There are many items preppers suggest you stockpile and hoard in the event that something goes wrong. Aluminum foil is one of those items, and it can be used for more than just our tin foil hats!
All joking aside, some preppers have even said aluminum foil will be worth its weight in gold if the SHTF. And it can be found for really great deals at dollar stores and often grocery stores put it on sale. The first tip is to try to get some of the thicker aluminum foil. The thin stuff just won’t cut it for some things!
Here are a five interesting ways you may not have thought of to use aluminum foil.
1.Cast Iron Pan scrubber: Most preppers are big fans of cast iron frying pans. But if you’re anything like me, you absolutely hate cleaning them especially after making scrambled eggs. However, with a little bit of crumpled aluminum foil, I have found that it is possible to easily scrub off even the tough, stuck on egg mess. This could also work on really anything that isn’t “non-stick” or scratchable. I have found aluminum foil can be used to get stuck on and baked and caked on gunk off glass bowls or plates.
2. Make your own Campsite Utensils – This is a great trick to try on your next camping trip! Try getting the kids involved too by letting them make their own forks and spoons out of the foil! Practice making the pans to cook in. You can make a frying pan using a forked stick with aluminum foil stretched over the crook. You can easily make plates and bowls, but you can also wrap up veggies and meat to cook over the fire.
3. Sharpen Scissors – now this trick won’t turn your scissors into razor blades you can split a hair with, however, if you’ve got a pair that are dull, aluminum foil can help sharpen them up a smidge. Just cut through 6-8 layers of foil with your dull scissors once or twice, and they will improve at least some!
4. Prevent Rust on Steel Wool – We’ve all been there: we use a steel-wool pad once on that, put it in a dish by the sink, and the next day you find a rusty mess fit only for the trash. To prevent rust and get your money’s worth from that steel wool, wrap it in foil and toss it into the freezer after use. You can also lengthen the life of your steel-wool soap pads by crumpling up a sheet of foil and placing it under the steel wool in its dish or container. (Don’t forget to periodically drain off the water that collects at the bottom.)
5. Fix Loose Batteries – This could really come in handy if the one flashlight you’ve got has batteries that just won’t stay put. Those springs that hold the batteries in place can lose their tension after time letting the batteries loosen and making the device no longer function well. But foil can help fix that! Fold a small piece of aluminum foil until you have a pad that’s thick enough to take up the slack. Place the pad between the battery and the spring.
Those are 5 unconventional ways that aluminum foil can be used after the SHTF. Obviously, there are more ways that foil can be used too, so get creative!
Toilet paper? OUCH-OUCH-OUCH!
now your thinking outside the box!
Use as bubble gum?
Oh yeah, memories of youth!
Don’t make a frying pan out of aluminum foil.
Do not cook in aluminum anything if you value your brain cells.
Ok for covering food, but not for cooking.
And also never make mash in aluminum and NEVER make your still out of aluminum. Throw away all aluminum cookware, glasses, etc. Pay for stainless steel you cheap bastards! Or don’t and see what happens…
Stainless steel gives off hexavalent chromium when brought above temperatures in excess of 500°F – every bit as bad for you as aluminum foil. Be aware of that.
Also, some of that Cast Iron cookware can have mercury, lead, aluminum and zinc, depending on its age and how and where it was made. Like everything in life, weigh the risks and rewards of what you choose FULLY informed…
So, what’s left to use…….glass cookware?
Costco sells restaurant supplies and their aluminum foil lasts for years. I don’t know if it is heavy duty. I do know that it costs more than a regular sized roll, but because there is more on the roll, it is economical.
They also have rolls of plastic wrap and parchment paper for baking. I use all three types in my kitchen.
I am a practical person for the most part. And I prep for life, not for a catastrophic emergency. However, by having a proper pantry with lots of items, should some catastrophic event occur, I know that these things would be even more important than they already are.
Also wax paper.
Btw: wrap them all in tin foil.
Put a ribbon and bow on it, voila a great present!
I was thinking the other day that writing paper should be stored. Children still need to learn although perhaps a small blackboard and chalk might suffice for homework activities. However, adults will need to make notes, makes drawings/diagrams (for what you did so you can remember) and a host of other tasks that paper would be best at once there’s no electronic means of communication or making notes, writing a diary, etc.
Of course, store writing implements such as pencils and erasers; pens are fine but consider the ink which can dry up or freeze in ball points or felt tips (known to me from camping and I dislike sleeping with hard items to keep them warm enough to function). Fountain pens need ink in bottles and when empty a recipe to make more will be needed. India ink comes to mind and recipes are on the internet.
You should probably look this up yourself as I haven’t actually done it. Tin foil can be used to desalinate ocean water into pure distilled water. And it can be done as a makeshift solar distillation system if you are say out in a boat in the middle of the ocean.
It can be used to fasten a flexible hose to collect steam from a pot of boiling water on a stovetop. A homemade water distillation system for purification of not so clean water.
Oh I thought it was going to be something like making little balls like BBs to reload
ONLY buy and store “Heavy Duty” Aluminum foil. The thin stuff is worthless. Buy it now! Along with Parchment paper. Both will take years to restart manufacturing when the SHTF. Wax paper is a maybe. Today all are inexpensive. Tomorrow they may be worth many times their weight in Tequila. This runs along the same lines as TP and most paper products.
Keep in mind……once the machinery stops, it doesn’t start up over night. It can take months, if not years, to get back to the point of making something properly.
Post SHTF if your asked where you got all of the aluminum foil you can tell then that it’s from all of your discarded hats you had that you no longer need because what you were saying came true.
I don’t know about all the other uses, but it sure comes in handy when I’m cooking those pork ribs. Trekker Out
I use wool balls in my dryer to make the dryer last longer in years.
But, you can use aluminum foil for static free in your dryer if you run out of dryer sheets.
It works, but to prolong life of dryer–buy wool balls from Amazon. I’ve used mine for years now.
Guys, get your cast iron seasoned before using- I have used mine for years as my grandparents did. Eggs every day. I have cooked cakes and cornbread in mine, roasted meats, made soup, cooked eggs, omelets, bacon, etc. Bacon is one of the best ways things to cook or just make a number of high oil cakes like pineapple upside down, or corn bread – both you melt butter in the pan before putting the batter in. Cast iron should never stick unless you do exactly what you said…scrub the seasoning off with metal. It is the same with clay cookware. Nothing sticks on my pizza stone. Same as carbon steel woks that need good seasoning. You have to use it with enough oil for the first few months after properly seasoning to build up a good coating. After that, very small amount of oil is need as it becomes smooth- water just beads up. Typically, with newer but still has gone through several seasoning sessions – I use a paper towel to get rid of all the grease or lose bits. Then I put it on the stove and pour boiling in and let sit to cool while I do the other dishes. Then I use my nylon brush to scrub around. For gosh sakes don’t be one of those who lets a 1/2” of crud build up. Because mine is so well seasoned, I can just swish hot soap water around with my sponge, rinse, dry and lightly oil to prevent any rust. But I don’t use any soap until it’s well seasoned and used – particularly clay will absorb the soap quickly and ruin the taste of what you cook next. A friend did this with a new Pampered Chef clay roaster…the next time she cooked chicken, it was awful and actually bubbled and you could smell the soap – she had to throw the chicken out. Totally Unseasoned cast iron will, according to my grandparents, do the same thing – never tested it out. She had to soak that clay forever in water with baking soda to get all the soap smell out You wouldn’t soak cast iron or major rusting. Just no steel wool, metal soap pad, metal brushes, etc. To season and care for cast iron or carbon steel see the Lodge cast iron website. Here is a link to the seasoning page. I use Crisco solid shortening (keep in frig so it doesn’t get old) – very thin and I use a large cookie sheet on the bottom rack to catch drips of the upside down pan. I put any new (usually used pieces someone has messed up) iron through this process several times after throughly cleaning – only time I scour a cast iron pan is with rust. And as mentioned above, I use a little extra oil when I cook with it until it has a light sheen and doesn’t stick. As Lodge says, the best thing is to use your cast iron. Lodge now preseasons their pans so if you want, you just start using – follow their directions. Mine is all old fashion and had to be seasoned by me – or by my grandparents. It will last you and your children, maybe theirs too – forever. I still have my grandparents heavy big frying pan..all works great as do my new ones (now 30+ yrs old). http://www.lodgemfg.com/use-and-care/refurbish-your-finish
See all their care videos – the only thing they do and I don’t – I wipe as much of the grease etc out and don’t run it down my drains.
If you cut it up into small pieces and grind it into dust in a rock tumbler, you can make your own Tannerite.
And start a fire in the process. Aluminum powder is pyrophoric.
It ignites upon exposure to oxygen. VERY DANGEROUS.
If you read the Tannerite packet, you will see all the things that Tannerite adds to aluminum powder so it doesn’t self-ignite.
and if you let that steel wool mentioned in the article dissolve into a fine rust, you get another great ingredient to mix with your powdered aluminum that when combined has some fascinating uses.
1. Cast Iron Scrubber: If your food is sticking to cast iron you are doing it wrong. Period. Cast Iron cleans up with just a bit of water.
2. Camp Utensils: Yeah, riiiight. Substitute expensive foil for free plastic from Micky D’s
3. Sharpen Scissors: Nope – cut 600 grit sandpaper. 400 grit if your scissors are carbon steel.
4. Prevent Rust on Steel Wool: Nope. When finished, run your Brillo pad thru very hot water. Shake the water out. It will dry before it rusts.
5. Tighten a Battery: How about just stretching the little spring a bit.
Everyone is dumber for having read this article.
A shadow box can make an ok, solar dehydrator.
Put large baking sheets in the bottom, and it will caramelize the fruit, left unattended in full, summer sun. One thick chunk of watermelon (just to see what it could do) is actually full of syrupy survival calories.
Foil can be used for solar ovens, so effective that you can cook roasts and loaves of bread.
It’s not very nice to put hardware, where the food should go. But, it does happen to be useful, to bake, dry, and melt all kinds of materials at low oven temps.
The version of these ovens, with a chimney or vent, could probably be used to warm a room, under ideal circumstances.
Some people are really hands-on. They actually use their tools and machines to take care of themselves, wearing them out, fixing them, wearing them out, and fixing them, again.
In polite, industrial application, aluminum can make welds so strong and hot that it fuses train rails together.
Aluminum foil can be quickly and easily taped to windows to achieve blackout conditions and/or privacy.
Turn on inside lights and observe from outside at night to find gaps, pinholes, etc.