11 Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses

Feature | Foil | Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | uses for aluminum foil

How many aluminum foil survival uses do you know? Keep reading to find out the various uses of this unsung hero for emergency preparedness!

11 Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses

A Great Survival Tool

In a crisis, you make the most out of everything you have, which means you might need to get a little creative. Things like paracord and duct tape have fairly obvious uses, but other items may require a little more critical thinking. Let's take a look at one of the most common items you have in your kitchen — aluminum foil.

Aluminum foil can be used for so much more than preparing and serving food, it can be an indispensable survival tool that should always be included in your survival kit. You see, it's more than just a food wrapper. There are actually plenty of survival uses for aluminum foil that will come in handy when you need it most.

1. Boiling Water

In any survival situation, it is important to stay hydrated. However, water acquired from any “untrusted” source needs to be made safe for consumption.

White Foil | Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | uses for aluminum foil

Aluminum foil can be a substitute for pots and pans by creating a makeshift bowl. Bring your water to a rolling boil for a minimum of one minute. This will make your water safe to drink.

2. Signal for Help

Since aluminum foil is reflective, it is great for signaling purposes. Place along with branches or any other areas where it will be clearly visible from the air or a road close by.

Ribbon Foil | Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | uses for aluminum foil

You can also use aluminum foil to make a makeshift mirror, which is great for signaling for help as well.

3. Make Fishing Lures

Fish love shiny lures. If you do not have bait, wrap aluminum foil around the weights as it will act as an effective flasher attracting fish that are more reluctant to bite.

Fishing Rod | Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | uses for aluminum foil

When the fishing gets a little bit tough, all you need is a square tin foil to improve the catch.

4. Water Bottle Repair

Pine sap and aluminum foil will act as a temporary patching solution for cracks in water bottles or small piercings in hydration packs.

Water Bottle | Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | uses for aluminum foil

It will not hold up to a lot of water pressure, but it will help with drips and small seeps temporarily.

5. Sharpen Dull Scissors

I keep a multi-tool on me at all times. The scissors are my most used tool, so they can be dull from time to time.

Dull Scissors | Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | uses for aluminum foil

To sharpen scissors using aluminum foil, fold the foil over two or three times and cut the foil with your scissors. This will help sharpen the scissor blades.

6. Fix Loose Batteries

If batteries become loose, the most common reason is the springs inside the battery compartment have lost some of their tension over time. Loose batteries can cause glitching.

Batteries | Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | uses for aluminum foil

To remedy this problem with aluminum foil, fold a small piece just big enough to fill in the gap, and you’re good to go.

7. Keep Your Matches Dry

Wrapping your matches with aluminum foil will keep them dry as long as you don't go underwater! Waterproof matches and lighters are available in the market, but you don't have these readily available most of the time.

Matches Dry | Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | uses for aluminum foil

Aluminum foil is a great alternative since you can simply tear a piece of it from your kitchen drawer.

8. Scrub Dirty Pots and Pans

Do you have dirty pots and pans but forgot to pack the scrub pads? Not to worry. Crumble up a piece of aluminum foil scrub your dirty pots and pans and rinse.

Remember, it is important to keep the smell of food away from your shelter area or a campsite.

Foil for cleaning | Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | uses for aluminum foil

Having clean pots and pans will help prevent predators (such as bears) from snooping around at night.

9. Create a Quick Windbreak Around Your Campfire

Building a wall out of aluminum foil around your campfire will help protect it from the wind. This will also help reflect heat to help you stay warm at night.

Campsites in the uplands can be very cold at night so the more warmth you can generate, the better.

Foil on fire | Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | uses for aluminum foil

Bonus: If you're cold at night wrap up in heavy-duty aluminum foil, it can act as a space blanket and help insulate you.

Space Blanket Definition: Also known as an emergency or thermal blanket, it is a thin plastic sheet that reflects heat, helping the user stay warm.

10. Collect Rainwater

Remember the makeshift bowl you made to boil water? Make about 3 or 4 times that size (or just make several of them) to collect rainwater.

Foil Roll | Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | uses for aluminum foil

A tarp is also good for collecting rainwater, but it's quite heavy to bring when camping. Aluminum foil is a more useful material for light travel.

11. Remove Rust

Crumple up a piece of aluminum foil like you would a piece of paper. Use the crumpled foil to remove rust from metal objects.

Scissor Rust | Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | uses for aluminum foil

It's not going to be a magical thing wherein the rust comes off with a little rubbing. You have to be a little bit patient to make it work.

Save this infographic for later!

Infographic | Aluminum Foil | Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | uses for aluminum foil

Here's a quick tip about aluminum foil survival kits from CommonSenseOutdoors:

It's amazing how such a simple thing can be so useful for wilderness survival. My whole life, I couldn't even remember anyone asking me for aluminum foil if not to wrap food, now it's one of your many significant survival tools for any outdoor emergency.

Kudos to the brilliant minds who gave birth to these ideas. It may be an unusual prepper gear, but it can also be utilized as a mylar blanket or an emergency blanket, an alcohol stove, and a whole lot more. Nevertheless, creativity is the key to survival, and learning any new skill will always be a plus for preppers!

Which of these aluminum foil survival uses have you tried? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!

Up Next: Aluminum Foil Hacks | 7 Uses For The Outdoors

Follow us on Facebook, InstagramTwitterPinterest, and Tumblr!

**Disclaimer: All content on this site is for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer here**

Sign Up For Survival Life Subscribe Button Placard | Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 27, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

22 Responses to :
11 Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses

  1. user34603 says:

    a lot of electric guitar guys lightly glue in aluminum foil into the pickup cavity to shield the guitar from ‘hum’ caused bu radio frequency (lights, stereos, etc.)

  2. Maryann Hearn Bowman says:

    I can’t remember if I sent this to facebook before, but I am now. I think it is a very valuable “tool” for us to keep in mind.

  3. kenward42 says:

    Wrapping celery in aluminum foil extends its usable life considerably.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Must be talking about the aluminum foil because celery has no use

      1. Anonymous says:

        Baaaaaaaaa Waaaaaaaaahahaha!!!

      2. Marcus Johnson says:

        What about flossing your teeth? It gets stuck in there and you are compelled to floss.

  4. Fox Fire says:

    My Dad used to build a toy rocket from tinfoil when I was just a little shaver. Kept me entertained on rainy days.

    Take an ordinary kitchen match and lay a straight pin, needle, or straightened paper clip touching the head of the match. wrap the head and pin tightly with tinfoil. The tighter the better. Remove the pin for future use. Prop up the match with the head overhanging. Anything that will not burn is good enough. Angle needs only to be slight. Heat the head with any heat source until the matchead ignites. Your mini-rocket will zoom a few feet!

    Make up several of these rockets in advance and watch the joy you’ve created in your children/grandchildren’s eyes as long as the rockets last.

    You can glue on wings (Straight or swept) and horizontal and vertical tail stabilizers to create a mini-rocket plane but use outdoors as these will go farther and higher. Use card stock for the flight surfaces to keep the weight down.

  5. Ralston Heath says:

    I have a few pieces of tinfoil in my git home/bug out kits. Like above, the tinfoil will make a quick pot to cook in as well as make a cup to drink from. Not to mention you can bake your catch (fish/squirrel/ etc) by wrapping it in tinfoil and burying it in the coals of your fire.

  6. bill price says:


    1. Don says:

      Sound wisdom Bill Price…..:)

  7. T B Bryceson says:

    By making a windbreak for your fire, you are also blocking the firelight from alerting unwanted observers to your presence, something that can be of utmost importance in a survival situation. Of course, if attracting attention is your goal (also important, depending upon the situation), then hanging foil pieces higher up, where they will reflect the light of the fire can help rescuers find you at night.

  8. Old & Gray says:

    Aluminum foil also works great in a pinch when you blow a fuse in your vehicle or don’t get a good connection. Only use long enough to get your vehicle to the garage though so you don’t damage other components in certain situations. Also can be used for creating a reflector oven to cook food or boil water. Even used as an assist on TV antennas and starting a fire with a car battery. Lots more too

  9. Jan Patterson says:

    I have used aluminum foil for sharpening scissors before and it DOES work! Just fold a piece of foil then cut it several times with dull scissors and Voila, sharp scissors again!! Admittedly, It doesn’t last long, but it’ll work till the next time you need a sharp cut and can get them sharpened professionally.

  10. Wally says:

    I agree w/Mr. Price above: scissors don’t become sharper by cutting aluminum foil. ALSO: it is NOT SAFE to expose aluminum foil to direct flame or red hot coals—because the aluminum degrades & off-gasses into the food or liquid
    being heated –and then consumed. Ever hear of Alzheimer’s disease ? Might be better to use 304 stainless steel foil for certain cooking / heating situations ? Caution: SST foil may have razor sharp edges !

    1. Michelle M. Losey says:

      Strongly agree with Walley once I found out aluminum in food and water was a leading cause of Alzheimer’s disease I have not let aluminum foil or pans touch anything i eat or drink! But where do you get 304 stainless steel foil? Also another question to writers of this article…. would foil work as a backstop instead of foil blankets in a winter super shelter like this one? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx16H99-dVk

    2. joe says:

      I agree, also using aluminum foil to scrub you pans will leave some of the aluminum on the surface of the pan and will then be absorbed by any food cooked later and as you stated aluminum has been associated with many health problems, especially if you also use fluoridated water some of the time.

      1. Guys we are talking about survival you are not going to get Alzheimers or health problems from camping occasionally ever hear of moderation..I am a Nurse all these things are for survival..for all of you that use A ..Microwave every day what the heck do you think that is doing to your food that you consume at work etc…wow..wake up to reality ..and not negativity all the time.

        1. The Contrarian says:

          Microwave radiation does nothing to food except vibrate the water molecules within it, causing it to heat up. It’s not like exposing it to nuclear radiation of certain types.where molecular bonds are broken or residual radiation remains on or in it. Microwaves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, like visible light is, but they are invisible to us and essentially harmless to humans in low doses.

          1. Dmichael says:

            Nuclear radiation from gamma rays will kill any bacteria with only an extremely short exposure leaving essentially no radioactivity. We could use it to preserve foodstuffs, but there are too many wacko greenies who skipped science courses in high school and/or college.

          2. Peace says:

            Think the nurse was pointing to “survival” as well as to live, few times for the development of a disease process will take time & exposure rate & amount, so the negative would be you drink some water boiled in aluminum or die dehydrated.

  11. Nancy Beegle says:

    Hey. Thanks for the great ideas. . Those see actually hard creases, though. 😉

  12. dz says:

    for microwaves it’s true the food does get heated by vibrating the water molecules and therefore the food itself is not likely to produce anything harmful, but the container you use in the microwave might give off harmful materials that can then contaminate the food. I prefer to use high grade “microwave safe” glass and ceramics like Corningware, Pyrex, and Corelle for microwave and oven use. I do use aluminum foil for leftover food storage, and occasionally cooking, like wrapping up potatoes or corn for baking or campfire cooking, and foil baking cups that I prefer to use instead of paper baking cups.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *