• September 25, 2022

It’s a lot more common than you might think. You enter a home and all of a sudden, you see that the owner has wrapped aluminum foil over the doorknobs. They’re just standing there, all glistening and shining, bundled up like a Christmas goose. But why wrap your doorknob in aluminum foil, to begin with?

In order to figure that out, feel free to give this article a read. It contains several rather interesting uses for aluminum foil that you might not have heard of before.

What Is Aluminum Foil?

Foil

Aluminum foil is a versatile product that people use for lining, cooking, wrapping, and covering food-related processes. As its name suggests, it’s made out of a thin layer of aluminum, a metal that you can shape and mold easily.

By far, it’s most commonly used in the kitchen, but there are plenty of other uses for this material. And no, we’re not talking about wrapping your head with it to prevent the government from controlling you, as the popular stereotype goes. We’re talking about different tasks around the house which you can simplify and speed up by using a bit of aluminum foil in the process.

Why Wrap Your Doorknob in Aluminum Foil When Alone?

Wrap

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So, let’s solve the mystery of the aluminum-ed doorknobs. Why would a homeowner possibly want to use a thin, metal material and wrap every single knob in their home?

Well, the answer is rather mundane. It’s to protect the knob during painting.

When we want to paint our home and need to protect certain areas from splashes, we will use either painter’s tape or thin plastic sheets. They will get the job done, but they are pricey and sometimes not very practical.

Aluminum foil, on the other hand, is perfect for the job. You can literally shape it into whatever you need to wrap, cut out the rest, and paint without worry. The only caveat is that you have to remove the foil only when the paint fully dries. Otherwise, you risk some of it spilling onto the know, the floor, or anywhere else really.

20 Clever Aluminum Foil Uses You Didn’t Know About

OK, so you’ve figured out why you might need to wrap your doorknob in aluminum foil. But paint protection is far from being the only good use of the product. In fact, here are 17 additional life hacks that involve aluminum foil which you can try today.

1. Ironing Board Hack

Board

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One of the most popular uses for aluminum foil includes lining the base of an ironing board with it. The process is simple enough. First, you remove the cover of the board and then the padding underneath. Next, you stretch a piece of foil across the entire board in order to make a new cover. Finally, you take your laundry and start ironing away.

The foil will act as a heat conductor as you do your ironing. In fact, it will be so effective that it will flatten the underside of each piece of clothing. That way, you don’t have to flip anything while ironing. You will effectively be ironing both sides at the same time with aluminum foil as your board cover.

2. Funnel Making

Funnel

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If you need to pour a liquid in a thin bottle but don’t have a funnel, simply make one out of paper and aluminum foil. You start off by cutting up some paper and folding it in order to make a replica funnel. Next, you tape up all of its sides in order for it to retain its shape. Finally, wrap aluminum foil around the paper funnel. Now you have yourself a decent improvised funnel that you can reuse for a long time.

3. Sharpening Scissors

Scissors

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Scissors, like all other bladed tools, tend to dull over time. Now, you can sharpen them using the proper tools, but if you can’t afford them, simply take a strip of aluminum foil. Take your scissors and cut into the strip around 7-10 times. Of course, you need to make sure to cut it at different angles. That way, the aluminum will handle both blades at their own angles.

4. Wi-Fi Enhancement

Wi-Fi

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Wi-Fi connectivity is not always the same in every room of the house. Sometimes, the signal is just too weak to reach other devices. Other times, the modem might simply require a boost.

That’s where the aluminum foil comes in. By making a small screen or a convex semisphere, you can place it behind a modem and relax. Aluminum is known for increasing the level of connectivity with smart devices. And really, all you need is a little bit of it, and your modem will provide coverage for your entire home.

5. Cooking Sans Oil

Cooking

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Oil is essential for frying and roasting, so people across the globe are buying liters and liters of it. And sometimes, your favorite store might run out of it. But don’t fret because you don’t really need cooking oil to get a fine meal.

Instead, try using aluminum foil by placing it at the bottom of the frying pan. That way, it will generate enough heat to prepare your meal but won’t burst into flames or give you a fatty meal. What’s more, you can even add a little water into the pan to generate some steam, which can only benefit the food you’re preparing.

6. Sealing a Plastic Bag

Once you open a plastic bag, you either have to eat its contents or transfer them to a different container. Otherwise, they are going to spoil. However, if you don’t have an extra container, you can simply seal the original bag using aluminum foil and a clothing iron.

First, pump out as much air from the bag as you can. Next, use a piece of foil from one end of the bag to another, covering the edges and the opening. Finally, use the iron on the foil and press it for a minute or so. The heat will make the plastic underneath the foil fuse together.

7. Using Touchscreen in Cold Weather

Touchscreen

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When it’s cold outside, you can’t really use the touchscreen of your smart device properly. Sure, you can remove the gloves and type away, but that takes a lot of time and you risk freezing your fingers in the process.

Instead, before leaving the house, wrap a little aluminum foil on the tip of a pencil or a pen. You can then use the foil as a makeshift stylus to type away anything you need.

8. DIY Teeth Whitening

Whitening your teeth professionally will cost you a lot of money. So, if you want a low-cost option, you will need to do the following:

• Mix two teaspoons of toothpaste and two teaspoons of baking soda
• Take the mixture and apply it to a piece of aluminum foil
• Wrap the foil with the mixture around your teeth
• Leave it on for roughly 3 minutes.

While applying, make sure that the foil doesn’t touch your fillings. If you bite into the foil, it might cause you pain and discomfort.

9. Cleaning the Iron

Iron

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Irons get dirty after a while, that’s not uncommon. And if you don’t clean them, you risk getting that dirt on your clothes. Luckily, there’s a simple trick to cleaning your iron, and as you may have guessed, it involves aluminum foil.

Following the example with the ironing board, take some foil and wrap the board’s surface. Next, sprinkle some salt on the surface of the foil. Then take your iron and run it over the salt. The combination of the mineral, the foil, and the heat will scrape off any remaining dirt, leaving the surface of your iron spotless and ready to work.

10. Battery Hack

Battery

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Sometimes, you might need an AA battery for a gadget, but all you have are a few AAAs. That’s a problem, since AAAs are smaller and shorter than AAs, so you can’t really use them. Rather, you can’t use them without some help.

Since aluminum foil is made of metal, it will conduct electricity extremely well. So, all you have to do is wad some foil into little balls and nudge them between the battery’s contacts and the connector in the gadget itself. Right there, you’ve made an electrical circuit that will run as long as the batteries themselves.

11. Tarnish Removal

Tarnish

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Tarnished silverware looks terrible, and nobody wants to use utensils that look like they’re full of grime. If you want a low-cost tarnish remover, simply use aluminum foil and some baking soda.

The process itself is fairly straightforward. You have to mix some baking soda in hot water, and then wrap each individual silver utensil in aluminum foil. Then submerge the utensils in hot water and give it some time. All of the tarnish will be transferred from the silver to the aluminum. You can then discard the foil and keep your utensils nice and clean.

12. Mulch Enhancement

Mulch

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If you happen to have a garden with lots of vegetables, you know how annoying pests can be. So, instead of using pesticides, try some aluminum foil.

First, cut the foil up into tiny pieces. Next, mix the cut-up foil with the mulch in your garden. The insects will avoid the mulch completely while your plants grow uninterrupted. Furthermore, there’s the added benefit of sunlight. The foil reflects the sun’s rays upwards, directly into the plant, thus feeding it and giving it strength.

13. Special-Shaped Cake Pans

Pans

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Cookie cutters are amusing tools, but they usually come in fixed and uninspiring shapes. The same goes for cake pans. Therefore, if you need a bit of creativity when baking cakes, you can use aluminum foil to your advantage.

Take a piece of foil and shape it into whatever tickles your fancy. It can be a heart, a teddy bear, a Christmas tree, a bird, or an aging pop star who can’t get work. The real limit is your imagination. However, make sure the foil you use is heavy-duty and that each custom pan is double-layered.

14. Softening Brown Sugar

Sugar

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Brown sugar tends to get hard over time, which can be quite irritating. If you happen to be someone who uses brown sugar a lot, we recommend that you don’t throw it away just yet. Aluminum foil can actually help you make brown sugar powdery again.

In order to achieve that, take a small piece of hardened brown sugar and wrap it in aluminum foil. Next, place it in the oven and bake it at 300℉/150℃ for around five minutes. The result should be a nice, powdery substance you can use once again.

15. Keeping the Oven Clean

Oven

Ovens can get messy. It doesn’t matter what you’re preparing; different liquids may ooze out of the pan and drip onto the bottom or on the grate underneath the pan. Cleaning the oven later will definitely be a chore, and that’s one chore you will likely want to avoid.

Before placing a pan in the oven, wrap the rack in aluminum foil. Not only will it gather all of the mess, but it will keep the bottom of the pan heated. However, do not place any aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven. That way, it might catch fire.

16. Moving Furniture Easily

Furniture

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If you have big pieces of furniture you want to move around, it might be a good idea to stick some foil underneath the legs. More specifically, you will want to have the dull side of the foil facing the floor. Generally speaking, the shiny side of the foil isn’t as slippery as the dull one, and if you were to mix it up, you could end up scratching the floors unnecessarily.

17. Protecting Tree Trunks

Tree

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Young and growing tree trunks have a soft bark, one that mice, rabbits, and other animals can easily chew on. That’s not good, especially during the winter, when the tree needs all of the protection against the elements it can muster.

In order to protect these young trees, simply wrap them in two layers of heavy-duty foil during late autumn. That way, no animal will want to approach them. Of course, don’t forget to remove the foil once the spring rolls around the corner.

18. A DIY Sun Box

Box

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Your houseplants can grow properly if they have enough sunlight. And the best way to make them grow upwards and not bend to one side is to make the light shine on them from all sides. In other words, you will need a sun box, and there’s an easy way to make one.

First, take a cardboard box and remove one of its sides. In other words, it should have three sides and a bottom remaining. Next, line each remaining side with aluminum foil, with the shiny side outwards. Finally, place your plants in the box and have them face the window. That way, the sunlight will reflect against the foil and bathe the plants from all sides.

19. Cleaning the Barbecue Grill

Grill

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When you’re done grilling, there’s always going to be traces of food left on the grate. People have different methods of cleaning barbecue grills, but we recommend using aluminum foil, as it is fast and effective.

One way to use the foil is to lay a sheet of it on the hot grate after the last piece of meat is finished. That way, you will burn off any remaining food crumbs. Another way involves cleaning the grate before firing up the barbecue. Simply crumple up some foil and go over the grate as if you were scrubbing it. The foil will remove all of the burned food bits quickly.

20. Keeping Camping Items Dry

Camping

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While camping, you risk some of your important tools getting wet. Aluminum foil can help prevent that. For instance, you can wrap your matches in it, and no moisture will seep through. In addition, place a long piece of foil underneath your sleeping bag. It will prevent any moisture from reaching you, plus you will get a good night’s sleep in the great outdoors.

Janet is a post-doctoral research candidate working as a freelance writer. She also moonlights as a doodle artist and wishes to publish her own comic book inspired by her life story one day.