This Must Be the Smartest Use of Aluminum Foil I’ve Ever Tried (My Kitchen Is Sparkling!)

published Feb 23, 2024
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

In life (and especially in the kitchen), there are certain items and gadgets that really can do it all — like lemons, white vinegar, plastic wrap, and even the humble fork. But my personal favorite? Aluminum foil. While there are dozens of ingenious things to do with this versatile kitchen staple (many of which include cleaning!), I just discovered another brilliant trick that you’ll want to try ASAP.

When I saw this video in my feed, I knew I had to try this ingenious hack. TikTokker @danthelifehacker shared this tip for cleaning your sink with just a wadded up ball of aluminum foil and a little bit of water, and it almost looked too good to be true. So, why speculate? Here at The Kitchn, we like to put hacks to the test. 

Let’s just say it had been a little too long since the last time I had cleaned my sink — with my standard go-to all-purpose cleaner, which I usually use — and the steel was looking a little dingy. The video notes that this hack will instantly remove limescale stains, which I had plenty of (just see my “before” photo below). Just like Dan did, I balled up about a foot-long piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil, not squeezing it too tightly but about half-way into a ball, and ran it under some warm water.

Credit: Quinn Fish

Then, as quickly as it happens in the video, I lightly scrubbed the faucet with the foil, and in seconds it looked cleaner. I could feel the abrasion of the folds in the foil grinding against the smooth silver surface, and though I was worried it might leave marks or scratches on the stainless steel, it did just the opposite — it removed every bit of scum, grease, and limescale in a snap! I continued to do it on the rest of the faucet and handles, and it worked in every nook and cranny like a charm. I had never seen my sink so shiny!

Credit: Quinn Fish

While I can’t speak to how well it actually cleaned and sanitized my sink — after all, it was just water — I was definitely wowed by the hack’s ability to remove stains and limescale. If your sink needs a little polishing and tends to collect water stains, this is a must-try. Add it to your to-do list ASAP!

Although I’m typically skeptical of viral cleaning hacks, this one changed my mind. I knew there were seemingly infinite things you could do with tin foil, but who knew a glistening sink was just one swipe of foil away? To keep my sink clean, I’ll probably stick to my favorite cleaner (or olive oil and vinegar!) or I’ll try the hack with a little lemon juice or white vinegar, but if it ever needs a glow, I’ll be sure to reach for some tin foil — it’s always in my pantry anyways.