According to recent research, we shouldn't be cooking with tin foil.
A study by researchers at the American University of Sharjah revealed that food cooked in foil could contain more than six times your safe daily intake of the metal - with side effects of high doses linked to Alzheimer's, bone disease and kidney failure.
Yikes! But don't worry, there’s more to tin foil than just keeping the leftovers fresh and lining your baking trays. Here are a dozen weird and wonderful uses for that roll of aluminium foil in your kitchen drawer.
1. Smooth out wrinkles in clothes
If you want a quick fix to remove any wrinkles from silk or wool clothing, just place a sheet of aluminium foil on your ironing board, pop the item of clothing over it, press a steam button down and move it across the fabric a couple of times. You’ll find the wet heat from the foil will ease out wrinkles in a flash.
2. Clean burnt pots and pans
Make it much easier to clean any burnt pots and pans by using the tin foil technique. After soaking the pan, just crumple up a sheet of foil and use it to scrub your saucepans clean when you haven’t got a scourer to hand. You can also use crumpled up foil to remove rusty marks on chrome appliances around the home as well.
3. Keep bread warm after it’s left the oven
When you’re planning a picnic you can still keep any homemade bread warm without too much hard work. After wrapping the bread in a napkin or kitchen roll, place some foil underneath to reflect the heat and to keep the bread warm. Just don’t forget to pack the butter.
4. Create an instant cake tin
If you’ve been given the task of creating a children’s birthday cake and you don’t want to fork out for a cake tin you’ll only use once, try creating your own masterpiece by folding a sheet of double-thickness aluminium foil into the desired shape and place inside a large baking tin. Just pour in your cake mixture and hey presto!
5. Make your silver sparkle
Keep your silver clean and sparkling by using this fail-safe method. Line a pan with a sheet of aluminium foil, fill with cold water and add two teaspoons of salt. Immerse your items into the water and leave to sit for two-to-three minutes. Rinse and buff dry and your silver should be so shiny you’ll be able to see your face in it.
6. Sharpen blunt scissors
If your scissors are feeling like they’ve seen better days, don’t throw them in the bin just yet. Try sharpening them by folding up a length of aluminium foil so you create a thick strip. Cut through this with the scissors and you’ll notice the blades becoming sharper after just a few snips.
7. Move furniture around easily
Don’t worry about your dining room table or sofa feet scratching your wooden floor next time you need to move furniture around. Just cut some pieces of foil into squares that will fit under the legs of the furniture – remember to place the dull side of the foil downwards as this is more slippery than the shiny side – and slide the furniture across the floor without the fear of scratches or scrapes.
8. Help your plant cuttings grow
Don’t forget your garden can also benefit from a bit of aluminium foil. You can help plant cuttings grow stronger by filling a container with soil, covering it with a sheet of aluminium foil and then poking some holes in the top where you can insert the cuttings. The foil will slow water loss so you’ll need to water the plants less too.
9. Stop your can of paint drying out
A good trick for any DIY enthusiasts is to keep spare paint fresh with tin foil. First put a piece of aluminium foil under the can of paint and trace around it. Then cut out the circle and drop the foil disk onto the surface of the paint. Blow into the can and then put the lid back in place. This clever technique will replace some of the oxygen in the paint and stop it from drying out.
10. Clean your iron
Next time you notice a build-up of starch on your iron, don’t panic! You can easily remove any starch by running your hot iron over a piece of aluminium foil.
11. Fix a fuzzy TV
If another electronic device like a DVD player is interfering with your TV’s picture, slip a sheet of aluminium foil between the two units to separate the electromagnetic fields which might be causing the screen to crackle.
12. Spruce up the BBQ
It might not be barbecue weather just yet, but a good tip to remember for the summer is to use a sheet of tin foil to burn off any remaining food while the coals are still hot. Then the next time you use your barbecue, crumple up the foil and use it to scrub away any burnt food before you start cooking.
Share your tin foil tips in the Comments box below.