting, but you don’t need to own a piping bag to do it! Use a sheet of tin foil to form your own disposable piping bag.

Uses For Aluminum Foil

3. Shine Silverware

If your silverware has lost its’ shine, there’s an easy way to get it back! Place a sheet of tin foil at the bottom of a baking dish, and lay your silverware out on the foil. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of baking soda over the top. Finally, pour in several cups of hot water until the silverware is submerged. Let the silverware soak for 5 minutes, then remove, rinse, and enjoy the shine!

Uses For Aluminum Foil

4. Clean Cast Iron

Use a balled-up piece of tin foil to scrub away crusty messes in your cast iron pans. (Read more about cleaning cast iron and seasoning cast iron here!)

Uses For Aluminum Foil

5. Sharpen Scissors

If your scissors are struggling to make cuts, you can sharpen them with tin foil. Take a piece of tin foil and fold it in half at least 3 times. Use the scissors to make several cuts on the foil, and your scissors will be noticeably sharper!

Uses For Aluminum Foil

6. Protect Pie Crust

Use a piece or two of tin foil to cover the edges of your pie crust while it bakes to prevent it from burning. You can use it preventatively, by putting it on at the beginning of the baking process and removing it halfway through. Or you can put the tin foil on near the end of the baking process, if the edges of the crust seem to be browning faster than the rest of the crust.

Uses For Aluminum Foil

7. Foil Funnel

Funnels are often one of those items that you don’t think you’ll need… until the moment that you realize you need one. ;-) If you ever find yourself in this situation, you can improvise a funnel using a piece of tin foil! Just form a cone shape with the foil, and fold the edges over to keep the shape.

Uses For Aluminum Foil

8. Kitchen Helper

Tin foil is incredibly versatile, especially in the kitchen! Salmon filets in particular turn out perfectly moist and flaky when baked in tin foil pouches. (And don’t worry, cooking with tin foil is perfectly safe!)

Read More: Honey Lemon Salmon Baked In Foil

Uses For Aluminum Foil

9. Keep It Hot

Tin foil is especially handy for keeping things warm, thanks to it’s reflective surface. If one part of your meal is ready before the rest of it, just wrap it up in tin foil to help keep it warm while the rest of the food finishes up.

Uses For Aluminum Foil

10. Prevent Messes

If you’re baking something that you suspect may bubble while cooking, use tin foil to prevent a baked-on mess. Just line a cookie sheet with tin foil, and place the cookie sheet in the oven on the rack below what you’re cooking. If the dish bubbles over, it will land on the tin foil and you can just toss it out later.

Uses For Aluminum Foil

11. Take It Camping

Tin foil makes a useful addition to your regular camping supplies. Wrap canned food in tin foil and toss them right into your campfire to heat them up! You can also use tin foil as a reflective signaling material should you get lost.

Uses For Aluminum Foil

12. Light It Up

If you’re starting seeds indoors, they could use all the light they can get. One way to amplify the natural light is to line a shoebox with tin foil, and place your seedlings into the box. The foil will reflect the light (and heat!) onto the seedlings and help them grow.

Uses For Aluminum Foil

13. Painting Helper

Taping off doorknobs when painting can be a total pain. Save yourself some time and effort by wrapping the knobs in tin foil! It’s easy to mold to the shape of the door knob, and you can toss it easily if you drip paint onto it.

Uses For Aluminum Foil

14. Freeze It

Heavy-duty tin foil makes a great material to freeze things in because it doesn’t allow air to pass through. It will keep the flavors in, and the smells from other foods out! Wrap and freeze bread products, casseroles, and more.

Uses For Aluminum Foil

15. Easy Breezy Clean-Up

One of the best ways to use tin foil is to protect large, hard-to-wash pans from greasy messes. Line the bottom of your roasting pan before roasting a turkey or pot roast, then toss out the foil when you’re done. Your roasting pan can go right back into the cupboard, rather than taking up your entire sink!

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • Thanks for the great tips!! I use aluminum foil all the time to keep whatever I’m serving hot. I especially like the tip about covering door knobs with it before painting. The tip about using foil on cast iron, I was wondering if that would work on a cast iron burner as well, or would that damage it somehow??

  • Jillee, can I just take this opportunity to tell you how impressed I am with all the work you must do! I learn something new every time I read OGT and at my age I thought I had heard it all! Thank you so much.

    • Thank you for your kind words Suzanne. I am so happy that you love my website and tips! My team and I are here to make people’s lives easier with solutions to everyday homekeeping, beauty routines, recipes, natural products and more. :-)

  • Whenever I’m at the dollar store I pick up a box of pre-cut foil. The sheets work perfectly for lining a toaster oven, or air fryer as well as wrapping up burritos or tacos for lunch boxes. I also use them to line my baking pans for casseroles and brownies.

  • Aluminium foil is an excellent product with many uses in the home, however the food group that should NEVER be wrapped in foil is anything acidic, that is because it corrodes the foil which if ingested is toxic; onions, citrus fruit etc should not come into contact with aluminium foil or plates.

  • Thanks for these suggestions. I recently read that wrapping lettuce in foil keeps it fresh … works great, lasts days longer, in fact the lettuce seems to get a bit crisper.

  • Lots of nice ideas for using foil But PLEASE stop saying toss it out or throw it away after using it. Foil is one of the most recyclable items we use in our kitchens along with glass. Clean it, recycle it. Don’t throw it away in the garbage unless it is shredded or impossible to clean for some reason.

  • A biggie is also wadding it into a ball, dip it in Coke, not Pepsi, & watch it take rust off anything without scratching. I used this method to take rust off my motorcycle chrome & tire rims.

    • wow! That reminds me of an old friend who helped me with a drippy faucet, the screws were rusted solid and his dad was a plumber so he knew some tricks. He asked me for some rags, some foil, and a 2 bottles of Coke. He wrapped the area with the rags soaked them with one bottle of coke and wrapped that in the foil. I asked him what the other bottle of coke was for and he said to drink! We had a nice break, visited and when he was done drinking the coke, he unwrapped everything and the screw was free!

  • Wrap a stalk of celery in aluminum foil and it will keep for weeks in the fridge. It really works! I forgot about this tip until I was making some soup and needed celery. Yep, had bought some about a month ago and it was still fresh and crisp.

  • Excellent ideas , I especially like the scissors tip. Aluminum foil can also be used when growing watermelons to speed up the ripening.

  • May have to try that with my jewelry.The silica packets help some, but not enough. Have even tried the chalk. The foil trick is good for silver utensils.

  • When I’m traveling, I wrap my liquid cosmetics, shampoo, etc, tightly in tin foil. It eliminates the worry that my cosmetic bag and suitcase will be a soggy mess when I arrive at my vacation destination.

  • I have a lot of silver jewelry and I keep a small piece of aluminum foil in each box or bag that my piece is stored in. Keeps it bright and shiny!

  • I use foil to remove nail polish, especially the gels. Apply remover to cotton ball, place on fingernails, wrap in foil. In about a minute, voila!! Polish removes easily!!

  • Thanks for all the uses for foil I also read somewhere that wrapping a whole stalk of celery in foil keeps it fresh longer & it really works! I do this every time I buy celery & it’s good for several weeks.

  • Wow! These tips really were worth sharing! I’m going to use the silver polishing one on my grandmother’s old jug, turning it around every 5 minutes. I’m pretty sure there’s a rather expensive product out there that works in the same way, so I’ve saved a lot with just that one tip. I think it’s important to do this in a metal pan, or even a stainless steel sink, as it’s something to do with electrolytes. (Get me!)
    But I do have problems with foil lining a tray when I’m cooking fish, etc. Somehow juices get under the foil, even though I turn up the edges, and sometimes the food sticks to the foil. Can’t figure it out.

    • You need to use a porcelain pan or sink make sure the item is touching the foil and use hottest water (boiling )
      along with the Baking soda and salt. I have used this electrolysis method many times and if you have a bunch of silver to clean just get the water hot again and it will continue to work sometimes you need to add more salt and soda if you are doing a large amount.
      This method removes only the tarnish and not any of the silver like some of the cleaners you can buy.
      This can be important if it is silver plate or coins.

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