Why You Should Put Aluminum Foil In Your Dishwasher

When looking for an apartment, some people look for large bedrooms. Others look for a nice porch or patio. And some people absolutely must have a dishwasher. A dishwasher saves time, and it also saves water. CNET reports a dishwasher uses 5,000 fewer gallons of water than washing by hand. Using a dishwasher correctly can also keep your utensils and dishes looking pristine.

The good folks at Good Housekeeping take dishwashers very seriously and offer guidelines for maximizing the one in your home. According to the iconic magazine, fresh dish detergent is better for your appliance and your dishes than detergents that have been sitting for more than two months. You might think you're saving money by purchasing dishwashing liquid in bulk, but you could be doing your dishes a disservice.

Good Housekeeping also recommends keeping stainless steel and silver flatware separate in the dishwasher. If these two kinds of silverware happen to touch during a wash cycle, it can cause a chemical reaction that causes silver to pit. Good to know, right?

Better cleaning through chemistry

Of course, there are plenty of interesting home tips and life hacks floating around online. A TikTok from user Carolina McCauley recently showed how adding a wadded-up ball of aluminum foil can remove tarnish from silver flatware.

The polishing properties of this dishwasher hack come down to a chemical reaction between aluminum and detergent. After being oxidized by detergent, the ball of aluminum that then touches silver causes a reduction reaction that removes sulfur-based tarnish, leaving behind sparkling silverware (via Wired). The reaction between oxidized aluminum and silver tarnish also produces a small electric current, in a process similar to electroplating.

This life hack isn't just good for getting tarnish-free silver flatware. It can also be used for glowing up jewelry or anything else made from silver. And don't worry, we're not suggesting you waste perfectly good tin foil: you can use the sheet of aluminum foil from dinner in the dishwasher.