Tin Foil Hacks You Need In Your Life

Whether you call it tin foil, aluminum foil, or alu-mini-um foil (we see you, UK), the stuff is beyond useful. We already know that it can conduct heat while protecting your potatoes from getting too charred on the barbecue. We know that it can keep your cooking sheets clean. We also know that you can fashion it into a silly restaurant birthday hat in a pinch.

If you’re only using tin foil for cooking, you need to take a look at this list. From getting better Wi-Fi to protecting your plants, tin foil can do it all.

Patch Clothes Without Getting Stuck To The Ironing Board

GettyImages-590685287Woman ironing a shirt.
Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Do you know about those iron-on patches that work great to stylishly fix a hole in your jeans? Well, the patches get pretty sticky when they got hot, and you only want them to stick to your clothes, not to your ironing board.

Stick a small piece of aluminum foil on the back side of the hole before ironing. That way, when you iron on the patch, it won’t stick to any excess fabric or your ironing board.

Sharpen Scissors In A Pinch

lineup of scissors
dogsalon.lead / Instagram
dogsalon.lead / Instagram

Kitchen scissors get blunt all the time. Over the months and years, they lose the sharpness that they once had. You can quickly sharpen a pair of scissors using aluminum foil. Just start cutting a sheet of tin foil with the scissors, and after ten or so cuts, your scissors should be much sharper.

The rough surface of the tin foil will work as a blade sharpener as the scissors cut through it. Then you can use the scraps of tin foil for some of the other hacks on this list.

Fight Static In Your Dryer

Washing machines, dryers and other appliances are seen for sale at a Lowe's home improvement store in Washington, DC
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Dryer sheets smell great, and sometimes they can help combat static, but it turns out that a lot of dryer sheets leave chemicals on your clothes. They can even make your towels less absorbent.

That’s why some people have made the switch from dryer sheets to balls of crumpled-up tin foil. The tin foil won’t make your clothes smell nice, but they will help your laundry come out with less static. A light spray of some diluted essential oils can make your clothes smell nice after they come out of the dryer.

Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal

Routers with network cables
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Many people put up with an internet connection that’s slower than they’d like it to be. You can use tin foil to boost your internet connection and make all of your YouTube videos load way faster.

Cover a piece of cardboard with tin foil and stand it up next to your router. That should increase the signal strength to help you get a better internet connection. You can also fold the tin foil into a parabolic dish and put that in front of your router.

Keep Bananas Fresh

bunch of bananas with tinfoil
thedeliberatemummy / Instagram
thedeliberatemummy / Instagram

Sometimes bananas seem to go straight from green to brown. That yellow stage is so short-lived. You can help your bananas stay in the delicious zone for longer by covering the stem of the banana bunch with some tin foil.

The foil stops the stem from coming into contact with the air, which slows down the decay process. Some bananas even come with tin foil wrapped around their stems in the grocery store. Brown bananas are only good for baking.

A Makeshift Fishing Lure

girl catching fish
midwestfishergal / Instagram
midwestfishergal / Instagram

Real fishermen know that fish are attracted to items that shine bright like the sun. That means that you can use light, rather than live bait, to catch fish. Just wrap some tin foil around the top of your fishing hook, and the shiny surface of the aluminum foil will reflect light into the water.

Fish will be attracted to it, and voila, you’ve got yourself a fresh seafood dinner.

Brighten Up Dark Corners

foil in sun
marocoook / Instagram
marocoook / Instagram

It can be hard to see into the back corners of cabinets and drawers. You can brighten up dark, tucked-away spaces in your home by using a bit of tin foil. Aluminum foil is reflective, so you can let some natural light into those dark corners without actually installing any electrical lamps.

Just place some sheets of aluminum foil on your cabinet shelves. Insects love to hide in dark places, and letting some light in will also keep bugs away from your drawers and cupboards.

Make Your Own Cookie Cutters

cookie cutters made out of tin foil
bowsbyrachelnicole / Instagram
bowsbyrachelnicole / Instagram

Cookie cutters are fun to use, but sometimes the baking supply store doesn’t have the exact shape that you’re looking for. Even online retailers sometimes run out of stock or they just don’t make a cookie cutter that looks specifically like your three-legged dog or your uncle Joe’s hat. That’s when you can use a bit of tin foil and creativity to make your own custom cookie cutters.

Just fold up some aluminum foil and bend it into any shape you desire.

An Ice Cream Shield

Demitra, 2, (left) and Darcy, 4, enjoy the summertime weather while eating and dripping their chocolate ice cream cones. The drips on the clothes and arms may mean clean up chores for Mother but the girls seem to be enjoying themselves too much to care.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Kids aren’t the neatest of eaters. That statement is especially true when they’re eating ice cream. You can make your life a little less messy by wrapping the bottom of your kid’s ice cream cone or popsicle in a bit of aluminum foil. The foil will stop their ice cream from dripping all over the place.

The foil will also create a barrier between the ice cream and your kid’s hands which should (hopefully) mean that they won’t get sticky fingers.

Make Your Radiator More Efficient

A builder fits a radiator to the wall
Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

During the winter months, it’s essential to have a working radiator or heating system. If your radiator is causing your electricity or gas bill to skyrocket, you can use tin foil to make it more efficient.

Just wrap a large piece of cardboard in aluminum foil. Then place the foil-wrapped cardboard behind the radiator as it emits heat into every corner of the room. Foil doesn’t just reflect light, it reflects heat too. Now you can heat your house for less.

Clean Your Iron

woman with iron
lauraduggalcoaching / Instagram
lauraduggalcoaching / Instagram

Irons can get dirty after they’re run over stains or if they melt things. If you find that your iron is starting to get dirty, you can clean it using a scrunched up ball of aluminum foil.

All you have to do is roll a ball of aluminum foil over the surface of the iron to scrub and get any caked-on stuff right off. This might scratch the bottom of your iron, but a scratched iron is much more usable than a dirty iron.

Move Furniture Without Scratching Your Floors

couch close up
prettypegs / Instagram
prettypegs / Instagram

It can be difficult to move big, heavy furniture items without damaging delicate hardwood floors. If the piece of furniture is too big to lift, you can slip some folded up squares of tin foil under the legs of the dresser or couch or bookshelf (or whatever you’re trying to move).

Once the tin foil is in place, you should be able to slide the piece of furniture across a hardwood floor without scratching it.

Clean Excess Glue Off A Hot Glue Gun

glue gun
duxbury_uk / Instagram
duxbury_uk / Instagram

Glue guns are relatively easy to use, and they’re great tools, but things can get messy when a layer of hot glue dries over the tip of your glue gun. At room temperature, the glue is too hard to remove, and when the device is on, the glue will be too hot to remove.

You can solve this problem by using some aluminum foil to scrub away at any caked-on glue when the gun is cool and unplugged.

Reseal A Plastic Bag

open bag of snacks
Getty Images
Getty Images

There are lots of products on the market right now that claim to reseal plastic bags or chip bags that have been opened. Those devices are great, but you can reseal your chip bags yourself using items you probably already have around your home.

Just fold a strip of aluminum foil over the bag where it was opened and use a hot iron over the foil to seal the bag shut again. You can also just use a binder clip or a rubber band.

Keep Paint Off Your Doorknobs

Brandenburg, Potsdam: A key on a bunch of keys is stuck in a front door.
Ralf Hirschberger/picture alliance via Getty Images
Ralf Hirschberger/picture alliance via Getty Images

It can be expensive to get professional painters to repaint a room in your home. You can do a professional job yourself if you take some necessary precautions. If you don’t want to take doorknobs and door handles off of your doors before painting, just wrap them in tin foil so no paint gets on them.

Even if you’re just painting the walls and not the door, wrap your doorknobs as a safety precaution. It’s better to be safe than to have paint splattered all over your brass hardware.

Tin Foil And BBQs Are Best Friends

Pics of John Power barbequing with salmon in foil.Pics of Power enjoying a salmon meal with a side of salad
Photo by Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Photo by Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images

If you’ve never used tin foil while barbecuing, have you been living under a rock? Tin foil is a great way to keep your food away from grease flare-ups. You can wrap foods like potatoes, corn on the cob, fish, chicken, and various vegetables in tin foil and then pop the whole package on the grill to keep the food moist as it’s cooking.

All of the juices from whatever you’re cooking will be sealed inside the tin foil packet.

Help Your Plants Grow

plants growing in a foil greenhouse
Photo by Matthias Merz/picture alliance via Getty Images
Photo by Matthias Merz/picture alliance via Getty Images

Plants need both water and sunlight to live. You can use tin foil in your garden to help your plants live longer, fuller lives. Just place tin foil around the stems of your plants to help direct sunlight toward the plants’ leaves.

Also, the metal in aluminum foil will help keep insects and some types of bacteria away from your plants. Who knew that plants liked tin foil so much? Apparently talking to your plants also helps them grow.

Give Your Cell Phone A Boost

Blaine Adams of California takes video of himself wearing a hat made out of tin foil
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

We’ve already learned that tin foil can be used to boost your Wi-Fi signal, so naturally, you can also use it to make sure that your phone is getting the best internet connection possible.

If you place some aluminum foil near your phone’s Wi-Fi receptor, it should get a stronger connection to the internet. The key is to bend and place the foil in the direction you want to send the signal.

Keep Your Credit Cards Safe

In this photo illustration, Visa credit cards placed on a table
Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The ‘tap’ function that some credit cards have nowadays is great for convenience, but it also means that thieves can just walk up to your pocket and steal your credit card information with a single tap. You can protect your card from this kind of thievery by creating a card case made from aluminum foil.

The foil pouch will act as a barrier between your card and anybody who is trying to read it illegally.

Keep Your Fireplace Tidy

Suzanne Goldenson cooks a meal on an open hearth fireplace
Gordon Chibroski/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Gordon Chibroski/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Aluminum foil can sustain very high temperatures, which is why it works so well in barbecue situations. It also can function well inside your fireplace. You can line your fireplace with tin foil to make it easier to clean. Just lift out the foil to get rid of ash, soot, and any semi-burned fuel.

You can also place some tin foil over your fireplace hearth to keep it neat and tidy. Sometimes sparks fly and soot gets everywhere. Tin foil keeps your surfaces safe.