7 Unexpected Things You Can Clean With Aluminum Foil



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Foil Ball

Shiny and New

Aluminum foil is a surprisingly versatile cleaning tool that can help rejuvenate a number of household items. Thanks to its abrasive texture that helps remove tough food particles, the shiny stuff can also be used to restore silverware or clean pots and pans without the need for toxic or harsh chemicals. Here are seven things you can clean with aluminum foil (and maybe a little soap). 

Crumpled Aluminum Foil Ball

1. Tarnished Silverware

By scrunching up a piece of aluminum foil into a ball and placing it in the cutlery compartment of your dishwasher, you can restore dull silverware and give your forks, knives, and spoons a new shine. This works thanks to a reaction the aluminum creates in the wash cycle, which transfers any mineral buildup and dirt spots from your silverware back to the foil.

Pots and pans stacked
Richard Villalonundefined undefined/istockphoto

2. Pots and Pans

Aluminum foil can act as an efficient scrubber to help scrape off burnt-on food residue. Crumple a piece of foil into a ball and gently scrub the bottom of your pans to lift off stubborn particles and stains. If the stains are really tough to remove, try making a paste out of baking soda and dish soap, then use the foil to scrub them off.

Charcoal BBQ in the Backyard on Grass

3. Grill Grates

After a good BBQ, grates can become coated with thick residue and greasy stains. To get rid of these, douse your grill with some soapy water and use a ball of aluminum foil to rub the grates clean. You'll end up with a squeaky clean grill that's ready for your next cookout without having to use too much elbow grease. 

Woman hand in protective glove with rag cleaning oven

4. Oven Racks

It can be challenging getting to all the nooks and crannies in oven racks to give them a good, thorough scrub down. But by using some crumpled aluminum foil and a dish soap solution, you can scrub off any remaining grease and food particles with ease to help make your oven look (almost) new.

Related: The Best Cheap Microwave Ovens

Empty glass casserole pan on an old rustic table

5. Glass Bakeware

Glass bakeware can develop stains and food residue that thicken over time and become harder to remove. Aluminum foil, with its abrasive texture, can be used to scrub away these stains without scratching and damaging the glass surface. For best results, combine with a bit of dish soap.

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Clean chrome tap and  washbasin

6. Chrome Fixtures

Water spots and mineral buildup can dull the shine of chrome fixtures — such as faucets, dish racks, and sinks — in your bathroom and kitchen. By rubbing the chrome surfaces with a piece of aluminum foil, the natural polishing action of the foil can help restore the chrome's gleam and get rid of any unsightly water spots.

Related: Reheat Responsibly: 11 Foods You Should Never Reheat in the Microwave

Woman holds modern styled iron with non-stick cover while ironing

7. Iron Soleplate

After time, starches and synthetic materials can begin sticking to your iron's soleplate (the part that comes in contact with your clothes) and affect its efficiency. To clean it, turn the iron to its lowest setting and gently scrub the soleplate with a piece of aluminum foil. This can help lift off any residue and maintain the iron's smooth glide.