Can you reuse aluminium foil?

This article discusses the various ways one can use in order to repurpose a used aluminium foil for other activities or uses. Furthermore, we also discuss how to recycle an aluminium foil once it is done serving its purpose.

Can you reuse aluminium foil?

Yes, you can certainly reuse aluminium foil by simply cleaning it. However, if it was used for storing uncooked meat, it should not be reused.

Once you have used the aluminium foil, it can be repurposed for other uses  in and around the house.

How is aluminium foil made

Aluminium foil is made up of 98.5 percent aluminium and the rest is made up of iron and silicon for strength and puncture resistance.

Between massive, water-cooled chill rollers, the molten alloy is rolled thin and solidified. Two layers of foil are rolled through the mill at the same time during the final rolling. 

The side that comes into touch with the polished steel rollers becomes gleaming, while the opposite side becomes dull. It makes no difference which side of the foil comes into touch with the food.

Why should you reuse aluminium foil

Aluminium foil first came on the market in the early 1900s as a wrapping for Life Savers candy, and it swiftly surpassed tin foil as a favourite kitchen tool. 

Today, the malleable metal leaves provide a 100% barrier to light and air, making them perfect for packing food and other perishable commodities. This useful resource, however, comes with a cost.

Because of the significant quantity of power required to process bauxite ore, extracting aluminium has a high resource cost. Companies like If You Care and Reynolds sell recycled aluminium foil, but don’t stop there. 

Aluminium foil is far less environmentally friendly than its relative in covering, plastic wrap, yet it is still useful for grilling fragile foods and other situations where rapid conductivity is required.

Aluminium can be recycled indefinitely, and you can start by repurposing your home aluminium foil once it has served its original use in the kitchen with one of the inventive ideas below.

For optimal results, wash used aluminium foil in the dishwasher or with warm water and soap before “ironing” it flat with a rolling pin. 

However, one should keep in mind that once an aluminium foil has come into contact with raw meat, it should never be used again for any other activity.

How to reuse aluminium foil

People use aluminium foil for a variety of things, including covering a dish, pie crusts, lasagna, and so on. However, the foil is rarely used again. 

You might be shocked to learn that you can reuse the foil sheet after cleaning it. Once the foil has served its primary use, an aluminium foil can be reused in the following ways:

  • Deter Garden pests
  • Toys
  • Scrubber
  • Ironing
  • Cleaning silver and jewellery
  • Sharpen scissors
  • Re-glue vinyl tiles
  • Catch drippings or ashes in fireplace or grill
  • While painting
  • Reduce static cling

We shall discuss these in more detail.

Deter Garden Pests

Birds, insects, and other animals will be deterred if you place foil collars around the base of plants or dole it out in strips in your garden. To keep insects from creeping up the plant’s base stem, just wrap a foil sheet around it.

Another option is to use aluminium foil to form a barrier between any cracks or fissures in your door, walls, or near windows. Insects and rodents will be less likely to access your home as a result of this.

Toys

If you have children, you may challenge them to form and then reshape the foil into metallic toys such as robots, sailor hats, balls, spaceships, hot rods, and so on. 

This will encourage your child to not only reuse the foil, but also to utilise their imagination to make unique toys for themselves. Furthermore, the toy may be moulded and transformed into a different one.

Scrubber

If your pans, pots, drills, or oven doors are filthy. Aluminum foil may be used to clean them all. How? Simply compress it, add baking soda, and use it as a cleaning agent. It also removes rust off chrome and steel, which is a plus.

Ironing

All you have to do is slip a foil sheet beneath the ironing board cover to enhance ironing and flatten those stubborn creases. The foil reflects the iron’s heat, heating the cloth from the bottom and efficiently eradicating wrinkles.

Cleaning Silver and Jewellery

Line a basin with aluminium foil and fill it halfway with boiling water. Then add some baking soda or bleach-free detergent powder. Mix everything up thoroughly. It’s where you’ll put your jewellery or silverware. 

Simply pause for a moment. Allow the objects to air dry after removing them from the solution. Without even scrubbing, this will clean your jewellery or silverware.

Sharpen Scissors

This hack will help you if you have a pair of dull scissors laying around your house or if you want a precise cut every time. Fold a used piece of foil seven or eight times to make a new one. 

Then cut it numerous times with the scissors, or slice the blades multiple times over the folded foil strip. Your scissors will have sharper blades as a result.

Re-glue Vinyl Tiles

Self-stick vinyl tiles might loosen when their adhesive responds to temperature or moisture changes. If you have a loose tile, cover it with aluminium foil and iron it with a regular iron.

In the absence of foil, the iron may burn the tile. The adhesive will melt and the tile will stick again if you iron it. Place books or a hefty weight on top of it, or tape it in place until it cools, and it should stay put.

Catch Drippings or Ashes in the Fireplace or Grill

Fold a discarded foil sheet in half to make it more robust. Place the folded sheet beneath the grill of your fireplace grate or even the charcoal of your grill. 

After you’ve finished using the fireplace or grill, allow it to cool before collecting the ashes in the foil for simple cleanup.

While Painting

Use foil instead of duct tape to prevent fixtures and doorknobs from dripping paint when painting your house or anything else. You may also use crumpled foil to create texture to a wall while painting.

Reduce Static Cling

Toss the discarded foil into the dryer with the wet clothing and form a two-inch tight ball. This will assist to get rid of the irritating static cling.

Recycling aluminium

Once the aluminium foil has been used to its maximum potential, it should be safely disposed of. Since aluminium is difficult to procure in the market, recycling the used aluminium foil is the best option.

In order to recycle a used aluminium foil, you need to follow the steps mentioned below.

  • Before recycling aluminium foil, you’ll want to make sure it’s as clean as possible. While burns and holes won’t hinder the recycling market, any meats or sauces should be removed from the foil.
  • Separate the foil from the paperboard box and corrugated tube before recycling aluminium foil that you bought and used for storage.
  • If foil is mixed with other materials and can’t be separated (as in drink boxes, candy wrappers, and yoghurt lids), it should be discarded. Foil that has been combined with other materials is called contamination in the recycling process.
  • Roll up all of the foil sheets into a ball. This will protect the material from becoming mixed up with other items and will also keep it from blowing away, since aluminium foil is a very light material.

Conclusion

Aluminium foil is an essential and is found in almost every home. However, the process of extracting aluminium from its ore is quite an expensive one. Therefore, it is vital that an aluminium foil is used extensively rather than being discarded as is.

Aluminium foil can serve for a number of purposes, such as acting as a deterrent for garden pests, toys, scrubbers, ironing, cleaning jewellery, sharpening scissors and other cutting tools, and so much more.

Once an aluminium foil is done serving its purpose, it is vital to dispose of it in a manner where it can be easily recycled. To do so, first clean the foil and simply roll it into a ball and dispose of it safely. 

However, if the aluminium foil is mixed with another substance, as in the case of juice bottles, then it should simply be discarded.

FAQs

Can I recycle aluminium foil in my curbside recycling program?

Yes, you can recycle aluminium foil in your curbside recycling program. However, while most communities take aluminium cans at the curb, you should double-check for aluminium foil acceptance. Local recyclers will typically avoid it due to the possibility of contamination.

Can I recycle aluminium foil for money?

No, you cannot recycle aluminium foil for money. Despite the fact that it is composed of the same material as aluminium cans, which is one of the easiest materials to recycle for money, aluminium foil is far too often used for food storage to be worth the money paid by recyclers. 

Even if you can locate a firm ready to recycle aluminium foil for money, it’s so light that you’d have to collect a large amount to get much more than a few bucks.

How is aluminium foil recycled?

Aluminium of all sorts must first be separated from steel in a materials recovery plant using an eddy current. After being crushed and baled, the aluminium is shipped to a metal recycler. The metal is then cleaned and melted into sheets, which may then be made into aluminium cans or foil items.

How many times can you reuse aluminium foil?

You can basically reuse your sheet of foil indefinitely as long as you don’t rip it and have clean sides to deal with. However, if you rip your clean foil, it may still be used in a variety of ways. Cut through the layers to sharpen scissors or compress it into a ball to serve as a pot scrubber.

Can aluminium foil go in the dishwasher?

Aluminium foil can be put in the dishwasher in order to facilitate better cleaning of your cutlery. Because the aluminium foil is confined in the cutlery basket, it does not clean your silverware. 

Instead, the reason is upon the interaction of the foil ball with the chemicals in the dishwasher tablets.

The reaction is comparable to how silver is polished in that it is an oxidation process. A container is lined with aluminium foil, and tarnished silver is steeped in water and powdered detergent. 

The detergent’s ingredients react with the metal in the foil. This procedure is known as ion exchange, in which the tarnish is oxidised, thereby restoring the appearance of your silverware.

References

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Leave a Comment