Discovering new ways to speed up cleaning processes around your home can always be exciting. Cleaning can be a monotonous and time-consuming job so anything to shorten the amount of time you spend on it has got to be a good thing, right?

If you have been on TikTok recently, you may have come across a new hack which involves placing aluminium foil in the dishwasher. Understandably, the site of such an item in a dishwasher may well have confused you. However, there is no need to worry because we’ll be fully explaining the hack today.

Uses for aluminium foil in the kitchen

Aluminium foil is a common kitchen item that is typically used to contain opened food items that need to be kept fresh. For example, if you are making a sandwich at night to eat the following day then you might choose to wrap it up in aluminium foil to ensure it doesn’t go off.

Another common use of aluminium foil in the kitchen is for baking tray protection. When you are cooking items high in fat content, such as bacon, a layer of aluminium foil placed on the base of the tray is going to catch all of the excess fat and ensure your baking trays aren’t damaged.

It turns out that there is now a third use for aluminium foil in the kitchen, as displayed by a popular TikTok hack. The videos relating to this hack show that aluminium foil can now be rolled up into a ball and placed into your cutlery tray in your dishwasher. The videos suggest that this hack will help your cutlery shine bright again, making them look like you’ve bought a brand-new set.

Just how accurate are these videos, though, and is aluminium foil even dishwasher safe? Let’s take a look.

Can you put aluminium foil in the dishwasher?

The first thing to establish is whether aluminium can be placed in a dishwasher or not. There are plenty of materials and objects that shouldn’t be placed in dishwashers for safety reasons so it’s important to check.

The good news is that aluminium foil is dishwasher-safe. The foil isn’t going to cause any damage to other items in your dishwasher and although there is always the risk that a knife could pierce through the foil, it’s cheap and replaceable enough for that risk factor not to matter.

The only thing you need to watch out for is bits of foil ripping off and getting stuck in the drainage system and causing a clog. This shouldn’t be an issue if you are tightly wrapping the foil into a ball but it’s just something to keep an eye on if you are planning on using this cleaning method frequently.

Why putting aluminium foil in your dishwasher is a good idea

Now that you know aluminium foil is dishwasher-safe, it’s time to learn about why putting it in your dishwasher is a good idea. The main reason revolves entirely around cutlery.

When you buy a new set of cutlery, the silver shines beautifully and helps to make your kitchen table look modern and fresh. As time goes on, this sparkle is naturally worn away through repetitive use and constant washing. If you are looking for a way to ensure that your cutlery stays shiny while still being cleaned then the answer comes in the shape of a circular aluminium foil ball.

How to use aluminium foil to keep your cutlery sparkling

The process of using aluminium foil to keep your cutlery clean and shiny is as follows:

  1. Rip off a piece of aluminium foil from your tube.
  2. Crumple it up into a ball and place it into your dishwasher’s cutlery tray alongside all of your dirty knives, forks and spoons.
  3. Place a dishwasher tablet into the cleaning compartment and run a cycle as normal.
  4. Once the cycle is complete, take the foil out of the dishwasher and throw it in the bin.
  5. Take your cutlery out of the dishwasher and marvel at how clean and shiny they all look.

How aluminium foil helps to clean and shine cutlery

Contrary to popular belief, this method doesn’t work by the aluminium scrubbing against your cutlery, wiping away dirt and scratches. Instead, the process works through oxidation.

When dishwasher tablets are released in the dishwasher, the detergents found within them oxidizes with the aluminium. This oxidation then helps to remove stains and re-establish the shine that your cutlery once possessed.

The key to this process working is for the aluminium foil ball to be securely contained in the cutlery tray. If the ball is free then it’s going to bounce around your dishwasher and do very little. The ball needs to be fixed in place and in contact with as many knives, forks and spoons as possible for the best results.

An alternative way to clean silver using aluminium foil

Aluminium foil can be used to clean silver in your home without the aid of a dishwasher. Instead, you can employ a method which involves baking soda and warm water. The full method is as follows:

  1. Securely wrap your silver items in aluminium foil.
  2. Fill up a bucket of hot water and add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda.
  3. Add the wrapped silver items to the hot water/baking soda mix. Leave the items to soak in the bucket for a couple of hours.
  4. Come back to the solution and unwrap the silver. You should now see that your items are shinier and cleaner than before.
  5. Dry the silver items with a cloth and then place them back in the cupboards and drawers where they live.


Using aluminium foil in your dishwasher can be a great way to remove stains, scratches and dullness from your cutlery. However, if you think it’s going to provide a fuller clean to everything in your dishwasher then you’re sadly mistaken. We hope that you now fully understand this cleaning hack so you can use it going forward to rejuvenate your cutlery.