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Christmas Gift Guide

Polishing tarnished silver

Keeping silver shiny

Sharpening your scissors

Reflecting light for photos

Fixing loose battery springs

Cleaning your iron

Moving heavy furniture

Improving radiator efficiency

Cleaning your grill

Scrubbing those grates

Keeping bread warm

Disposing of used oil

Bug-proofing your mulch

Getting your ironing done faster

Filling in for dryer sheets

Improving your outdoor lights

Making a funnel

Making your own cookie cutters

Not painting your doorknobs

Protecting your pie crust

Keeping out alien waves

A sheet of aluminum foil and a little science can help you polish tarnished silver. Line a pan with foil, fill with cold water, add 2 teaspoons of salt and your worn-out silver. Three minutes later, remove your gleaming silver, rinse and dry.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

After your silver is properly shined, store your freshly washed heirlooms on a sheet of aluminum foil to keep them from getting tarnished again.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

If your scissors are dull, you don't need a new pair or a fancy sharpener. All you need is a folded piece of foil to cut through a few times.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

You can improve the production quality and lighting of your photos with a piece of foil attached to cardboard.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

Don't throw away another battery-powered gadget because of a worn-out spring. Just pop some foil on top of the spring to connect to the battery and make sure the electrical currents keep flowing.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

If your iron is getting sticky and starchy from pressing lots of dress shirts, run it over a piece of foil a couple of times and watch as the plate comes up clean.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

Give yourself some leverage by slipping some foil (dull side down) under the legs of a heavy piece of furniture. The slippery foil will help you slide the furniture wherever you want it to go.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

Foil can also help you save money on your gas bill in the winter by improving your radiator efficiency. Mount a sheet of foil behind and to the sides of your radiator to reflect heat away from the walls into the center of your living space, if you don't mind having shiny silver walls for a few months.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

Aluminum foil can help you clean grill grates. After you finish cooking, while the grates are still hot, drop a sheet of foil on top and close the lid. Once everything has cooled down, remove the foil and scrub the grates with a grill brush. Your cooking surface will be good as new.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

If you don't have a wire brush, wait until the grill and foil have cooled completely, crumple up the foil and get to scrubbing. The foil actually works better than a wire brush on some thicker grill grates.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

Dinner party hosts and hostesses, rejoice! You can keep your freshly baked bread and dinner rolls hot throughout the meal by slipping a sheet of foil into the bottom of your bread basket. If it's under your fancy cloth napkin, no one will be any the wiser.

Caption by / Photo by EyeEm/Getty Images

Here's another genius kitchen tip. If you're always at a loss for how to dispose of used oil, crumble a piece of foil into a bowl shape and pour the oil into the foil. Once the oil cools and hardens, crumble the foil with the oil and throw it all away.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

Tired of bugs and slugs poking holes in your gardening efforts? Mix strips of aluminum foil into your garden mulch.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

If you're super-impatient about the time it takes to get your clothes wrinkle-free, line your ironing board with aluminum foil under the cover to reflect heat back onto your clothes from below.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

Did you know a ball of foil will keep your clothes just as static-free as a dryer sheet? Of course, your foil isn't lavender-scented, but a ball of foil is a whole lot better than nothing.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

Maximize the power of your outdoor string lights by using a long sheet of foil as a reflector. Attach the foil to the cord (not the bulbs) with electrical tape.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

If you're ever in need of a funnel but don't have one handy, fashion one out of foil. Just fold a piece of foil in half to give your funnel more structural integrity.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

Turn your house into a custom cookie bakery with a double-layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil bent into your favorite shape.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

Hop on the accent-colored door trend without also having accent-colored doorknobs. Wrap your doorknobs and locks in foil, trim the excess and tape the edges.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish

Tired of your pie edges burning? Wrap the outside of your pie pan with foil so that it acts as a heat shield for the outermost inch of the pie.

Caption by / Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon/Denver Post/Getty Images

OK, so this proverbial use probably doesn't actually work for preventing mind control via electromagnetic fields. But who could say no to such a stylish preventative measure?

See more uses for tinfoil here.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Learish
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