You Should Be Cleaning Your Kitchen With Aluminum Foil

A roll of aluminum foil is a kitchen essential for more than one reason. You can use it to quickly pack up leftovers, wrap sandwiches for lunch, and line ovens to stop greasy food drippings from making a mess. What you might not expect aluminum foil to do, however, is help keep your kitchen clean.

It turns out that the easy-to-pull sheet of aluminum can do wonders for cleaning, starting with its use in the dishwasher. A ball of aluminum might seem like a sure-shot way to scratch utensils, but that's not the case. As shown by TikTok user @hip2save, placing a scrunched-up ball of foil in a dishwasher with dirty dishes will not cause damage to the dishes or the dishwasher. On the contrary, it will help remove stains, build-ups, and scratches on your silverware, making them look shiny and new after they are cleaned.

This effect occurs because aluminum foil reacts with dishwasher detergents, which triggers an oxidization process. This not only helps get rid of stains on silverware but also gives them a shiny gleam. But you don't have to stop at just the dishwasher: There are several other ways aluminum foil helps out in the kitchen.

Aluminum foil can be a heavy-duty scrubber

Scrunching up a sheet of aluminum foil into a ball can do more than keep your silverware clean — it also doubles as a tough and abrasive scrubber. While soft sponges may struggle to hold up to the stubborn food build-up that often lines grills, oven racks, and stovetops, as well as pots and pans, a ball of aluminum foil is a resilient alternative. Besides, when it comes to cleaning grills in particular, aluminum foil will do just as good a job as grill cleaning brushes in getting all the greasy gunk off. Unlike brushes, you won't have to worry about any bristles falling off and getting into your food, either.

To clean grills, oven racks, stove tops, pots, and pans with a ball of aluminum foil, all you have to do is spray them with water and start scrubbing. Alternatively, you can enhance this cleaning hack by sprinkling some baking soda or salt onto the greasy surfaces first. You could also coat the surfaces with a paste made from baking soda and water, spritz the paste with white vinegar, and let the mixture foam up and loosen all the gunk and grime. Scrub the surfaces with a damp ball of aluminum foil and voila! All those greasy pots, pans, grills, stovetops, and racks will be as good as new.

Use aluminum foil to get rid of rust

Where there is metal, rust will soon follow. This is because the iron and steel present in metallic kitchen tools react with water and oxygen, producing rust. Essentially, any kitchen utensils that contain metal — think knives, skillets, and cast iron pans — and are frequently exposed to water are bound to become rusty, including chrome faucets and kitchen sinks. Thankfully, it's nothing a sheet or two of aluminum foil can't fix.

If you notice rust forming on your utensils and faucets, simply dampen a piece of aluminum foil with water. Rub the foil in a circular motion over the rust, making sure to keep the foil wet throughout the process. Gradually, you'll see the rust coming off the metal surface and transferring onto the foil. Once all the rust is gone, give the surfaces a quick pat-down with a damp towel followed by a dry one to buff and polish them.

While you can scrunch up aluminum foil into a ball to use it, it may be better to simply use a flat sheet instead. This helps to ensure the foil remains gentle enough to not leave scratches, while still getting rid of all the rust.