1. A mirror for safety

If you ever find yourself stranded on an island with some aluminum foil, you’re in luck. Not only can you cook a Thanksgiving turkey while preserving all of its moisture, you can also transmogrify it into a shiny metal signal to flash at planes or boats passing by. The makeshift mirror can reflect gleams from the Sun into the eyes of anyone passing by.

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The moral of the story, then, is to carry aluminum foil around with you at all times—especially when hiking. Now, if you get stranded in the woods Bear Grylls style, you can retrofit yourself some sort of signaling device. The only next step will be to find a high, bare place and hope that a plane flies by.

2. A cheap candle holder

If you’re looking for a cheap solution to prevent candle wax from dripping down your candle and onto your nice hardwood floors, let me recommend to you one of the more unconventional uses of aluminum foil: a makeshift candle holder. All you need to do is fold, wrap, and place wherever. The result will be uncanny.

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The newly manufactured base will surely prevent the accruement of any spillage. If not, you have your money-back guaranteed! Okay, not really. No promises were made here. Anyways, the makeshift wax-prevention implement will undoubtedly protect anything upon which you would place a burning wax candle.

3. A new way to waterproof

Another often unthought-of use of aluminum foil is waterproofing. If you’re caught in the rain brandishing a machete, for instance, and don’t want that machete to rust, you can wrap it in aluminum foil. This will prevent that beautifully long blade from accumulating too much oxygenation. Hooray.

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Okay, while the aluminum foil will not completely waterproof your stuff, it will make it thoroughly water-resistant. And that’s good news if your intent is to keep those things moisture free. Next time you want to keep some goodies in your backpack free of water, then, I would recommend giving them the good ol’ wrap-around with some aluminum foil.

4. A new fishing lure

Fish aren’t the smartest animals on the tree of life. They have tiny brains in relation to body size (how we measure intelligence) and are attracted to flashing and glowing lights. This is how the angler fish makes its living, dangling its bioluminescent lure to trap unsuspecting and hungry smaller fish.

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And we can take advantage of this less-than-stupendous intelligence by manufacturing our own flashy and shiny things. This is where aluminum foil comes in. We can manufacture our own angler-fish-bulb equivalent with some crumpled aluminum foil. The result, if you’re a fisher, will be a great yield of confused and bamboozled fish.

5. Homemade dishes

Ever found yourself bereft of dishes in the deepest nooks of the Serengeti? Neither have we. But if you do find yourself stranded with no dishes but a decent chunk of aluminum foil, you can makeshift your own dishes with a little bit of folding prowess. All it takes is a little bend and fold.

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You could also just buy aluminum foil and make dishes instead of buying them in a store. It will surely be much cheaper. The handcrafted plates and bowls would even make a great wedding gift. So if you’re struggling to find a stocking stuffer, gift for a nephew, or present for some other difficult situation, just make some plates and bowls. You can thank us later.

6. A brighter light

If you’re unsatisfied with the light from a flashlight or candle, you can amplify that light with the reflective surface of the aluminum foil. All you have to do is wrap it around the implement, form it in the shape of a cone, and sit back and enjoy. The amplified light will surely help you see whatever you want to see.

BrainJet

This tactic would be especially helpful if you’re trying to gain light in the wild wilderness. The foil would expand the ray of light beaming from your candle or flashlight to encompass more of that darkness beyond. The added light will invariably help you discover and hidden jaguars or panthers in the path ahead. If not, you probably won’t last long enough to see the upcoming winter.

7. A homemade funnel

We’ve all been there before: trying to pour that juice back into its container or that get that cleaning solution into a spray bottle. The struggles of the everyday are very real. And this is where the homemade funnel comes in. If you’re trying to pack down that liquid for the betterment of your pouring convenience, look no further than the foil.

Reynolds Kitchen

All you merely must do to get this done is fashion a little homemade funnel from some fun aluminum wrap. The metal cone will easily allow the fluid to transfer from one vessel to another. And if not we believe that aluminum foil will return your purchase with full money back (not guaranteed).

8. A nice little lid

If you’re trying to insulate a pan or something as you’re boiling water—and, mind you, you don’t have a lid—you can manufacture one with a quick, easy twist of some aluminum foil. The result will be a cheap and irreplaceable lid that you will pass on to your children. And they, too, will pass it on to their children.

Alissamay’s

What’s great about these lids is that you construct them in any shape you would like. so if you have a pan with no matching lid, fret no more. All you need to do is pull off a fresh sheet of that aluminum goodness and fold it over the pot or pan. The result will be some thoroughly insulated heat to cook whatever you’re trying to cook.

9. Rust no more

Rust can be one of the most annoying things around. You’re trying to cut through some cheese, say. If you have rust on that blade, it will be exceptionally less efficient to do that. So how do you get rid of that rust? You rub some aluminum foil on it, naturally. The result will invariably be a less rusty instrument for your cutlery needs.

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While the aluminum foil will not help you with the reconstruction of a Martian habitat (Mars is mostly rust), it will help you to make some of those rusty old kitchen utensils as good as new. All you need to do is purchase another roll of aluminum foil and get rubbing. You will most definitely not regret it.

10. A one-of-a-kind solar oven

Caught in the thick Montana wilderness? Need a way to cook that freshly caught turkey? Well, look no further than a few twigs and a whole lot of aluminum foil. First, orient the sticks in such a way that they can reflect light toward the center of the apparatus.

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Second, tie the sticks together. Third, wrap everything with aluminum foil. Make sure that you have a spot in the center where you can place the turkey or whatever it is you’re trying to cook. Then, all you need to do to use the solar over is to strategically place the thing such that it reflects all the sunlight (yes, you need sunlight) in toward the center.

11. Fix your batteries

Ever bought a battery for something that ended up being too small? Ever had a battery lose life when you needed it most? So have we. And this is when we decided to go out and stockpile on some aluminum foil. The thin, metal-y goodness can help transmit the electrons (how batteries work) from the battery to device easier.

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There are a few different ways to do this. The first is by crumpling the aluminum foil into a ball and pressing it between the spring and the battery. This works well for batteries that are toward the end of their life. Another way to do this is to wrap the battery if it’s too small (a AAA instead of an AA, say). This will help for those batteries that weren’t the right size.

12. Fix water bottles

If you suffer a crack in your water bottle or hydration pack, you can seal the leak with some aluminum foil. All you need is something to glue the foil to the leaking area. If you’re stranded in the wilderness, you could easily use tree sap. While the temporary fix probably won’t hold the water for too long, it will seal the crack for enough time to survive.

KiwiCo

This is just another reason you should always carry a roll of aluminum foil. Just imagine you’re trying to survive in the high alpine wilderness, stumble into a brush of thorns, and puncture your fluids pack. If you didn’t have the aluminum foil, you’d be in a sticky situation. Just saying, aluminum foil can save lives.

13. Clean your grill

Other uses for aluminum foil that are similar to how you can sharpen your knives or clean rust off your scissors are how you can clean your grill. You can, in other words, use the thin metal wrap to scrape and clean the thick residue of steak, fish, and corn off your grill with ease. All you need to do is crumple the stuff and get scrubbing.

Reynolds Kitchens

Invariably, this method will help to keep your grill clean using something you likely already have in the kitchen. While you’ll want to wait until the grill is sufficiently cold to do this, you can do it. So, if you’re in a pinch and can’t find your grill cleaner, I would recommend you grab the roll and make it happen.

14. Iron your clothes with ease

Another nifty trick of the aluminum foil persuasion is to place a sheet beneath your clothes while ironing. This will, much to the chagrin of cold clothes everywhere, iron those clothes with surprising speed. The reason? The aluminum foil will act as another heat medium through which the clothes will un-crease.

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This nifty trick will save you both time and money, because time is money. And if you didn’t know that, consider that another gift of aluminum foil. Why? Because without an affinity for that shiny goodness you would have never read this piece—this story that led you to that little kernel of consistently replenishing wisdom. You’re welcome.

15. Boost your WIFI signal

Ever struggle to get a signal in your kitchen or garage? Trying to expand the scope of your internet provider to include your neighbor’s house or the lamppost down the street? Well, look no further than the kitchen drawer where you store all that aluminum foil. All you need to do is fashion the stuff to reflect the signal in some other directions.

Curiosity

When you place the aluminum foil plate behind the router, it will amplify the signal in the direction that the plate is facing. So if you’re trying to get signal in your garage or kitchen, place the aluminum foil signal-amplifier in the direction that points toward the garage or kitchen. It’s as simple as that.

16. Smartphone pen

For whatever reason, aluminum foil tends to work fine on smartphone touchscreens. We can take advantage of this with our trusty roll of aluminum foil by rolling a pen and saving cash. All of this can be done in three easy steps. First, tear off a sheet of aluminum foil. Second, wrap that foil into a nice, little pen-shaped tube.

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Then, finally, use the pen to your heart’s content! The swift and easy construction of such an implement will save you loads of money on one of those smartphone smartpens. And this money you can use for more aluminum foil. Consider this lifehack hacked. You’ll soon have the world conquered with you cheap smartphone pen and other aluminum foil instruments.

17. Light reflector

If you’re a big fan of photography and are trying to get better light for that perfect shot, aluminum foil can help. The miracle material can easily be shaped such that it will reflect light in any direction you choose. This is advantageous if you’re trying to eliminate some tenacious backlighting.

Muffin Tin Mania

So if you’re out and about and trying to score that perfect shot for your Instagram or whatever, take some aluminum foil with you. The result will surely be some photos to die for. And, if not, you will likely just throw them away. I’d recommend you just bring the foil.

18. Help move furniture

Have the arm strength of a toddler? We get it, you’re working on those gym-sculpted biceps. For now, we present this simple trick: if you’re trying to move some furniture yet short of muscular friends, merely find yourself another roll of aluminum foil. All you need to do is tear off a shiny square and place it beneath the furniture in question.

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When you have the foil beneath a piece of your furniture’s legs, it will help it glide effortlessly across the floor. It’s probably best you do this over carpet, however, as hardwood floors are likely to be scratched. Presumably you care about your floors, making this an unpalatable outcome. So keep that warning in mind as you go about your rearrangements.

19. Protect your car

No, this doesn’t entail wrapping your entire car in aluminum foil (although we suspect that may have its own benefits). Instead, what this entails is wrapping your car fob in the stuff. Some experts state that prospective car thieves can unlock your car by merely amplifying the signal of your device. Bad news!

WTOP

Aluminum foil, on the other hand, can block this signal. When you wrap your car fob in the stuff, then, it will invariably prevent the signal from hacking your keys. The result? Your car will remain safe for another day. While the result might also be a slightly more unseemly car fob, some might consider the trade-off worth it.

20. Evenly cook your food

When you wrap your food in aluminum foil, it makes it easier to cook more thoroughly. This is because it helps distribute the heat more evenly throughout the meal. The result is a more thoroughly cooked dish with time to spare. Man oh man is aluminum foil useful. You should probably get an extra roll just to be safe.

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This particular aluminum foil hack has another added benefit, however. And what, you ask, is that benefit? Well, it provides for easier cleanup. When the meat, potatoes, or whatever you’re trying to cook is neatly ensconced in some aluminum foil, any spill-off will be safely contained in the foil—not the pot or pan. This makes clean up a breeze. Thanks, aluminum foil!

21. Keep your brown sugar soft

Brown sugar is a precarious resource. You expose it to air and the coating of molasses will evaporate. This causes the sugar beneath to dry out and form that most unpleasant of unpleasantries—dry, ugly, and undesirable brown sugar. To prevent this from happening, all you must do is purchase some more aluminum foil. Hooray!

BrainJet

And how, exactly, does aluminum foil help? Well, it prevents that air from leaving the brown sugar and drying it out. The result is that soft and desirable brown sugar we all want. So just chalk this up to another of the multifarious uses of this most sacred of thin metals. You could also heat it in that foil. That helps, too.

22. A new type of cake

Trying to make a cake or baked goods in a design that is totally unconventional? Need one that’s shaped like an Easter bunny or an unscrupulously lascivious clown? Well, you needn’t look further than into that drawer that holds that most sacred of items—aluminum foil. And, if you don’t have one of these drawers I recommend you get one. Immediately.

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Anyways, the aluminum foil magic can be worked to create any sort of mold you would like. A giant Lego piece? Done. A brownie in the shape of a four-leaf clover? Done. A pie dedicated to your favorite Justin Bieber haircut? Done. All you need to do is get folding. So if you have that birthday coming up, maybe you should consider picking up some aluminum foil.

23. Keep your oven clean

If you’re trying to keep your oven clean without the back-breaking work of having to actually bend down and scrub it, get yourself some aluminum foil. All it takes is a few sheets laid out beneath the racks to sit there and collect and spills that may have fallen from the meals you cooked.

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Now to clean your oven, all you need to do is take out the aluminum foil and replace it with a few other sheets. The result will be a cleaner, more fun, and practical oven. So, if you like all of those things (which we know you do), we’d recommend you get your sheets and begin spreading. Otherwise you’ll be stuck on the floor trying to clean months of unwanted gunk and grime.

24. New campsite utensils

Ever been camping and bereft of cooking utensils? Well, so have we. And the way around this most cumbersome of feats is to bring along some aluminum foil. And why, exactly, is this? Well, the aluminum foil will help you make whatever utensil you might need.

BrainJet

A fork? Easy. A spoon? Even easier! All you need to do is fold the foil in such a way that it can accommodate whatever sort of implement you would otherwise be using. And this is just another of the millions of things you can use that perfectly good aluminum foil for. So go out and buy an extra two rolls of your favorite brand.

25. Prevent bug attacks

Some people work hard on their gardens. Some bugs work even harder to eat those gardens. The solution to this problem (or at least one solution—the best solution, actually) is to wrap the base of that plant in aluminum foil. This will invariably prevent the bugs from being able to eat their way through the plant’s vegetation.

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The foil acts as a sort of fortress of impregnable steel against the worms and mites that might otherwise ingest your garden-y goodness. And, since you undoubtedly want to protect this garden-y goodness, aluminum foil is the way to go. You should probably pick up a couple extra rolls, then.

26. Polish that chrome

Well, we’ve all been there. Our chrome gets tarnished, we get depressed, and our lives spiral into the vicissitudes of malignant and intractable sadness. The result of this unfruitful situation is not only the unseemly chrome we’re stuck with, but all of the negative emotional baggage that comes along with it.

OurMotivations

Okay, not really. But what can we do to solve this crisis in unpolished chrome? Well, we can use some of that aluminum foil. All we need to do is tear off a sheet, crumple it up, and rub it down the chrome. This metal-on-metal friction will polish the chrome until it’s like new. And, presumably, this is what we’ve been looking for.

27. Drip pan

If you’ve ever had BBQ and the homecooked grossness that it often secretes, you’ll appreciate some aluminum foil. The thin sheets of metal can be folded such to accumulate any runoff that may have dripped from the meat to elsewhere. This will, as you know, make clean up something easy.

HomeJelly

We need not delineate any steps to achieve this particular foil-y solution because we’re sure you get the picture. All you have to do is fold it such that it can capture the grease and oil spill-off with little qualm. And this is a task that you, your significant other, or maybe even your children could do. Maybe you could do it as a family.

28. Frosting dispenser

Do you like frosted cookies? So do we. But what we don’t like is the troublesome way in which we often spread that frosting. A knife? Garbage. A spoon? Equally garbage. A better way to spread the sugary stuff is via aluminum foil. And all you have to do is buy a few rolls and get to folding.

BrainJet

Aluminum foil, when folded into a cone-like object, can be used to decorate all sorts of baked goods. All you have to do is pour the frosting in, aim, and squeeze. Yes, this will get you those cookies with the most supreme and accurate and precise decorating possible.

29. Clean some cast iron

Cast iron can be one of the most tenacious kitchen items to clean. You can’t use soap. Bummer. But what you can’t do is use some aluminum foil. All you need to do is fold some up such that you can use it in a scraping fashion against the thick, iron-y goodness.

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With this done, you can clean the iron with swift and unprecedented speed. Since it normally takes hours to clean your cast iron, this will be a change in your daily lifestyle that will save you enough time to start a new hobby. Maybe you can finally start that train collection you’ve been thinking about.

30. Help you paint

Painting can be tough. This is especially true when you’re trying to be precise and keep things neat and clean. And how does aluminum foil help with this most challenging of endeavors? Well, it can help be ensconcing areas you don’t want covered in dripping paint.

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What you can do, then, is wrap some around a door knob, drawer handle, or anything else you don’t want to get covered in paint. All you need is some tape, a whole lot of aluminum foil, and the tenacity to get it done. The next time you paint, then, I suggest you invest in some of the miracle metal wrap. It will help—and that’s a guarantee.