How To Use Aluminum Foil To Sharpen Your Kitchen Scissors

Aluminum foil is perfect for preserving leftovers, lining pans, and even making your own smoker in the oven. But, did you know this kitchen staple can help keep one of your other common kitchen tools from getting dull? It's true. Aluminum foil can be used as a quick and easy way to keep your kitchen scissors sharp and ready for anything.

Popular Mechanics notes that while scissors get worn down and dull like any other blade, people are far less likely to think about sharpening them than they are to sharpen their good carving knives. However, unless you have scissors that easily come apart for regular cleaning and sharpening, it can be tricky to do, as Craft Space Ideas acknowledges. One quick way to improve your scissors' performance when they start to get a bit dull is to break out the trusty aluminum foil.

According to Popular Mechanics, all you need to do is take about 12 inches of aluminum foil and fold it over several times so it is at least six layers thick, then cut the foil into 10 or 12 strips using "full-stroke cuts." Once that's done, you can test the sharpness of the blade by cutting some paper and repeating the process as necessary. Once the scissors are cutting better, simply rinse and dry them to eliminate any remaining paper and aluminum bits.

How does it work?

While this method of using aluminum foil on your scissors does improve their performance, it is not perfect. Popular Mechanics notes that this method is best for blades that have become slightly dulled. It will not work on scissors that are badly damaged or severely dull. Similarly, Craft Space Ideas explains that the foil isn't really actively "sharpening" the blades, rather the hard, rough foil scours the blades and helps get rid of dust, grime, and residues that could build up on the blades and hinder their cutting ability.

Despite this technicality, the method is notably effective, especially for scissors which are used regularly and may just get a bit worn down. CNET included sharpening scissors on its list of "21 unexpected uses for aluminum foil" along with other helpful kitchen tips like polishing silver, cleaning your grill, and making your own cookie cutters.

If you still aren't getting the results you're looking for from your scissors, Popular Mechanics and Craft Space Ideas both note that for duller scissors, a similar cutting method can be used with fine grain sandpaper to more effectively sharpen your kitchen blades if you don't want to bother with using a professional sharpening service or your own whetstone.