The Aluminum Foil Hack That Will Leave Your Silverware Looking Brand-New

The aluminum foil hacks for your kitchen are practically endless. You can use the handy foil to keep your oven clean, it helps you avoid washing those big, bulky sheet pans, and it can even get your grill grates shining. Surprisingly, there is one more trick this household staple has up its sleeve: It can also shine your silverware. The process has a similar effect as jewelry cleaner; you just have to place the silverware in a foil-lined dish — or grab one of those disposable foil dishes from the grocery store — and load it with salt, baking soda, and some boiling water. The rest is science (or magic).

Cleaning old silverware can be a daunting task that often requires a lot of scrubbing. And while you still might have to scrub the knives and forks a bit to remove any lasting tarnish, this method will do most of the work for you.

How to clean your silverware with aluminum foil

You'll need a dish large enough to not only fit the silverware but also make sure it's touching the aluminum foil in some way, whether that's the bottom or the sides. Then, add boiling water to the dish; make sure the water covers the silverware entirely. Finally, add the baking soda mixture; for the best results, use two tablespoons of baking soda for every 34 ounces (or one liter) of water.

Once the foil, water, and baking soda interact, you'll notice it creates the perfect environment to remove that scruff from your silverware. This happens due to a scientific reaction. In the simplest terms, the sulfur atoms that created the tarnish on your silverware decide they don't like that material anymore. They're more attracted to the shiny aluminum, so the solution soaking the silverware helps to carry those sulfur atoms over to the aluminum. As a result, they remove themselves from your utensils and stick to the aluminum instead. It's an inexpensive way to clean silverware, and you likely have everything you need already on hand.

Other aluminum foil kitchen hacks

Aluminum foil is the trick for just about everything in the kitchen. If you're cooking with brown sugar and realize it's completely clumped up, just wrap it in some aluminum foil and pop it in a 300-degree Fahrenheit oven for five minutes; it will come out perfectly ready to use. And if you're worried about over-cooking your pie crust, just wrap the edges with foil strips. This way, the center of the crust cooks perfectly, and the outer edges won't burn.

Foil is also great for helping your food stay put while it cooks. If you're putting something in the oven that doesn't lay perfectly flat, such as lopsided stuffed peppers, simply wrap a bit of foil around it to prevent it from moving while it heats. And, of course, aluminum foil is a catch-all for any spills that might occur if there's too much liquid in a dish. Just place a sheet of foil on the baking rack directly below whatever you're cooking, and have it serve as a placemat for catching spills to avoid them sticking to the bottom of your oven. One last thing: Foil is a great scrubber for caked, dirty grill grates, too. Who knew aluminum foil was such a Renaissance man?