10 Things You Should Never Throw Away

Aluminum Foil
Sure, you can use foil for reheating or storage, but did you know you could sharpen a knife with it? TinkerJulie/iStock/Thinkstock

When Reynolds sold its first rolls of aluminum foil back in 1947, the company advertised it as the foil for "1,001 kitchen miracles." Foil exhibits some unique properties of metal — moisture-proof, odor-proof, able to withstand extreme temperatures — and adds the uncanny ability to be molded into any imaginable shape. Foil is also washable, making it the material with 1,001 lives.

Next time you use a sheet of foil to cover a plate of leftovers, rinse it off afterwards, and save it for one of these unexpected household uses [source: Stimpson]:

  • Pot scrubber: Ball up some aluminum foil for an easy way to remove baked- on, caked-on grime from pots and pans. Also works on grease-caked grills.
  • Silver polisher: Submerge tarnished silver in a glass pan of boiling water lined with aluminum foil; then add two teaspoons of salt. In minutes, a simple chemical reaction will dissolve the tarnish without damaging the silver.
  • No-fuss funnel: Where's a funnel when you need it? Form a cone out of a double layer of foil and you're in business.
  • Scissor sharpener: If your scissors get dull, simply cut through a sheet of aluminum foil.