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14 little-known (but helpful) uses for aluminum foil

We saved it, cleaned it, and reused it. That’s right, aluminum foil was that precious when I was a child. We rarely called it by its full name, mostly because as a kid I had real trouble saying “aluminum.” Instead, we simply called it “foil.” Aluminum foil can be used in so many different ways. Its versatility makes it still “precious” today.

Here are some little-known uses for it you may not have thought of:

Use it to sharpen

Fold several pieces of foil to the length of your scissors’ blades. Use your scissors to cut several strips of foil and your blades will be sharpened!

Clean that grill

Place sheets of aluminum foil over the dirty grates inside your grill. Then close the grill cover and turn it on. Let the grill heat for 15 minutes. Then turn off the grill. Use tongs or heat-proof gloves to crumple the foil. Use the crumpled foil to scrub the grill grates clean!

Eat and toss

Use aluminum foil to cook food in the campfire. Place individual servings into foil “packets.” Heat in the fire until done. Then eat right from the pouch! No pans or dishes to clean up.

Check out these yummy make-ahead foil packet meals.

Scrub cast iron clean

Crumple foil into a loose ball. Use it to scrub gunk off your cast iron pans. (Works like magic on stuck-on breakfast mess!)

Veggie saver

Your bananas will last longer if you cover the stem portion with some foil. The same goes for celery and other “stemmed” vegetables.

Remove rust

Crumple aluminum foil and dip it in distilled vinegar. Use it to rub away rust.

Warm-up

Use foil to wrap medium-sized rocks that have been warmed in the campfire. The foil will help the rocks maintain their heat. Place them in the bottom of your sleeping bag for toasty toes as you sleep.

Protect the pie!

If your pie crust is browning too fast in the oven, use foil to protect it. Cut strips a little wider than the pie crust. Use oven gloves to position the foil over the crust and gently press to hold the foil in place.

Line those cabinets

Heavy-duty aluminum foil works as a great liner in cabinets and drawers. Use foil pieces that are a bit larger than the surface to be covered. That way, you can press the sides of the foil into the corners to better keep the “liner” in place.

Protect the fire

Heavy-duty foil can protect your campfire from wind. Make a “wall” of branches near the fire. Line the “wall” with foil and it will protect the flames.

Foil funnel

Yep! In a pinch, you can use some pieces of foil for an emergency funnel. Use your hands to fashion sheets of foil into a funnel. Afterwards, you can simply throw it away. The same goes for plates and even cups. Aluminum foil is easily molded into the shape you need.

Find the way

If you’re hiking in the wilderness, you can use foil to help find your way back. Twist strips of foil into strings. Wrap these foil strings around branches along your way. Bonus! The foil is reflective and can be spotted with a flashlight if daylight fades. Just remember to clean up the pieces of foil as you go back.

Keep moisture away

Place foil underneath your sleeping bag. It will serve as a barrier to moisture, and make your nights much more comfortable.

Reflect heat

Line your RV’s skylights and windows with aluminum foil. The foil will reflect the heat, keeping your rig much cooler. (Your air conditioner will thank you!)

How do you use aluminum foil as you travel? Help add to the list in the comments below!

##RVDT1726

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Joan Richardson
4 months ago

I don’t want to be a downer but I have just read recently that cooking in and eating out of foil packets can be harmful due to the leaching of chemicals/minerals that are in foil. Just FYI. Sorry I can’t quote the article exactly. Definitely food for thought.

Jeremy
10 months ago

Use it to wrap cut onion in to keep the smell contained while in the fridge.

Roy Christensen
10 months ago

Put a used Brillo pad on a piece of aluminum foil and it will not rust. Then you can use the Brillo pad several times.

Roger Marble
10 months ago

If you are old enough you first called it “Tin Foil”

Joan Richardson
4 months ago
Reply to  Roger Marble

Yep, and I still call it “tin foil”.

Warren G
10 months ago

No need to go thru the described process to clean a grate – just crumble it up and scrub the grate cold.

Dennis
10 months ago

When I winter camp in motorhome or my Ford Ranger with catalytic heaters I always protect anything near the heater with aluminum foil. Think window side curtain in rv bedroom, steering wheel in Ranger when heater sits on driver’s seat and I sleep on passenger’s seat, etc, etc. Been doing it for 25 years with absolutely no problems. I heat for 3-1/2 cents per hour with 1,500 btu Coleman Sport Cat or 7 cents per hour with 3,000 btu Coleman Black Cat. Can’t beat the comfort/cost ratio!!!

Last edited 10 months ago by Dennis
Gigi
10 months ago

Crumple up a piece in a ball and put it in the dryer to keep static down from your clothes

Bobkat3080
10 months ago

Please don’t use it to mark your way in the forest. There is enough garbage left out there without adding yours.

Richard
10 months ago
Reply to  Bobkat3080

Amen. Silliness dreamed up to create an article.

sunstoned
10 months ago
Reply to  Bobkat3080

Thanks for mentioning that.

Joan Richardson
4 months ago
Reply to  Bobkat3080

My first thought was it could attract birds or other wildlife to eat it , then kill them…not a great suggestion. Just my thought.

Seann Fox
10 months ago

Use it as a hat to keep the space aliens from reading your thoughts

Richard
10 months ago
Reply to  Seann Fox

You’re safe.

Don
4 months ago
Reply to  Seann Fox

Being retired LE, have personal knowledge about “tin foil’ hat liner being used, not just for aliens but the black helicopter crowd also.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
4 months ago
Reply to  Don

I had to look that up. “Black helicopter crowd” = conspiracy theorists, basically. Learned something new today. Thanks, Don. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane

phil Mills
10 months ago

When we were kids it was called tin foil.

Don
10 months ago
Reply to  phil Mills

Yep

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