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Review on Household Uses for Aluminum Foil - Does it Work?

Updated on April 18, 2020
greatstuff profile image

Mazlan has an affinity for trivia and fun facts that he loves to share with others.

Aluminum Foil, found in almost all households
Aluminum Foil, found in almost all households | Source

Can You Recycle Used Aluminum Foil?

Yes, you can.

Aluminum foil is one of the most common household items and is found in almost every kitchen. It has been in use in a variety of ways, ranging from industrial to domestic applications.

It is also one of those household items that can be put to lots of uses. If you Google, you will find several recommendations on what to do with used aluminum foil.

I decided to try to test some of these recommendations and check if it actually works.

Here are my findings.

Using aluminum foil to remove wrinkles in clothes don't give good results
Using aluminum foil to remove wrinkles in clothes don't give good results | Source

1. Remove Wrinkles on Silk Clothes with Aluminum Foil

If you have silk, wool or rayon clothes, you know the frustration of Ironing it to perfection. It always requires quite a few passes of the iron, to flatten the wrinkles.

These materials can't take direct heat and the iron temperature has to be set to low.

It is claimed that by using aluminum foil, it can solve this problem.

The instruction says to place aluminum foil under the ironing board cover. The indirect and reflected heat from the foil will speed up and smooth the wrinkles.

Evaluation Result

Unfortunately, I didn't get the result as I had hoped for. I followed the above instruction, but there was no improvement in the ironing process. It took me just as long to remove the wrinkle, with or without the aluminum foil. Maybe my iron isn't good enough?

Using aluminum foil, to remove starch build up. From the Before (left) and After (right) photos, you can see that there's no  improvement
Using aluminum foil, to remove starch build up. From the Before (left) and After (right) photos, you can see that there's no improvement | Source

2. Starch Build Up on Iron

One of the methods to remove starch build up on your iron is to use vinegar and baking soda mixture. However, running a hot iron over a sheet of aluminum foil is claimed to be a faster and more efficient way to remove this starch build-up.

Evaluation Result

I decided to test this and surprisingly, it DOESN'T work. See the before and after photos. I tried on both recycle and new aluminum foils. Also, tried on the shiny and matte surfaces, still no difference.

This is frustrating as I need to remove that starch build-up on my iron. So now I have to try other methods!

Casper, one of the culprits
Casper, one of the culprits | Source

3. Anti-Cat Spray

It is claimed if you hang or lay an aluminum foil sheet at places where your cat or dog likes to spray or do their business, it will stop them from doing so.

Evaluation Result

I did as described and my cat hasn't done it yet. So does it mean it works?

Maybe or maybe my cat decided to go somewhere else? But so far so good.

Using aluminum foil to remove grease up. Before and After photos
Using aluminum foil to remove grease up. Before and After photos | Source

4. Scouring or Scrubbing

Instead of using steel wool try aluminum foil to scrub and scour your dirty and greasy oven, pots or BBQ grills from any burnt or food that got stuck on these utensils. Crumple a small sheet of aluminum foil, or recycle a used sheet, into a coarse ball. Use it to scrub the dirt off.

Does it work?

Evaluation Result

I tried on my toaster tray and from the before and after photos, you can see that there's not much improvement. I am not impressed and convinced that it will work. My recommendation is to use the commercially available grease cleaner or homemade vinegar and baking soda mixture.

Sharpen your scissors with aluminum foil
Sharpen your scissors with aluminum foil | Source

5. Sharpen Scissors with Aluminum Foil

The next time you need to cut a sheet of aluminum foil for your cooking, don't just tear them. Use a pair of scissors to cut it. It will keep the scissors sharp.

If your scissors are already blunt, then fold any used aluminum foil so that it is eight to ten layers thick. Now cut the foil a few times with the blunt scissors. It is supposed to sharpen it. If it is still blunt, repeat the process.

Evaluation Result

Oddly enough, it works. It is easy and doesn't take too much effort to get results.

Aluminum foil to remove rust
Aluminum foil to remove rust | Source

6. Rub Off the Rust Spot

Use a crumpled aluminum foil to rub off any rust spot from any metal surface. You may want to use recycled foil for this work.


I tried it on my metal gate that has rust spots at several places. From the before and after photos, using aluminum foil is an excellent tool for this job. It works. The rust came off easily.

Recycle Your Aluminum Foils

From these tried and tested reviews, it seems to work on about 50% of the suggested new uses for aluminum foil. Since it is available in most households, It will come in handy for those jobs.

So, next time you are done with your cooking, don't throw away that aluminum foil. You will find new uses for it.

Do you have success in the works that I had failed? Or do you have success in other uses? Share it with us here.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Mazlan


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    • Aaluminum profile image

      Bob Davis 

      4 years ago from Thornhill, Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for sharing your blog. You have displayed different uses of aluminum foils. Yes because of flexibility, good conductor of heat and more aluminum foils can be used for different purpose. Keep your blog sharing with new aluminum updates.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Malaysia

      Thanks Simone for the kind words.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      This is so cool! I had no idea that aluminum foil had so many uses when it came to getting things clean. Thanks for all the tips!

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Malaysia

      @CassyLu1981 , @Om and @leah. Thank you all for the visits and leaving great comments and sharing your own personal experience using aluminum foil. Leah, I read about removing tarnish from silver, but I dare not 'tried and tested' this, in case it failed and get myself into a big problem with the misses!

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 

      8 years ago from Western New York

      What interesting ideas! We used aluminum foil for our cats and it worked - I think they can't stand the feel of it on their feet and so they left it alone. We also placed some on our couch to keep them off the cushions. It is great to know that the foil really will sharpen scissors!

      I've used aluminum foil with hot water and baking soda to remove tarnish from silver. The aluminum acts as a catalyst in the process.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      8 years ago

      Wow, I had never thought aluminum foil could be so versatilely useful. I'll try using it to sharpen my scissors today!

    • CassyLu1981 profile image


      8 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Excellent ideas! I've used aluminum foil on my glass pans when I didn't have an SOS pad and it worked too, I thought it would scratch the glass but it didn't :) I will be trying the sharpen scissors one shortly. I have so many dull scissors!!! Great read! Voted up and shared :)

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Malaysia

      @Becky Katz , thanks for sharing these alternative ideas. I will definitely try the waxed paper for the iron.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Malaysia

      @brsmom68. We used to do that as well but now all used aluminum foils will go into the drawer for future reuse. Thanks for coming over and leaving wonderful comments. Thanks also for the votes!

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Malaysia

      @teaches12345. Yeah surprisingly aluminum foil can help sharpen dull scissors. Thank you for your kind comment & vote. I always enjoy hearing from you!

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Malaysia

      @PenHitsTheFan, that's a good one. Hahaha, but how do I 'tried and tested' this?

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      8 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      I have scissors sharpeners and they work well. The can opener sharpener also works well. I use waxed paper to clean the iron and it works. Just put it on the ironing board with an old piece of cloth under it and iron, wiping it onto the cloth.

    • brsmom68 profile image

      Diane Ziomek 

      8 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      I am quick to throw foil away after a meal; I will think twice before I toss the next piece in the trash. I will be trying it on a few pairs of scissors - they always seem to end up dull for one reason or another.

      I must say, I like the fact you tried some of the tricks you learned about. It shows thought and genuine experimentation on your part.

      Voted up and useful!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      8 years ago

      Great hub and suggestions for using foil. I need to sharpen my scissors so I will try the idea. Thanks for posting this helpful hub. Voted up and useful.

    • PenHitsTheFan profile image

      Amy L. Tarr 

      8 years ago from Home

      You forgot keep aliens from reading our thoughts. j/k

      Seriously though, that's good to know that you can sharpen scissors with foil. I know I have a few dull ones laying around the house.


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