Handy DIY Hacks Using Aluminum Foil

Monica Gray - April 21, 2023

Most of us use aluminum foil to pack lunches and store food. It comes in handy more often than not. The handy material is simply aluminum stored in leaves, with a balance of iron and silicon to give it that foldable flexibility. Aluminum foil is convenient when we’re on the go and don’t have any time to waste. It always seems to be an easy fix to many problems we might face, like sending our kids off with food wrapped in aluminum foil or keeping our leftover dinner warm. But did you know aluminum foil has much more use than just food storage? You can use aluminum foil for tons of DIY hacks that’ll simplify your life and make things a lot easier. Next time you need to sharpen scissors, scare away birds in your garden, or make a panini press, look to aluminum foil for help.

The Garden Cook

Use Aluminum Foil To Soften Brown Sugar

When moisture from brown sugar evaporates, it hardens. This happens quickly, and you might find a hard brown block of sugar in your cabinet sooner than later. That’s where aluminum foil comes in. To restore the sugar to its softness and deliciousness, break off a piece and wrap it in aluminum foil. Set your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake it for five minutes. The aluminum foil helps trap the heat, which makes the crystals loosen up (Insider).

The Lindsay Ann

Make Cake Pans In Fun Shapes

Forget about those boring, standard-shaped cakes. With aluminum foil, you can have fun making a cake and turn it into any shape you want. If your kid wants a teddy bear birthday cake their age, you can shape aluminum foil to just that. Using heavy-duty aluminum foil, form a double-thickness shape and place it inside a larger cake pan. You can also do this for cupcakes and brownies. If there’s one way to impress your friends and your kid’s parents, it’s fun-shaped desserts (The Daily Meal).

Yorkshire Live

Improve Your Radiator

An old cast-iron radiator isn’t the most efficient way to heat your home, especially if it’s outdated. Without spending any more money on trying to keep your home warm, you can use aluminum foil as a heat reflector. Using cardboard, tape the aluminum foil to it with the shiny side facing out. The heat will bounce off the foil and back into the room, instead of getting absorbed by the wall, thus cooling down your home. In an interview with The Guardian, a homeowner facing this exact issue said, ​​”I’ve put some bog-standard 30cm tin foil behind the center of the radiator in my extremely cold kitchen, fixing it with a bit of sticky tape at each end, and am astonished at the result. It’s as though I’ve turned on another radiator.” That sounds like a money-saving way to fix a problem! You can also put the aluminum foil under the top of the cover to reflect any more heat leaking out of open spaces (Apartment Therapy).

Knock It Off Kim

Cover Old Spots In Mirrors

Old mirrors have their own sort of charm, and you may never want to get rid of them for that very reason. But sometimes, they have an old, worn spot that causes a distraction and takes away from the beauty of the mirror. You can disguise the old spots using aluminum foil. Simply put a piece of foil over the worn spot with the shiny side facing outwards. You can hold the tape to the mirror using masking tape. It’s an easy solution for a few spots, and you won’t notice the aluminum foil (A Beautiful Mess).

The Krazy Kitchen Lady

Wrap Steel-Wool In Aluminum To Prevent Rust On Your Sink

Steel wool pads are some of the best, and worst, inventions out there. They help clean dirty dishes like magic, but once you use them, they’re pretty much useless. Not only that but the next day, there’s a rusty mess in your sink. To stop this from happening, wrap the steel wool in aluminum foil. Put it into the freezer to prevent rust and keep its shelf life longer. For overnight use, you can store the steel wool pads on top of a crumbled ball of foil and leave it next to your sink (Bobvila).

The Daring Kitchen

Sharpen Scissors

Over time, scissors go dull. What was once a useful tool turns into a frustrating one. To keep your scissors up to date and as sharp as can be, use 12 inches of aluminum foil. Fold a piece of aluminum foil about six times until it’s thick, and then cut it with a pair of dull scissors. Ten or twelve times should suffice. This will help to sharpen the blades. You can test their sharpness using a piece of paper and once finished, wipe away any remaining aluminum foil (Popular Mechanics).

Max Res Default

Remove Rust From Chrome

Many of you probably have chrome fittings around your home, most notably in the bathroom. Chrome succumbs to rust over time. Aluminum foil can help remove the rust from those fittings, to keep them looking brand new. Crumple up a piece of aluminum foil and use it to scrub the rust off of chrome surfaces. Dip the aluminum foil into the water and rub it on the surfaces. If the rust isn’t coming off, you can use another hack and dip the aluminum foil in cola drinks. The carbonic acid has a chemical reaction with the rust that helps it break off. The best part of using aluminum foil is that it seals off the chrome and prevents future rust from developing. Polish it with a dry cloth and your bathroom will look brand new (Family Handy Man).

Home Prettify

Protect Doorknobs When Painting

Painting the walls of our houses makes them feel and look brand new. There’s nothing like a new layer of paint to brighten up a room and get rid of old stains and chips. When you’re painting, you have to be especially careful of your doorknobs. If you get paint on them, it’s an arduous task to get the paint off. Preventing this in the first place is key. All you have to do is wrap a piece of aluminum foil around the doorknobs to protect them from paint splatters (Reddit).


Create A Makeshift Funnel

We need funnels to decorate cakes and cupcakes and use them for spices, flour, and peppercorn. Funnels come in handy in several ways in the kitchen, though many of us don’t have them. If you’re cooking or baking when you suddenly realize you need a funnel, don’t fret. Grab that handy roll of aluminum foil and roll a piece of it into a cone shape and use it as a funnel. Stick the small part of the foil through the container you need it for, or use the small part to squeeze out frosting or liquid (Lifehacker).

Hunting Waterfalls

Keep Food Warm

One of the oldest and most well-known uses for aluminum foil is as a cover for food to keep it warm while serving. It’s a simple and effective hack that has been used for generations. By covering your food with a layer of aluminum foil, the reflective properties of the foil help to keep the food’s heat intact. This is particularly useful when serving hot dishes such as casseroles or baked goods, as it helps to keep them at a consistent temperature. In addition to preserving heat, the foil also acts as a barrier to oxygen and light, which can help to retain the food’s flavor and moisture. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just trying to keep your leftovers warm, using aluminum foil to cover your food is a tried-and-true method that is both easy and effective. (Anytime Chefs).


Clean Grill Grates

Grill grates get dirty quickly, especially during the summertime when we use them often. Grease and bits of meat and food get stuck to the grill. Not only is this gross to look at, but it can burn off the next time you use it and affect the flavor of your food. To keep your grill clean and sparkling, use a ball of aluminum foil. First, turn on your grill. Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the grate and close it. Let it heat up for a few minutes, and then open the grill lid. When the residue loosens up, crumple the aluminum foil into a ball and scrub away any stuck-on food from your grill grates (CNET).

Max Res Default

Fix Loose Batteries

If you’re out of AA batteries and need one pronto, you’re in luck if you have a roll of aluminum foil in your house and AAA batteries. Grab the AAA batteries and fold a small piece of aluminum foil. Place it between the battery and the contact point to fix a loose battery. The AA and AAA batteries carry the same amount of voltage, and the aluminum foil will help carry the voltage through the extra space (USA Today).

Taste Of Home

Remove Static Cling

Because of static electricity, static cling happens when we dry our clothes. Because of the triboelectric effect caused by fabric rubbing against each other, static electricity builds up. Positive and negative electricity attracts each other. It’s preventable with a bit of aluminum foil. Crumple up a ball of aluminum foil and toss it in the dryer with your clothes to help reduce static cling. The aluminum foil disrupts the process and helps speed up drying. It helps keep your clothes separate and prevents the triboelectric effect (House Digest).

Rachel Ray Show

Remove Stubborn Food From Baking Sheets

There’s nothing worse than baking potatoes or vegetables, only to realize that half of the burnt bits got stuck to the surface of your baking sheet. Nothing seems to work, not even scrubbing the sheet for twenty minutes at a time. There’s a hack for that! First, soak the baking sheet in water. The longer you soak it, the more that will come off so overnight is best. Remove the sheet from the water and let it dry. Roll up aluminum foil into a ball and scrub the baking sheets with it to remove stubborn, stuck-on food. When you’re done, wash it again with soap and water and let it dry (Webstaurant Store).

Balcony Garden Web

DIY Solar Plant Oven

Just like food matures in an oven, plants mature from sunlight. You can make a DIY solar plant oven using aluminum foil’s reflective properties that will help your garden flourish. It provides warmth and adds a bit of reflection, which means your plants will absorb more nutrients from the sunlight. Line a cardboard box with aluminum foil, and use glue to make sure the foil stays in place. Poke some holes at the bottom for drainage, and put your seedling pots inside. You can even add plastic wrap for an airtight window to allow more sunlight to enter the box. Watch them grow faster than seeds without aluminum foil (Balcony Garden Web).

Bird Barrier

Scare Away Birds

When it comes to your garden, birds are not your friend. They like to munch on your fruits and vegetables, and may even wreak havoc in a garden you took so long to take care of. Luckily, birds don’t like shiny things, and they tend to stay far away from anything shiny. You can use aluminum foil to safely scare away birds. Add several strips of foil to trees and plants. You can even get creative and add scary eyes to the foil for even more success, or turn the aluminum foil into the shape of a bird. If a bird happens to get close enough, it won’t like how the aluminum foil feels under its claws (Call Northwest).

Savvy Gardening

Confuse Vine Borers

Those vine borers are some of the most annoying pests in the garden. They lay eggs on vulnerable parts of the plant, such as the base of flowers and the undersides of leaves. This will prevent your garden and plants from reaching their fullest potential. To prevent vine borers from creeping into your garden, wrap the aluminum foil and the base of the plant at the beginning of the season. Instead of laying their eggs on the plant, they’ll lay them on the aluminum foil, thus saving your plants from their destruction (Houzz).

Universal Appliances Repair

Protect The Bottom Of Your Oven

Cooking isn’t always necessarily clean. As much as we try to account for spillages, they still happen. It’s never a good feeling when you cook your favorite food and find a bunch of drips and grease at the bottom of your oven. What if we told you this is completely preventable? Line the bottom of your oven rack with a sheet of aluminum foil to catch any spills or drips. Try and avoid lining the bottom of your oven, since it can cover vents, damage your oven, and overcook your food. If it’s on the rack, it’ll catch any spillages before it gets to the bottom of your oven (Whirlpool).


Protect Your Mulch

While some insects may be beneficial to your garden, others can be harmful, and can quickly destroy your vegetables if left unchecked. One solution to this problem is to mix pieces of aluminum foil with your garden mulch. The reflective surface of aluminum foil can help to confuse and deter insects from approaching your plants. When the sun hits the foil, it creates a glare that can make it difficult for insects to locate their food source. This can be particularly effective for insects that rely on visual cues to find their way around, such as aphids, whiteflies, and thrips. In addition to deterring insects, using aluminum foil in your garden can also help to regulate soil temperature and moisture levels. The foil can reflect excess sunlight away from the soil, which can help to prevent overheating and water loss. This can be particularly helpful in hot, dry climates where water conservation is a concern (How Stuff Works).


Remove Tarnish From Silverware

Over time, silverware develops tarnish. This reduces its shine and makes it look dull. You might be thinking about throwing it away and buying an entirely new set. Aluminum foil is a hack that will save you money and make your silverware look brand new. Soak silverware in a mixture of hot water, salt, and a sheet of crumpled aluminum foil to remove the tarnish. It works thanks to electrolyte action. It works better than a chemical-polish solution because it doesn’t remove any of the underlying metal (Everbrite Coatings).

Flash Jewellery

Clean Jewelry

Just like cleaning silverware, aluminum foil works at cleaning your jewelry. Line a bowl with aluminum foil and fill it with hot water and a few drops of dish soap or baking soda. Soak jewelry in the mixture for a few minutes and then rinse. When the jewelry is in the bowl, make sure the jewelry is touching the aluminum foil. You’ll know it’s working when the solution starts bubbling and fizzling. Again, it uses electrolyte action to clean and doesn’t tarnish your jewelry in the process (Flash Jewellery).

Root Simple

Make A Panini Press

If you can’t stand the sight of your daily sandwich anymore and want to change it up a bit, you can make a DIY panini press. Soon enough, you’ll rival all the deli’s near your home. To start, make the sandwich and then wrap it up in aluminum foil. Turn on the oven and grab two cookie sheets. Place the sandwich on one cookie sheet, and place the second cookie sheet on top of the sandwich. Place a heavy oven pan on top of the cookie sheet in the oven, and bake until it’s crispy and delicious. You have your very own panini press (Reynolds Brands).

Photo Retouching Service

Reflect Light For Photography

If you’re a professional photographer, you’re well-versed in the use of reflectors for extra light. This is a great technique if you have a subject drenched in dark light and want to lighten it up. If you need a reflector and realize you don’t have one, simply grab a roll of aluminum foil. Lightly coat a piece of cardboard with tape and cover it with a layer of aluminum foil. For the best effect, make three panels and join them together (Digital Camera World).


Bake A Perfect Pie Crust

Baking is an art, which is why it’s important to take extra precautions when you’re baking. You can prevent the crust of your pie from burning by using aluminum foil. This will save the edges of your pie crust. If you don’t have a perfect crust, you won’t have a pie. If your pie has high edges, it’s more susceptible to burning. Wrap aluminum foil over the edge of your pie to keep it protected (The Daily Meal).

Life Savvy

During Winter, Protect Your Trees

In the wintertime, there’s not much we can do regarding our garden. That’s when our trees and plants are most susceptible to damage from rodents and other pests. They can seriously damage the health of your plants and cause irreversible damage. To protect your trees from rabbits and mice, use aluminum foil. The feel of the aluminum foil will keep the rodents away and keep your trees safe (Townline).

Dis Dot Dat

Strengthen WiFi

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to connect to Wifi, only to have it move as slowly as possible. This is especially annoying when you’re trying to work, research, or watch a movie. Luckily, aluminum foil is your friend in the world of Wifi. You can use aluminum foil as a reflector. Place a piece of it behind your router to strengthen your signal when you need it the most. It does this by shaping the flow of the wireless signal, giving it a greater speed. According to scientist Xia Zhou, “Through this single solution, we address several challenges that plague wireless users. Not only do we strengthen wireless signals, but we also make those same signals more secure.” (Science Alert).

Tinker Lab

Protect Countertops When Painting

As we’ve mentioned before, painting your home is one of the best ways to revamp your space and make it feel brand new again. Paint splatter is common, especially if you’re not extra careful or get caught in a wave of laziness. To prevent paint from getting anywhere other than your wall, cover your countertops with a layer of aluminum foil to protect them from paint splatters when painting nearby (First For Women).


Create A Makeshift Baking Dish

If you find yourself in a situation where you are out of baking dishes, don’t fret! You can easily create a makeshift one using aluminum foil. All you need to do is shape the foil into the desired dish shape, whether it be a fun shape or a normal one. To create the bottom of the pan, simply use more foil and adjust it to the size and shape you need. It’s important to use enough foil to create a decent amount of thickness, as this will prevent the pan from bending or collapsing while it’s baking. With a little bit of creativity and resourcefulness, you can easily create a custom baking dish using aluminum foil. (Yummy PH).

Sisters With Stuff

Iron Faster And More Efficiently

We can all agree that one of the most tedious chores is ironing. No one wants to spend their morning next to an ironing board, getting rid of wrinkles that never seem to fully go away. You can reduce the time spent ironing with aluminum foil. All you have to do is put a sheet underneath the cover of your ironing board. It works by reflecting the heat from the iron, thus getting rid of the wrinkles faster. Your clothing will be crease-free in no time (Good Housekeeping).


Move Heavy Furniture

Moving furniture can be a daunting task, particularly if the piece is taller or heavier than you’re used to. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to make the process easier and protect your floors at the same time. By slipping a sheet of aluminum foil under the furniture, you can help it glide across the floor with ease. Not only does this make it much easier to move the furniture, but it also helps to protect your wooden floors from scratches and scuffs. This method works equally well on rugs and carpets, making it a versatile solution for any type of flooring. So the next time you need to move a piece of furniture, grab some aluminum foil and give yourself a little extra help! (Southern Living).

Living Well Kitchen

Make A Makeshift Roasting Rack

If you don’t have a roasting rack or are in the process of cleaning yours, create a makeshift one by shaping a piece of aluminum foil into a rack shape. Stick it in the oven. It will get the job done, just make sure to throw it out after using it. To do this, roll the aluminum foil into sturdy, tight cylinders and place them at the bottom of the pan. This will come in especially handy if you’re cooking during Thanksgiving and need something to place your turkey on (All Recipes).

Pipe Magic

Clean Grout

Grout often gets dirt stuck inside, which is a common issue seen in bathrooms and kitchens with tiles. Over time, the grout can turn a dark color, which makes your bathroom or kitchen look dirty and unclean. Even if you try to remove the dirt from grout with a toothbrush and cleaning solution, you’re exposing your home to toxic chemicals. To keep your grout as clean as possible, scrub it with a ball of aluminum foil to remove stains and grime. It’s considered a safe cleaner and gets the job done (Maids By Trade).


Protect Your Car Windshield From Frost

Aluminum foil even comes in handy during the wintertime. To prevent frost from building up on your windshield, simply cover your car windshield with a sheet of aluminum foil at night. You can purchase an aluminum foil cover for the best outcome. This will help prevent frost from forming. Place a sheet of aluminum foil across your windshield and tuck it into the doors. In the morning, remove the aluminum foil and toss it in the garbage. This is a quick solution if you’re in a hurry for work and don’t have time to waste defrosting your car’s windshield every morning (Auto Care HQ).

Savvy Gardening

Protect Your Garden Against Deer

Sometimes, a fence isn’t enough protection for your garden. Deer manage to get past the fence and end up chewing on your precious flowers, plants, and vegetables. This is especially frustrating if you’ve worked hard to keep your plants protected. Their long legs are no match for fences. That’s where aluminum foil comes in. Wrap the bases of your vegetables, plants, and shrubs with aluminum foil. The foil needs to be about waist-high to have any effect. The aluminum foil will scare away the deer (Savvy Gardening).