Perfectly Practical #119 - Tin Foil

Whether it's in the kitchen, or craft room, or bathroom, tin foil is a staple in every house.  We use it all sorts of ways.  We'll start with the most obvious place to use foil, the kitchen.

  • Make Tin Foil Dinners - individual parcels of goodness for supper with super easy clean-up 
  • Line a casserole dish with tin foil - easy clean up*
  • Tent food - keep in warmth and moisture
  • Edge pie crust - if you crimp a strip of foil over your pie crust edges they will not get so brown
  • Keep your oven clean - line the bottom of your oven with foil to catch any drips or spills in the oven
  • Cover your electric burner's drip pans - again, this catches the spills and makes it very easy to clean.  I remember my Momma always doing this with her burners' drip pans.
  • Line baking sheets - I bake all of my cookies on foil covered trays that way it is a really simple clean up and they don't stick to the pan.
  • Keep water out while waterbathing - I cook my cheesecakes in a waterbath and to keep water out of the crust, I cover the bottom of my springform pan with foil.
Craft Room:
  • Turn it into wrapping paper
  • Recently I used it in a rainbow fish craft** with my kids at the Boys & Girls Club
  • If you are so inclined, you could give your kids a couple of boxes and a roll of foil and see what kind of robots they will come up with.
  • Curl your hair - using foil strips (folded over a couple of times for strength) like rag strips, you can wrap your hair around the strips and sort of just squish them close to your head and by the next morning, you should have some curls.
  • Some of the little girls that I tought at the Club would have their hair braided all over with beads on the ends.  Sometimes they would have tiny wads of tin foil wrapped around the ends of the braids to hold the bead in place.
Around the House:
  • Reflect heat - if you put foil on the inside of a window (shiny side out) it reflects heat away from the structure and keeps it cooler inside (I remember my Me-Me doing this.)
In the Yard:
  • Keep varmits away*** - wrap the base of saplings in foil to keep critters from gnawing on them
  • Keep birds away - to keep birds out of your fruit trees (or in my case, blueberry bushes and tomato plants) you can hang sheets of heavy duty foil; the movement and light reflection startle them (the same goes for pie plates or CDs).
How else do you use tin foil? 

I'm wondering about as a home spa treatment:  Use a salt or sugar scrub or mud treatment then wrap yourself up in plastic wrap and lay down and cover yourself with tin foil for 30 minutes or so to keep in warmth and draw out imputities before showering it off.  Anyone ever try that?

*This is especially good for freezer cooking, put the casserole in the lined dish, put one piece of foil on top, and then flash freeze.  Once frozen, fold over the edges of the foil, remove the block of casserole from the dish and wrap in another layer of foil or plastic wrap.  Make sure you label the casserole before putting it back in the freezer.  When ready to use, unwrap the outer layer and slip the frozen casserole and foil back into the dish.  Bake as directed.

**I know, I know, I don't do crafts but it was so simple even I could do it.

***I have also heard that you can put foil on the arms and legs of your furniture to keep cats from scratching on them but I have not tried this method.

This is part of Works for Me.


  1. I use a lot of tin foil, and my hubby always laughs at the stock I keep!

    1. I can't keep the stuff stocked up...I'm not sure where it goes! :)

  2. I've heard to ball it up and use it as a fabric softener in the dryer. Never tried it though since a small box of sheets lasts me well over a year.
    My mom reuses hers and washes it in the dishwasher until it practically shreds.
    It's great for some neat art projects to paint with or to have kids shape numbers/letters out of. It makes a pretty good dish scrubber too.

  3. My dogs LOVE to sneak onto the sofa even though they know they aren't allowed. I tore off a layer of foil and placed it on the arms, back & cushions of the sofa and they HATE IT! I use this trick all the time in the winter. I got the idea from the internet where people were saying the best way to keep a cat off a counter is to lay some tin foil on it.
    When I run out of foil I reuse the box too! I take the sharp cutting strip off it, tape it up leaving the roll loose inside and it is now the 'whomping stick'. When the dogs need to be disciplined I use that to bop them instead of a newspaper. The empty roll makes a bit of racket (more than a newspaper) but it is so lightweight you can't hurt them accidentally. When little kids or visitors who don't like the dogs come over I give them the whomping stick and the dogs remember to be on their best behaviour around them. It was nice to be able to give my then 3 yr old step son something that made him feel safe against the dogs that are as big as he is but gave me the peace of mind knowing if he had to use it (which he did) then it wouldn't hurt the dog.

  4. Thanks for letting us know that foil does indeed deter animals.


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