Tinfoil has many uses. While most people use it for cooking and storing leftovers, there are a number of other uses that make this household product worth adding to your emergency preparedness plans. Here are our top 10 favorite uses.
1. Sharpen Scissors
Yes, you read that right. To do it you will first need to smooth the foil out followed by fold the sheets into strips making several layers. Next grab your scissors and start cutting. Eight or nine passes of the foil sheet should do the trick!
2. Clean jewelry and silverware
Line a bowl with aluminum foil and fill it up with hot water. Next add 1 tablespoon of bleach-free powdered (not liquid) laundry detergent. Then simply place the jewelry or silverware in the solution for one minute. After the time has passed remove the items, rinse in water, and then lay out to air dry. The ion exchange chemical process cleans your items all by itself.
3. Keep birds away from your fruit trees
Similar to dangling a CD disk from a branch, you can dangle strips of tinfoil from the limbs with fishing line. The light reflections scare the birds so they will simply go somewhere else. My in-laws in Arizona have been using this technique to keep their orange trees bird-free for many years now.
4. Clean your grill
After the last burger has been pulled off the grill lay a flat sheet of tin foil over the grill. This will help redirect the heat passing through the grill back through it a second time. Leave the foil on the grill until the next use when you simply wad the foil into a ball and run it back and forth against the tough burnt on grease, like you would with a wire brush.
5. Lure a fish
I grew up fishing in a little pond near my home. We would take my Dad’s gear and catch bluegill. The only down side of the trips were when lures would get snagged and we had to cut the line.
After a little while we realized this particular fish wasn’t all that smart. We could simply throw in an empty silver or gold colored treble hook (unbaited) and they would still strike. We noticed over time that the brighter the reflection from the hook the more bluegills/crappie would come.
Using this concept you could take tin foil and attach small wads near a swivel then run a short leader with your hook or lure of choice. The extra reflection (at least with this species of fish) would bring even more attention to your offering.
6. Keep matches dry
Wrap your matches in aluminum foil. Stuff them in your pack and the next time you need a reliable way to light a fire, pull out the dry matches and get that fire going. No more worrying if the matches are wet from the thunderstorm that just passed.
7. Make a funnel
Need to route liquid into a certain spot such as adding oil to an engine block? Sure you can buy a plastic funnel for a couple bucks but you could also tear off 10 inches of foil and mold it into a funnel shape shape and use aluminum foil instead.
8. Make a frying pan
Don’t want to lug a heavy frying pan the next time you're venturing into the great outdoors? Grab a branch that forks, tear off a sheet of ton foil a little wider than the width of the forking branches then wrap the ends around the two limbs to create a flat pan like surface in between the two branches. If the food items you are cooking are not too heavy you can hover the food above the fire, if it is too heavy arrange the burning wood to lay flatter then lower the "frying pan" onto the top logs.
9. Campfire cooking
Most people reading this have probably had the privilege of making a tin foil BBQ dinner. If not give this a try! Simply place chicken or ground beef in the shape of a patty in the middle of a sheet of tin foil. Next add carrots, onions, potatoes, other veggies, and season to taste. A helpful tip is to cut the veggies thin so all of the items are good to eat at the same time. Next fold the ends of the foil over the food, encompassing it entirely. Flip the silvery puck over and put another layer of tin foil folding it back over the other way. The multiple layers will make sure the food doesn’t burn. Cook time should be 20-30 minutes in the coals.
10. Build a seed incubator
Help jump start your gardening. Line a shoe box or other similar shaped box with foil (shiny side up) making sure the foil extends a couple inches past the top of the box. Next poke a couple drainage holes in the bottom of the foil. Next fill the box about half way with potting soil and plant your seeds. Place the box near a window that gets good amounts of sunlight. It works because the inside layer will redirect heat to the seeds while the foil layer extending past the top of the box will help redirect sunlight back into the box.
These are just a 10 uses for tin foil but we know there are hundreds more so we would love your help adding to this resource. Share with us your favorite applications below and you could win a $10 gift card if your comment is our favorite! Also, browse our selection of emergency supplies for everything from shelter and cooking to first aid.
The Self-Sufficiency Handbook