Creative Ideas for Reusing Aluminum Foil

Last Updated on April 19, 2018 by Diane Hoffmaster

Every time I make a batch of nachos, I start trying to come up with ways for reusing aluminum foil.  Why? Because I detest cleaning cookie sheets after something has gotten baked on and stuck. My lazy way of dealing with this horrid chore is to line my cookie sheets with aluminum foil. Of course, that leaves me with used used aluminum foil that I hate to throw away. I usually try to wash and reuse it whenever possible but if I can’t it usually goes in the recycle bin. (Can you recycle aluminum foil?  I just assume so….)  I decided to do a little research to learn how to reuse aluminum foil and thought I would share my findings with you.

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Creative Ideas for Reusing Aluminum Foil

Aluminum Foil Recycling

If you really aren’t ambitions enough to learn how to reuse aluminum foil, at least make sure you are recycling it.  You will need to call your local recycling people to see if they take it.  If they do, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Aluminum Foil Recycling Preparation:  You need to make sure the aluminum foil is prepared for recycling! Make sure it is as clean as possible before recycling. Separate the foil from any other paper or cardboard it is attached to. Then, squish it into a ball for easier retrieval at the recycling center.
  • Why should you recycle aluminum foil? Aluminum is one of the highest-value materials you can recycle.It can be reprocessed into new aluminum in just 60 days!  Did you know that nearly 75 percent of aluminum produced in the U.S. is still being used?  Amazing, huh?

Check out this video from How Stuff Works on recycling aluminum!


Creative Ideas for Reusing Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil is cheap so most people just throw it in the trash once they are finished with it.  If you aren’t going to recycle it, you should try really hard to find new uses for old aluminum foil.  You will be saving yourself money and reducing your carbon footprint! How long does it take for aluminum foil to decompose?    Up to *200* years!  Seriously!  That is a really long time!  So, try a few of these uses for aluminum foil before you throw it in the trash!

Use aluminum foil to sharpen scissors or garden shears:

Fold the used foil so you have 6 to 8 layers. Cut through it with a pair of scissors or garden shears for a sharper edge.  After you have chopped your aluminum foil up, maybe try another one of these ideas for reusing aluminum foil!

Protect young plants in the garden:

Make a small collar of aluminum foil to place around tender baby garden plants to keep beetles and other pests from eating them.  Just make sure to wrap the foil loosely around the stem of the plant to make sure the plant has room to grow.

Help Reduce Static Cling:

Toss a ball of used aluminum foil into your dryer with your next batch of clothes to fight static cling.   You will want to make sure your used aluminum foil is rather clean or you will end up with bits and pieces of food on your clothes.  If that doesn’t work, try my DIY static spray!

Creative Ideas for Reusing Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil can clean your grill:

This is one of my favorite ways to reuse aluminum foil!  Take a wad of crumpled up foil and rub it over the grates of your outdoor grill. It will remove all that cooked on crud that builds up over time.  Your grilled meatballs leave a mess?  Aluminum foil can help!

Scare away garden pests:

Hang strips of foil in the garden to scare away animals. This would be a perfect way to reuse aluminum foil you have left over from idea one above!   The shiny reflective surface with flash when the sun hits it and will keep birds away from your berries and deer out of the lettuce!

Protect your lemonade:

Keep bees out of your lemonade by placing a square of aluminum foil over your glass.  This will keep bees out of your drinks at your next patio party.  You can poke a small hole in it for your straw and you never have to remove your aluminum foil cap to take a drink!

Creative Ideas for Reusing Aluminum Foil

Use aluminum foil to decorate Easter Eggs:

Seriously…this was a really cool way to recycle aluminum foil into something totally adorable!  Check out you can decorate Easter eggs with foil and let me know if it works!

Find craft ideas with aluminum foil:

A crumbled up ball of aluminum foil will help add texture to paint and plaster.  You could even let your child use it the next time they get their paints and paper out for arts and crafts time.

Scrub dirty  pots and pans:

Who needs to invest in expensive pot scrubbers when you can re-purpose a ball of used aluminum foil?  Just crumple up your used aluminum foil and start scrubbing the bottom of your dirty pan!


This post really only helps with plain old aluminum foil.  You can check out Earth911 for info on how to reuse aluminum cans or for reusing disposable aluminum pans.

Do you have any other creative ways for reusing aluminum foil?


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Creative ways to reuse aluminum foil to save money and have fun!

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  1. I like the idea of reusing the foil to clean your grill. Such a simple and smart idea. Thank you for sharing
  2. We use ours to clean the grill all the time!!
  3. Those are some creative ideas. Thanks for the post!
  4. Awesome ideas! We use several already, but I love the idea of protecting drinks in the summer, will have to incorporate this recycling practice, too.
  5. Wow, lots of ways I had never thought of to reuse... I am going to try the Scare away garden pests idea as the rabbits seem to always find my veggies!

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