Over 40 New Uses for Aluminum Foil | Reader's Digest

Over 40 New Uses for Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil does more than wrap-up food -- check out its many uses!

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Bake a perfect pie crust Keep the edges of your homemade pies from burning by covering them with strips of aluminum foil. The foil prevents the edges from getting overdone while the rest of your pie gets perfectly browned.

Create special-shaped cake pans Make a teddy bear birthday cake, a Valentine’s Day heart cake, a Christmas tree cake, or whatever shaped cake the occasion may call for. Just form a double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil into the desired shape inside a large cake pan.

Soften up brown sugar To restore your hardened brown sugar to its former powdery glory, chip off a piece, wrap it in aluminum foil, and bake it in the oven at 300°F (150° C) for five minutes.

Decorate a cake No pastry bag handy? No problem. Form a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil into a tube and fill it with free-flowing frosting. Bonus: There’s no pastry bag to clean — simply toss out the foil when you’re done.

Keep rolls and breads warm Want to lock in the oven-fresh warmth of your homemade rolls or breads for a dinner party or picnic? Before you load up your basket, wrap your freshly baked goods in a napkin and place a layer of aluminum foil underneath. The foil will reflect the heat and keep your bread warm for quite some time.

Catch ice-cream cone drips Keep youngsters from making a mess of their clothes or your house by wrapping the bottom of an ice-cream cone (or a wedge of water-melon) with a piece of aluminum foil before handing it to them.

Polish your silver Is your silverware looking a bit dull these days? Try an ion exchange, a molecular reaction in which aluminum acts as a catalyst. All you have to do is line a pan with a sheet of aluminum foil, fill it with cold water, and add two teaspoons of salt. Drop your tarnished silverware into the solution, let it sit for two to three minutes, then rinse off and dry.

Keep silverware untarnished Store freshly cleaned silverware on top of a sheet of aluminum foil to deter tarnishing. For long-term storage of silverware, first tightly cover each piece in cellophane wrap — be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible — then wrap in foil and seal the ends.

Preserve steel-wool pads It’s maddening. You use a steel-wool pad once, put it in a dish by the sink, and the next day you find a rusty mess fit only for the trash. To prevent rust and get your money’s worth from a pad, wrap it in foil and toss it into the freezer. You can also lengthen the life of your steel-wool soap pads by crumpling up a sheet of foil and placing it under the steel wool in its dish or container. (Don’t forget to periodically drain off the water that collects at the bottom.)

Scrub your pots Don’t have a scrub pad? Crumple up a handful of aluminum foil and use it to scrub your pots.

Keep the oven clean Are you baking a bubbly lasagna or casserole? Keep messy drips off the bottom of the oven by laying a sheet or two of aluminum foil over the rack below. Do not line the bottom of the oven with foil; it could cause a fire.